A Story of Love and Sweet Success

Aug 23, 2022 – A doughnut and an email are two of the most important pieces to Stephen Sorenson’s Deltasig journey.

From Doughnuts to Delta Sigma Pi

A doughnut and an email are two of the most important pieces to Stephen Sorenson’s Deltasig journey. Thirty years apart, Sorenson, South Carolina, wouldn’t have received that email without getting that doughnut.

“[Krispy Kreme is] my kryptonite,” Sorenson said. “If I see one, I literally veer off that way to a Krispy Kreme.”

It just so happened that one group at The University of South Carolina sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts as a fundraiser in the business building. It was inevitable that an unaffiliated undergraduate Sorenson would eventually cross paths with a Deltasig slinging Krispy Kremes.

Soon enough, Sorenson went from buying doughnuts to the brother holding the box.

“We used to have to sell doughnuts to raise money for our dances,” said Sorenson. “Needless to say, it took a lot of doughnuts.”

More important than just selling doughnuts to other passing students, he was getting to talk to them about Deltasig.

“It would take forever to raise money,” Sorenson said. “But it was usually a time when we were recruiting people. When we were talking to people in the business building, that’s how we’d get to know strangers. It was all commerce related, so it was cool.”

As much as Sorenson personally liked the glazed breakfast staple and talking to potential new members, he thought there had to be a better way to raise some sweet reserves. He found that efficient opportunity when he was put in charge of the chapter’s annual Spring Fling getaway.

He realized, at a different venue, they could charge slightly more while still providing a quality experience at a great value for collegians and alumni in attendance. The weekend was a success, and the brothers spent a lot less time holding boxes of doughnuts.

“I think we cleared $8,000 and we didn’t have to sell doughnuts for a while,” he said.

Brothers recognized his drive and vision by electing him chapter president. Those traits not only attracted voters to Sorenson, but Stephanie, now his wife, to him. She was a pledge at South Carolina when she first met Sorenson.

“[He] had those leadership qualities and was so darn cute with his dimples,” said Stephanie. 

Like her husband, Stephanie is not afraid of a challenge, and the beginning of her Deltasig journey was exactly that. Initially, she was rejected. Already a member of a social sorority, Stephanie believed there were commitment concerns from members.

Undeterred, she came back. There is power in persistence, and in numbers.

“The second time I went back in and I had two friends with me,” said Stephanie. ‘[Stephen] said ‘because I came back I must really have wanted to be in it.[1] ’”

The pair grew closer in the chapter. They realized many of the qualities that drew them to the Fraternity are what drew them to each other.

“Definitely, we both [are attracted to challenges] or otherwise we wouldn’t be out in LA,” Stephanie said.

The foundation of shared interests and values they built on campus in Columbia have taken them on a wild ride from the Carolinas to the City of Angels with a detour to Broadway and a regular commute to a worldwide leader in the software space, Microsoft. Microsoft was only going to be the start.

“I did not view Microsoft as a long-term career at first,” said Stephen. “I took the position because it allowed me to stay near my future wife, Stephanie. I also enjoyed helping people work with their computers. So, I literally took the job on the premise that after my wife graduated [a year after me] that I would then go get a ‘real job.’”

After college, the two got married, traveled to see the world, bought their home and had their two daughters. Their oldest daughter got into theater. So did their youngest daughter.

The sisters enjoyed the stage and showed promise. Like their parents, they weren’t afraid of a challenge.

“I just wanted them to approach life differently if we had the means to have their passion ultimately be their work,” Stephanie said.

When an opportunity arose in New York while the family was in North Carolina, they would figure it out. Stephanie and the girls headed to the Big Apple with Stephen based out of Charlotte, continuing his career with Microsoft.

“A lot of people said I was crazy coming from the South going out to New York City,” said Stephanie. “Riding subways, trying to figure out the business, but we loved it so much. We looked at it as an adventure and a learning experience, as well. Really more than you can get in school.”

Then Hollywood called the girls.

“We wanted an adventure,” said Stephanie. “We wanted them to lean in and be exposed to different people. And that's exactly what has happened. Their view of the world is so much bigger and broader than what it would have been.”

While the move came with a to-do list longer than the interstate to their new destination, getting a new job was not a bump in the road Stephen had to worry about. He was able to transfer within the company to Washington State.

“And my career at Microsoft was the enabler for our move, so if there is a recommendation I can give people, it is to truly migrate to your passion and find a company that really fuels that,” said Stephen.

Fueling that is exactly what Microsoft has done the past 30 years for Stephen, who is now Senior Director for Customer Success Americas for Microsoft's FastTrack cloud platform.

“I guess I fell in love with the core mission of the company, ‘helping others realize their full potential,’” said Stephen. “We made great software and grew fast as a company. It seemed like every year there was a new challenge, and I grew so much. Along the way, the company has invested in me, as well. My career has been so rewarding.”

Just like with Deltasig, Microsoft became an organization he wanted to share the great experience with others. Though, no doughnut selling is required now.

“I think I am most proud of not only all the customers I have helped directly or through the teams I have built, but more importantly the lives I have helped change by recruiting them to Microsoft,” said Stephen. “This truly is an amazing company that just keeps getting better and people that join us are in constant disbelief at the employee experience.”

Along with genuinely liking the company, one of the keys to his long-term career with Microsoft is the company itself has avoided being dragged to the recycling bin.

“What I’ve been most impressed, and somewhat surprised, has been our ability to evolve,” said Stephen. “Our culture has had several fundamental shifts through the years, and I am just in awe at how much of a learning company we truly are. The company continues to respond to world events beautifully, think forward and be willing to grow. We might be highly successful, but do not operate like we have it all figured out.”

While Microsoft helped enable their move west, Stephen and Stephanie’s Fraternity experience helped prepare them for life on the California coast.

“Being a part of Delta Sigma Pi, it was so diverse with people from many different walks of life,” said Stephanie. “You get to know them and appreciate them. And that helped me come to LA and meet all types of people very different from the South, but connect with them.”

Stephen and Stephanie have lived a lot of life since they were both undergrad Deltasigs at South Carolina.

“I’ll be transparent. I think when I graduated that I was so focused on work and our lives together and growing together, I drifted [from the Fraternity],” said Stephen.

Drift as they may have, they still had each other. They also had Stephanie’s sister and brother-in-law who are Deltasigs. These relationships buoy their Deltasig experience.

It took an email to Stephen for his 30th anniversary since initiation with Stephanie’s name in the first-name field to reel them back in.

“That’s when I logged onto the site to fix it and then I saw all the great work that was going on and how the Fraternity has endured [COVID during] the past two years,” said Stephen.

Seeing what was currently in the works for the Fraternity had Stephen reflecting on his past with it and how he could impact its future.

“I said I’ve got some energy and assets now and I want to give back,” said Stephen. “Because I really thought about it and there is no single organization that has impacted my life in so many ways. It wasn’t just a social group of us getting together; we got things done and learned from each other. That has definitely shown up in my life now.”

They have not wasted time to begin showing up for the Fraternity again.

Stephen has developed his powerful presentation, Being a Modern Leader, to highlight how the Fraternity experience helped prepare him for his career at Microsoft. He gave the presentation as an inspirational keynote speech at this year’s President’s Academy, held virtually in January 2022.

It’s been more than 30 years since Stephen bought a Krispy Kreme doughnut from a Deltasig in the business building and that doughnut still has a sweet aftertaste.


  • Brothers of Delta Sigma Pi
  • Professional