Distinguished Alumnae Honored by Chi Omega

Chi Omega recognized exceptional alumnae with two of our highest honors in 2016 through the Roselyn T. Dabbs Philanthropist Award, presented to philanthropist and community leader Linda Gregg Fields (Alpha Zeta/Texas State University) and the Malinda Jolley Mortin Woman of Achievement Award, presented to actress Sela Ward (Nu Beta/University of Alabama).

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Linda Gregg Fields, 2016 Roselyn T. Dabbs Philanthropist Award Recipient www.AlexandersPortraits.com

Roselyn T. Dabbs Philanthropist Award recipient Linda Gregg Fields is an initiate of Alpha Zeta Chapter at Texas State University, where she earned an education degree. This award was named to honor former Chi Omega Foundation President Roselyn Threadgill Dabbs. It is given to a Chi Omega who has demonstrated outstanding fraternal and charitable responsibility and whose generosity encourages others to take philanthropic leadership roles within the Greek community and in her own community. Linda and her husband, Jerry, are philanthropic visionaries, having donated millions to causes around the globe, including Chi Omega. Her commitment to improving lives reaches many organizations worldwide. The family’s gift of $1 million to the Chi Omega Foundation’s Sisterhood Never Stops Campaign represents one of the largest gifts in Chi Omega’s history, and will be utilized as critical funding to support the emerging needs of the Fraternity in perpetuity.

Sela Ward, 2016 Malinda Jolley Mortin Woman of Achievement

Malinda Jolley Mortin Woman of Achievement Sela Ward is an initiate of the Nu Beta Chapter at the University of Alabama. This national award is the Fraternity’s highest honor, recognizing distinguished accomplishment in service to Chi Omega, an individual’s community, and the nation. The Woman of Achievement Award is named in honor of Georgia resident Malinda Jolley Mortin, a dedicated Chi Omega alumna. Sela has received many awards for her performances, including Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and a Cable Ace Award. Her roles include those in Independence Day: Resurgence, Gone Girl, The Fugitive, Sisters, Once and Again, CSI: NY, House, and many more. Sela is author of the New York Times bestseller Homesick, founder of Hope Village for Children in her native state of Mississippi, and honorary chair of Chi Omega’s premier giving group, The 1895 Society.

Both awards were presented by the Chi Omega Foundation Trustees during Chi Omega’s 61st Biennial Convention in June 2016, with more than 1,200 collegiate and alumnae delegates in attendance. We are honored to be represented by these incredible Sisters and to recognize their impact on Chi Omega and beyond.


Pictured above (L-R): 2016 Roselyn T. Dabbs Philanthropist Award Recipient Linda Gregg Fields (Alpha Zeta Chapter/Texas State), 2016 Malinda Jolley Mortin Woman of Achievement Sela Ward (Nu Beta Chapter/University of Alabama), Chi Omega Foundation President Jane Rogers (Psi Chapter/University of Arkansas).


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!

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(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)