Chi Omega’s Newest Colony

Photo Credit: Coastal Carolina University

In January 2017, Chi Omega’s National Extension Team received information that Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC was looking to add another sorority to their Panhellenic Council. Chi Omega has been interested in extension efforts at Coastal Carolina for the past decade, so Chi Omega’s Director of Extension, Payton Gartman, visited campus and met with Coastal representatives on January 18th. Upon learning more about Coastal’s outstanding Greek community, impressive support from the administration and faculty, and the dynamic student type that attends the university during this visit, Chi Omega was thrilled to move forward with submitting an official extension application on January 27th.

Chi Omega Presentation Team throwing the Chanticleer sign

Out of 9 national organizations that submitted an extension application to Coastal, Chi Omega was honored to be one of the 3 groups asked to make a campus presentation. A team of national representatives, including Shelley Potter (National President), Laura Miller (National Vice-President), Gena Runnion (National Secretary), Jaime Phipps (National Volunteer), Payton Gartman (Director of Extension), Allie Olson (Marketing Manager), Megan Palik (Regional Director), Christina George (Regional Director), Brooke Adams (Chapter Development Specialist), and Temperance Russell (Collegiate Representative), visited campus in March to meet with local alumnae, connect with Panhellenic community members, and present to over 170 campus representatives about how Chi Omega would be a purposeful partner with Coastal.

One week after the campus presentation visit on March 27th, the National Extension Team was ecstatic to receive a call from Coastal Carolina’s Panhellenic Council that Chi Omega was ultimately the group selected to colonize! We would personally like to thank some of the campus representatives who were involved in the extension process and dedicated so much time and energy into this thoughtful decision: Dr. Debbie Conner (Vice-President of Student Life and Campus Engagement), Whitney Comer (Executive Director of Student Life), Brittany Bowles (Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life), Tearah Burden (2017 Panhellenic President), the other Extension Committee members, and the Panhellenic Council.

Chi Omega is thrilled to accept an invitation from Coastal to establish a new chapter this Fall 2017! The beautiful campus and student body reflect Chi Omega’s values and we are very excited to partner with this university to help hundreds of women cultivate a lifetime of purpose through our Sisterhood. We are excited to join the ranks of 6 other sororities currently on campus, including Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Xi Delta, Gamma Phi Beta, Phi Sigma Sigma, Sigma Kappa, and Sigma Sigma Sigma. Additionally, the new chapter at Coastal Carolina will be the 6th chapter in the state of South Carolina, the 31st chapter in the Southeast Atlanta Region, and the 181st collegiate chapter in the country!

Prior to the colonization in September, the National Extension Team is working to conduct a pre-marketing visit on campus, select and train Advisors and House Corporation Board members, prepare for the colony support team, and continue building upon our purposeful partnership with Coastal’s Panhellenic Council. During the colonization process this fall, Chi Omega will be recruiting over 100 women to be a part of the charter class, which will include freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. If you know of any young women who currently attend Coastal Carolina and are unaffiliated with another sorority OR any young women who will be enrolled at Coastal this fall, please encourage them to look into the opportunity, follow us on social media, and email ccu@chiomega.com with any questions! Additionally, we will be accepting recommendations for young women throughout the fall recruitment process, and those will be used by our extension team during the colonization period. Any recommendations can be sent directly to Chi Omega’s Director of Extension, Payton Gartman, at pgartman@chiomega.com by August 31st.

Meredith Trank Resident National Consultant

The Resident National Consultant that will be living with the new chapter and leading them through their New Member period this fall is Meredith Trank, an initiate of the Rho Epsilon chapter at Texas Christian University. Meredith has experience with extension, as she served on the recolonization and reinstallation teams for the Nu Kappa chapter at Georgia Southern University in Fall 2016, and will bring the perfect balance of Sisterly leadership, thoughtful organization, and FUN to the establishment efforts.

Once the New Member period is complete in November, a team of national representatives will fly-in to conduct Initiation and the Installation ceremony. From then on, the new chapter will officially be recognized as the Gamma Mu chapter of Chi Omega and will receive their charter at Convention 2018 in Phoenix, AZ!

We would love for YOU to keep up with our establishment efforts at Coastal by following Chi Omega at Coastal Carolina University on Facebook and @ccu_chiomega on Twitter and Instagram! These social mediums will be managed by Chi Omega’s Marketing Department through the fall until the chapter officers are selected and trained. Thank you for support and we cannot wait to welcome more Sisters into our beloved Fraternity!

Chi Omegas in Miss America 2017

Chi Omega was represented on the Miss America 2017 stage this Sunday by Miss Mississippi, Laura Lee Lewis (Phi Delta Chapter/Mississippi State University) and Miss Texas, Caroline Carothers (Theta Kappa Chapter/Baylor University). Both finished in the Top 7 and Laura Lee was Fourth Runner-Up! We are so proud of their accomplishments.

miss-mississippi-laura-lee-lewis-headshotMiss Mississippi, Laura Lee Lewis is an initiate of the Phi Delta Chapter at Mississippi State University, where is pursuing a degree in Elementary Education. Her platform, Mentoring Matters, is focused on establishing a community-based approach to youth mentorship, bringing awareness to mentoring opportunities and the powerful impact they can have on young men and women. Laura Lee was able to perform her vocal talent on the Miss America stage.

miss-texas-caroline-carothers-headshotMiss Texas, Caroline Carothers is an initiate of the Theta Kappa Chapter at Baylor University, where she is also a Feature Twirler. A competitive baton twirler since the age of 6, Caroline teaches twirling to young women and performed her talent at Miss America. An aspiring math teacher, Caroline’s platform, With Math I Can, helps students reach their potential and change negative attitudes about math.

Chi Omega is honored to be represented by Laura Lee, Caroline, and all of the other Sisters who were local titleholders during 2016. We can’t wait to see what’s next for these incredible women. Congratulations to our Panhellenic Sister and former Miss Arkansas, Savvy Shields, for being crowned Miss America 2017!


 

CHI OMEGA HONORS PAT SUMMITT, BELOVED COACH AND SISTER

Sports Journalist Christine Brennan (Xi/Northwestern), in a powerful tribute to Chi omega Sister and colleague, Pat Head Summitt (Xi Zeta/U of Tennessee, Martin): “Every girl and every woman who plays sports, and there are millions of them in this country, owes Pat Summitt one thing today: A thank you. She showed that a woman could be tough and unrelenting and powerful — and be rewarded for it.Mostly, she wanted to win. And win and win and win. And she did, more than anyone else who has ever coached the college game, male or female. She was a women’s basketball coach, yes, but she really was a basketball coach who happened to be a woman.”


Along with many family members, former players, friends, and admirers, Chi Omega was devastated by the loss of our Sister, Pat Summitt on June 28, 2016.

Summitt was initiated into the Xi Zeta Chapter of Chi Omega in 1971 at the University of Tennessee-Martin and remained involved with the Fraternity during her 40-plus years of membership, speaking at local and national events for Chi Omega and inspiring Sisters all over the country.

In 1988, Pat Summitt was awarded the Malinda Jolley Mortin Woman of Achievement Award. At that time, Summitt had won her second national championship. Since then, she won six additional national championships and won more basketball games than any other coach in basketball history.

“Today, Chi Omega mourns the loss of extraordinary Sister Pat Head Summitt,” said National President Shelley Potter. “Her unrelenting drive for excellence transformed the narrative and paved the way for the success of women’s sports. She will long be remembered as a woman of purpose – an inspiration for her own story as well as how she empowered others to be their best selves. A Chi Omega Malinda Jolley Mortin Woman of Achievement, her Sisters at University of Tennessee-Martin also fitting named their lodge in honor of Pat. Chi Omega Sisters join the chorus of all who admire Pat, celebrating her extraordinary life and contributions.”

Our Fraternity is proud to have called Pat “Sister” and offer our condolences to her family and friends, especially her dear Xi Zeta Sisters.


 

ABOVE & BEYOND: NASA ASTRONAUT KATE RUBINS

Sister Kate Rubins (Kappa Lambda/UC – San Diego) blasted off on July 6 for the International Space Station as a Flight Engineer for Expeditions 48 and 49.

A microbiologist with a doctorate in cancer biology from Stanford University, Rubins is set to become the first person to sequence DNA in space. Her research during nearly four months on the space station will also include how living in space affects the human body, especially the skeletal and cardiovascular systems.

Rubins was one of 14 people selected from more than 3,500 applicants for NASA’s 2009 astronaut training class. During her career, she has worked to create therapies for Ebola and Lassa viruses, aided in development of the first smallpox infection model, and conducted research on HIV-1 integration patterns as an undergraduate studying molecular biology at UC – San Diego.

Humans representing more than 95 countries have been living continuously aboard the International Space Station for more than 15 years, working in the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge, test new technologies and make research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. Other projects on Rubins’ mission include regulating temperatures aboard spacecraft, tracking ships all over the world, and protecting computers from radiation in space.

Rubins will stay at the space station with crew members from all over the world until late October. Chi Omega is proud to be represented by the 60th woman in space!

kate rubins 2

(Left) Sister Kate Rubins; Photo credit: NASA.gov

Newly arrived Expedition 48 crew members on board the International Space Station, Kate Rubins of NASA (right foreground), Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, (center), and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) (center, left) are adjusting to station life on orbit. (Photo/caption credit: NASA.gov)