Ringing in the New Year

After a long and cozy winter break, it’s time to hit the books again. A new semester means new classes, professors, classmates, and schedules. It’s an exciting time of year when every student seems to be motivated to be their best possible self. During the first week back, I always find myself in the library preparing notecards and cracking open my new textbooks. My semesters start off with a bang, but after a while I find myself with a bad case of the second semester blues. Icy Kirksville winters have a way of convincing me to stay inside and watch movies all day. But this semester, I am determined to not sink into these ways. In the past, I have set ambitious New Year’s resolutions, as if some magic switch flips at 12:01 on January 1st that will change my life. Instead of a lofty resolution, I want to focus on realistic goals. Here are some goals that CK gals have for this semester:

       Get seven hours of sleep regularly

       Meditation and gratitude practice every morning

       Weekly yoga and lots of water

       Learn something new everyday

       Write in my journal before bed

I hope that your 2020 is a year of growth, happiness, and achieving your goals. I can’t wait to see all of the wonderful things that you all will accomplish this year. 

       All my CK love, 


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Hoppy Easter from Cardinal Key

Spring has sprung, and we’ve made it to Easter! We can’t believe how fast this semester has already flown by. It’s been a busy past few months, to say the least.

In January we celebrated the special women in our lives with our annual Cardinal Key Special Women’s weekend. Moms, grandmas, sisters, friends, and many other special women joined us for a day of service, fun, food (of course), and recognizing them for their impact in our lives. We also had a silent auction and were able to raise over $500 for our philanthropy, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

February came and went as we welcomed 18 brand new members to our organization! These ladies have already jumped right into service, meetings, and all things Cardinal Key. We could not be happier with these incredible women and have complete confidence in their ability to carry on our values as Cardinal Keys. <3

March has been filled with meetings, weekly service events at places like Manor Care and Headstart, and ended with retreat! The theme this semester was Camp CK and our new girls were able to meet their bigs and receive their Big Reds! It was, as always, a night filled with laughter, wisdom, amazing food, and sisterhood.

Lastly, several CK’s volunteered at Kirksville’s annual Easter egg hunt on Saturday. The hunt took place on Truman’s quad and had over 15,000 Easter eggs! Two of our very own CK’s even dressed up as the Easter Bunny and Spike the Bulldog. It was a joy to serve the Kirksville community in this capacity and, yes, even eat a few pieces of candy too.

We hope this spring season greets you with plenty of sunshine, warm weather, and joy!


CK love,


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Bring on the New

Happy New Year everyone!!

It is so exciting to be back at Truman for the spring semester. Fall semester definitely had its ups and downs, but there’s something so encouraging about a fresh start. Whether your goals this year are to think more positively, read good books, learn to cook, volunteer somewhere, or discover your passion for running (more power to ya), Cardinal Key wishes nothing but success in your efforts.

The best thing about success is that it looks different to everyone. There is no one path to success. Some days, success will look like achieving a skill that you’ve worked at for weeks or months. Other days, success will be measured by accomplishing one task on your sometimes endless to-do lists. The important thing is to take it in strides, give yourself plenty of grace, and recognize that you’re doing the best that you can. Progress is hardly ever linear and it is absolutely OKAY if we have to stop and reevaluate our goals.

Wherever this new year finds you, consider 2018 as an opportunity for growth. It’s important not to dwell on the past, but take the time to practice thankfulness and being present in every situation that life brings you. You are loved, you are alive, and you have purpose. You bring joy to the people around you in ways that you will never realize and you have so much to offer the world. In a time where there is so much hurt, uncertainty, and strife in our world–your small deeds can create a ripple effect that touches a multitude of people. That is such an exciting thought!

Everyday is a new opportunity to live your best life.


So much CK Love,



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CK Spotlight: Stephanie Hulett

It happened again. I woke up and checked my phone to see nothing but heart shattering news. An indescribable, unimaginable nightmare. The next few days nothing else reaches our TV screens besides those innocent lives taken in the Las Vegas shooting. 58 innocent, beautiful lives. May their families and this world find peace and healing through this tragedy.


I am 22 years old and this headline has crept its way into our lives one too many times: Sandy Hook. 9/11. Charleston. Aurora. San Bernardino. Ft. Hood. Virginia Tech. Columbine. Orlando. Las Vegas. These headlines are plastered across our screens and we are overwhelmed with madness, disgust, sadness, confusion, and helplessness. Despite all this darkness, we must not lose hope. We must realize we are surrounded by greatness everyday. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of our own lives, but don’t forget to stop and enjoy the vast beauty surrounding you. Don’t forget to stop and be the hope someone needs today. In all this madness, I have realized how short this beautiful journey really is. Before I knew it I blinked and in a couple months I will be a college graduate.


We are only promised a certain amount of trips around the sun so make the most of every day. Squeeze your mom a little tighter next time you hug her. Remind your siblings how much they’ve shaped you into the person you’ve become today. Thank your dad for always being your best friend, even when you made it difficult. Love harder and don’t be afraid to show it. Our time here is too short to hold on to anything but love. There are times we want to spew with anger rather than to find forgiveness. There are times we have our backs against the wall with nothing left to give, but still we fight. Why? Because anger, resentment, sadness, all of it has no right to make a home in your heart. You fight back. You have become resilient. You have chosen to choose love time and time again because after all- how can you give to others when you have an empty heart? Fill your heart with love and this will spew out into all facets of your life.


This world may seem like a dark place sometimes, but I see the light shine brighter than hate everyday. I know you see it, too. Like those brave, courageous individuals who shielded others from the bullets. Like our first responders who charged into the madness to help those innocent, beautiful souls. Like my best friend, who hopes to touch the lives of children as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse. Like my teammates, who constantly love and encourage me to be the best version of myself on and off the course. I know you all see this magic in your lives everyday, too. I pray you still spread all this love, despite the heart wrenching news of Las Vegas. Please, don’t lose hope.


No matter our race, religion, political affiliations, income, or personal beliefs, we are all human beings. We all must come together. We all must love one another that much harder. It is up to us to ensure our children have a safe and loving world to venture into. This cannot happen unless we start having open conversations, instead of debating with one another. There is a difference. This cannot happen unless we choose to embrace the differences that make us who we are. Every interaction, no matter how pleasant or unpleasant, can teach you something about life and love. Don’t ignore this. Choose to stand up for what you believe in and choose love time and time again. Choose to be the light we need in this world. Choose to live free and love fearlessly. Choose to be a good human.


And when you start to lose hope, sit and reflect on the wonderful blessings in your life because they are everywhere and never forget:


Love is everywhere. Love heals. Love conquers all.


All my love,


Stephanie <3


P.S. When I am at a loss for words, I turn to music. I had no idea how to respond to this unfathomable tragedy so I listened to Maren Morris’ new song, Dear Hate. Give it a listen:




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Semester Update/End of Year!

Wow, what an incredible year it’s been to be a Cardinal Key. The 2016-2017 school year brought countless challenges that never could have been anticipated, and though it hasn’t always been easy, we’re grateful for all the opportunities we had to grow. The good news is that despite our challenges, we’ve had a lot of fun along the way!

We welcomed 15 beautiful new women into our beloved organization…

…and we watched them grow into fully initiated members of Cardinal Key.

And CK alum Hannah Hyer gave a brilliant speech. Our new babies thanked her with a little CK love for her dog, Meryl!

We also had a great time at our “Under the C(K)” retreat, where we did “sea yoga,” made some pretty hilarious skits, and soaked up a lot of love.

Thanks to our retreat committee for planning it!

We danced the night away at our formal with Blue Key:

And of course, we found PLENTY of time for service this semester. We got in a lot of time at Manor Care, as always, and found the time to help out at some new places, like Take Root Cafe. To finish off the semester, we participated in a Service Cup Challenge with Blue Key and WON!!!

We’re so grateful for the love we’ve given and gotten in return. We’re thankful for this semester, this year, and every moment we’ve had together. As we look forward to the future, we do so with endless love and gratitude in our hearts.

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Thinking Back, Looking Forward

Happy 2017 and welcome to another semester at Truman! As we look forward to all the next semester holds for us–new classes, the promise of warmer weather, and a new rush class–we also look back to reflect on the days behind us.

The fall semester was challenging and difficult at times, but it offered us a chance to learn, grow, and (of course) serve! Through all our individual challenges and successes, we were grateful for the days we got to spend together in service and friendship.

Take a look at some of the things we’ve been up to lately!

Dad’s Weekend 2016

Highway Cleanup

This is one of our favorite service events of the year. We love getting to do this together and we had GREAT weather this year, which made it that much more fun!

Homecoming 2016

Here we are waiting for the Homecoming parade to start–we befriended a horse who was a fellow parade-walker.

Susan, our lovely Homecoming court member and CK service chair.

After Homecoming festivities, we had a dessert party with current AND past CKs.

Fall 2017 Retreat

We had more than our fair share of fun at retreat…

…which was full of the usual shenanigans.

Thanks to our retreat committee for planning it for us!

We’re so grateful for all that our last semester brought us, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store this spring. Stay tuned for upcoming CK adventures!

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Rush 2016


What a time to be alive.

On Sunday night, we drove through the darkened streets of Kirksville, our cars full of excited Cardinal Keys, the names of our new members in our minds. We fumbled with our GPS apps, took wrong turns, and executed our worst parking jobs in the midst of our adrenaline. We ran through front yards, feeling slightly creepy as we snuck up to their houses. We looked at each other, counted to three, and began pounding on the door.


“WELCOME TO CARDINAL KEY!” Girly squeals ensued, hugs abounded, happy tears and smiles sprang to our faces and seemed they might never leave.

Then our cars raced back to Tori’s house, and for the first time we assembled our new group of Cardinal Keys.


On that night our 22 grew to 39, and our hearts are overflowing with joy and inspiration and love. Our new members have completed us beautifully, already making a difference and jumping into service in their first week! Time and time again we see the stunning process of this organization, bringing in those who need it and equipping them with more love than they know what to do with. We are continually so thankful for this life-changing experience.

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Fall 2015

Happy New Year and welcome to the spring semester! We had such a lovely fall semester, full of activity. As we’re beginning this new chapter, we also reflect on some of the amazing things CK got to be apart in the fall.



Here we are enjoying a phenomenal pancake breakfast hosted by the Blue Keys! Perfect way to start the school year.


We loved Dad’s Day! Here you can see Abby and Shari demonstrating for our dads how we do “the hands.” They got it, eventually.


Our biannual blood drive! Carly and Erin did a great job as Blood Drive Chairs!


Here we are at the Inspire1 5k to support JDRF, our philanthropy! We loved cheering on the runners, especially the adorable kiddos in the Kids’ Fun Run.


We sold caramel apples at the first home football game to raise money for JDRF! We sold out by the first half!


Street Clean Up! We do this every semester, and always have a little too much fun (is that possible?).

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Fall Retreat! Thanks to Vice President Kaytlin and her amazing Retreat Committee, it was such a success! We got to fulfill our dreams of being secret agents for the evening, as you can see by our faces in this photo.


Thanks for reading, and we hope you have a wonderful start to your 2016! We will be having Cardinal Key Spring Rush soon, so stay tuned for more information!

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All Aboard SS Cardinal Key

CK held retreat Friday, March 20 and had a blast with our SS CK theme! This was our new member’s first retreat and it was so great to enjoy good company, food, friends and of course laughs with our whole chapter.

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Spring 2015!

It has been one jam-packed semester so far, Mom’s Day, rush and of course welcoming our wonderful new girls into this amazing organization! We are so excited to have these fresh new faces at our weekly meetings and cannot wait to serve along side them.


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by | February 23, 2015 · 7:23 pm