Symphony Sisters

This week, in celebration of Chi Omega’s 124th birthday, we are honoring four women who each embody a line of the Chi Omega Symphony. These women were nominated by their Chi Omega Sisters to celebrate their dedication to our Sisterhood and to living out the Symphony. Check back each day this week to see who will be honored as a Symphony Sister!

Alissa Hollimon Rosebrough | High purpose and helpfulness

Alissa began her career as a photographer after graduating from Texas A&M. She had opportunities to travel the world and began taking photos for various aid organizations, particularly in Africa. Through her experience, she felt a calling to do more for the children in Zambia.  Alissa co-founded Arise Africa in 2010 and serves as the Executive Director. Arise Africa works to empower children living in extreme poverty by providing them access to education, healthcare, meals, shelter and the basic needs of life. All of this is done while teaching them the love of Christ.

Please share what this line of the Symphony mean to you?

The Lord calls us to serve others, and to live a life of “high purpose” for the glory of Him.  For me, honestly serving others is somewhat selfish.  There is no surprise when you do serve others and live a life for the Lord, that your life is blessed.  I am blessed by seeing the change in children’s lives through Arise Africa’s work.   My life is beyond blessed with friendships I have with brothers and sisters in Christ through the ministry I am a part of.  God has blessed me so much by serving others and trying to live a life of higher purpose.

How has our Symphony enriched your life?

The symphony is probably something all of us should read everyday for the rest of our lives!  It is full of great advice however I definitely fall short of acting in the ways of the symphony daily!  I think for me working earnestly and acting sincerely is definitely something that has enriched my life.  It is really hard to run a non-profit but what God will do to bless it if you work hard and focus is incredible.  I also have definitely learned to be discouraged never. Our founders were pretty wise when writing the symphony!

Tell us about your alumnae experience. How has Chi Omega benefited you in your years after college?

Arise Africa probably wouldn’t be around without so many of my Chi Omega friends who have supported the ministry since day one.  We have over 100 Chi Omega alumnae who sponsor children in our programs and give in other ways.  The support from Chi Os has no doubt made a major impact.  Some of my closest friends today I met through Chi Omega years ago.  I have great people in my personal and professional life through Chi Omega.

In your own words, what does it mean to live out our Symphony?

Living out the Chi Omega symphony should be any person’s desire! But for me it means loving and serving others, not only in Africa but people I am surrounded by each day.  Living out the symphony means loving my husband and toddler well, serving the interns and all our staff who work in our office, and showing the Lord’s love to all that He puts in my path.  Obviously service is a major part of my life and showing hope to the hopeless and communicating to an orphaned child they are loved and someone is here to care for them, is a major part of my life that I take very seriously.

What advice would you give to a new generation of Chi Omegas?

Go for whatever your dream might be but plan on working hard for it! Nothing that is good comes easy to you but the path to get to your dream is just as important. Don’t lose sight of your character and morals and stick close to the Lord.  The journey to get Arise Africa to where it is today has been so humbling and encouraging that I wouldn’t change it for anything. But myself and others have had to work hard and sacrifice.

Tell us about a Sister you admire that lives out our Symphony.

One of my Chi Omega friends from college whom I admire is my friend Lara Pringle.  She is an attorney in Houston and not only works hard at her job but has served on the Arise Africa board.  She is a great friend to so many of us and is a constant encourager to me.

Share your favorite Eleusinian celebration memory or tell us how you plan to celebrate Founders’ Day this year.

I think it is important to remember the Chi Omega founders and their hard work and sacrifice on Founder’s day!

Courtney Godfrey | Discouraged Never

Photo credit: Brett Dorrian Artistry Studios

Courtney was involved in a boating accident in September 2017 which led to a partial leg amputation. Through her journey, Courtney has shown what it is like to be “discouraged never.” Courtney lives in Minnesota and is a news anchor. Kelly, Courtney’s sister and Chi Omega Sister, was with her the day of the accident and many of her Zeta Beta Sisters flew out to see her during recovery to help lift her spirits! Courtney is a true inspiration and hopes to serve others through her experience and help the amputee community.

Please share what this line of the Symphony mean to you?

When I lost my leg in a boating accident in September 2017, I had every reason to give up. Yet, even in the darkest moments of my life, I made a conscious decision to choose positivity. From the mental and physical pain of my trauma to the frustrations and doubts that came with learning how to walk again on a prosthetic, I constantly reminded myself to never get discouraged and keep pushing. I knew with hard work and a good attitude, I could get through it.

How has our Symphony enriched your life?

During my college years, the symphony was a good reminder of the person I wanted to be – a person who loved and cared for others and had a positive impact on their community. All while enjoying life and having fun, of course!

Tell us about your alumnae experience. How has Chi Omega benefited you in your years after college?

While my college years have long passed, some of my best friends are the sisters I made when I joined Chi Omega. After my accident, two of them dropped everything and flew out to help my family care for me—one even stayed for two weeks! It was amazing to laugh again, and to have my friends there to pick me up off the floor when reality became too much. I also heard from sisters I hadn’t heard from in years—they sent gifts, flowers and well wishes. It was a reminder that while we’ve all grown up and started our own lives, we will always take care of one another.

In your own words, what does it mean to live out our Symphony?

Living out the symphony means being kind and loving to others. It means putting your priorities in order and being loyal to your values. Living out the symphony means being a positive contributing member to society and giving back to your community.

What advice would you give to a new generation of Chi Omegas?

Enjoy every moment of your college experience and don’t let a single experience pass you by! Get to know all of your sisters and spend quality time with them. While you may all come from different regions and different walks of life, each one of them will enrich your life if you let them in.

Tell us about a Sister you admire that lives out our Symphony.

My (biological) little sister (Kelly Godfrey PC 07) is the obvious answer to this question. As a pediatric nurse, she gives her life to caring for others. She is a true hero to me, as she took life-saving actions for me the day of the accident. Without a second thought, she knew exactly what to do when she saw my foot–tournicating my leg immediately and saving me from a lot of blood loss.

Elizabeth Mack, M.D. | Work Earnestly

Elizabeth is a Professor of Pediatrics currently serving as Division Director of Pediatric Critical Care, University Faculty Ombuds, and Medical Director of Graduate Medical Education Quality & Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina. She has been very active in organized medicine. Currently she serves as Chair of the AAP section on Critical Care and as Chair of Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) Pediatric Current Concepts Course Committee. Elizabeth has been a champion for patient safety, and has led many quality improvement efforts. She has served as Children’s Hospital Director of Quality, physician champion for Solutions for Patient Safety at both Palmetto Health Children’s as well as MUSC Children’s. In addition, Elizabeth has been involved with global health efforts around the world in Haiti, Malawi, Peru, Namibia, Honduras, and Vietnam. She currently chairs MUSC’s House Staff Peer Review Committee, Children’s Policy & Procedure Committee, Pediatric CLABSI Prevention Committee, Pediatric CAUTI Prevention Committee, Pediatric VAP Prevention Committee, and Children’s Hospital Event Review.

She is also certified in Just Culture, Global Health, Clinical & Translational Ethics, and completed the Intermountain Health QI Advanced Training Program. She is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric critical care medicine.

She has been honored with several awards including the Children’s Miracle Network Achievement Award, SCAAP President’s Award, Children’s Hospital Association Everyday Hero, Lewis Blackman Patient Safety Award, Arnold P. Gold Humanism In Medicine Award, and numerous teaching awards by trainees.

She completed her medical degree at University of South Carolina School of Medicine, pediatrics residency at University of South Carolina/Palmetto Health, Pediatric Critical Care Fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s, and Master’s of Science in Biostatistics/ Epidemiology at University of Cincinnati. She is also a fellow in the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Elizabeth also received the Chi Omega Foundation’s Elizabeth Carmichael Orman Scholarship in 1998 and the Mary Love Collins Scholarship in 1999.

Elizabeth currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and fur children.

Please share what this line of the Symphony mean to you?

Working earnestly, with sincere and intense conviction, has been a key feature of my academic and professional journey. David Brooks describes in The Road to Character the distinction between eulogy virtues vs. resume virtues. In the process of building a portfolio of impact on child health as well as our human family, we aim to earnestly improve the lives of those around us through our studies and interactions. The years of training and continued lifelong learning involve a genuine attempt to ultimately reach towards, but knowingly never achieve, mastery of the art and science of humanity.

Tell us about your alumnae experience. How has Chi Omega benefited you in your years after college?

After serving as G.T.B. and G.H. of Eta Gamma, I went on to serve as chair of the alumnae chapter during an exciting time when the house was being built. The relationships I developed not only with my pledge sisters and fellow chapter members as well as the alumnae advisors have flourished in the 20 years beyond college graduation.

What advice would you give to a new generation of Chi Omegas?

My advice to young learners is to say “yes” to opportunities for personal and professional growth, as these interactions often open other doors. Chance certainly favors the prepared mind!

Tell us about a Sister you admire that lives out our Symphony.

It’s hard to choose just one…both of my little sisters have maintained kindness and gratitude throughout their child’s life-threatening illnesses. I’ve known my big sister since I was 15 years old. We’ve been roommates, bridesmaids, godmothers, and confidants. She’s wicked intelligent (as are her children) yet unassuming, hard-working, inclusive, and someone with a sense of incredibly high purpose and helpfulness.

Fran Rushing | Scholarship before Social Obligation

Fran honored with Anita Patton Loyalty Award

Fran served as an advisor for the Delta Alpha Chapter of Chi Omega for 30 years, with an 8 year stent as Scholarship Advisor. She has enjoyed participating on scholarship committees for the Chi Omega Foundation and currently leads the National Scholarship Selection Committee, as she has for ten years. Most recently, Fran served as co-chair of the Delta Alpha Centennial Celebration that was held March 22-23, 2019.

Fran joined Chi Omega as a 1966 initiate of Delta Alpha/Chattanooga where she served as recruitment chair and G.H. before graduating in 1969. In the fall of 1969 she went to graduate school at Wake Forest University where she received her master’s degree.

She then returned to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1970 where she spent her entire 44-year career first as a professor in the English Department, then for six years as the Assistant Provost for Student Success. During that time Fran received the doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She also took groups of students to England and Scotland for study abroad experiences.

Fran’s teaching and research interests center on children’s and young adult literature as well as student success literature.

Please share what this line of the Symphony mean to you.

College is a time of competing opportunities and obligations, a constant series of choices. Choosing to study when our social selves want to do something more fun or more exciting is often a difficult choice. However, making that choice to learn something new, go to a lab, solve a problem, read a book, or prepare for a presentation matters. Future opportunities depend on today’s decisions and our ability to focus on school first. Our friends will admire us for our decision and wait on us for our social time.

In your own words, what does it mean to live out our Symphony? 

The Symphony, in many ways, is a blueprint for life: It means for us to be the best version of ourselves, to think of others before ourselves, to think before we speak or act, to be sincere, honest, and genuine, and to respect others.

Share your favorite Eleusinian celebration memory or tell us how you plan to celebrate Founders’ Day this year.

Fortunately, we will have one of the most exciting celebrations this year as our chapter is celebrating its Centennial. The S.H. and sisters from all over the country will attend. Having sisters we haven’t seen in decades will be exciting for alumnae and inspiring for actives! We’re thrilled!

S.H. Shelley Potter awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award

Chi Omega is proud to announce that S.H. Shelley Potter has been awarded the highest honor one can receive from Texas A&M University – the Distinguished Alumni Award.

The S.H. was surprised with the award on February 23, 2019. Even her husband, Jeff, also a graduate of Texas A&M, was in on the secret. Shelley’s involvement in Chi Omega Fraternity, Texas A&M College of Architecture, the Founding of Texas A&M Chi Omega, Dallas A&M Club, Aggie Women, and countless other accolades all contribute to her well-deserved receiving of this award.

Leslie Herington, Chi Omega Executive Director, described Shelley in her nomination letter as follows, “She works day in and day out, to promote the sorority experience on all college campuses. She is an advocate for the development of young women both academically and socially, and she is an expert on today’s collegiate student leader, constantly studying the characteristics of millennials and centennials.”

Presented jointly by the university and The Association of Former Students, this award recognizes Aggies who have achieved excellence in their chosen professions and made meaningful contributions to Texas A&M University and their local communities.

Shelley truly represents to us what it means to live a life of high purpose and helpfulness, indeed.

S.H. Shelley Potter being awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award

S.H. Shelley Potter being awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award with husband, Jeff Potter, in attendance

S.H. Shelley Potter with collegiate members of Xi Kappa/Texas A&M who were in attendance

Celebrating 75-Year Sisters

Every spring, Chi Omega asks Sisters all over the country to surprise our more “senior Sisters” who are celebrating 75 years of Chi Omega membership with a special recognition certificate and white carnation flowers.

Here, we will be sharing stories from across the country about these special visits. If you are interested in participating in one of these visits, make sure Chi Omega has your most up-to-date email address so you can be on the lookout for volunteer opportunities next spring!

Nona McInnis, Phi Gamma | LSU

This spring, I (Cynthia Perron Lipari, Phi Gamma | LSU) met with Nona Ready McInnis (also a Phi Gamma initiate) and her daughter, Cathy McInnis Healey. We met at Nona’s home in Baton Rouge.

Meeting Mrs. Nona and spending time with her was not only interesting, it was really fun! I loved that we are both Phi Gammas and I feel that gave us a special bond. She was so gracious. I was fortunate to live in the Chi O house for 3 semesters while I was a student at LSU, so I am particularly appreciative of her being on the committee that helped to get it built. (And a shout out to everyone else who served on that committee, as well!)

Nona pledged at LSU in 1943. In fact, Joanne Woodward was one of her Chi O Sisters.

She pledged as a sophomore with a group of friends and they remained friends for life. One of her dear friends and pledge sisters, Lillee Coleman Mayer actually grew up right next door to her, and then later when they were both raising families in Baton Rouge, they once again lived right next door.

Nona majored in Physical Education and while an active Chi O, she served as treasurer, secretary, and rush chairman. She was also a member of the LSU swim team, setting the record for the breaststroke at that time.

After graduation, Nona married her childhood sweetheart, Adrian Kell McInnis Jr. who was finishing up medical school at Tulane University in New Orleans. She joined him in the Crescent City and began working as the P.E. Supervisor at the Louise McGhee girl’s school. They later moved to Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi, then back to New Orleans, and finally settled back in their hometown of Baton Rouge where they raised four children.

Nona remained active in Chi Omega after graduation and stayed in contact with her Sisters. One very important thing I’d like to mention is that she served on the committee that helped to make the LSU Chi O house a reality

I asked if she had any photos from her Chi O days and she had her daughter pull out some old LSU yearbooks. We had fun looking at the pages dedicated to the LSU Chi O chapter and the many hand written notes from the girls scribbled along the edges of the page. Most were sweet comments about being “Chi O Sisters” and the special bond they shared. Interesting to note is that some years back, a house fire destroyed much of the downstairs of Nona’s home and she lost many things such as her LSU yearbooks. After one of her Chi O friends passed away, that family decided to give Nona their mom’s yearbooks — one of which we were looking at and she is holding in her lap in one of the photos.

One endearing thing I noticed during our visit was the presence of owls! I spotted an owl mug on the kitchen counter, then an owl clock on the wall, then finally a few owls on the windowsills and bookshelves.

Fun family fact: Nona has two granddaughters who are Chi Omega alumnae: Clinton Healey (Epsilon Beta | UNC – Chapel Hill) and Carden Healey Cole (Omicron Lambda | Birmingham-Southern).

Jane Scruggs, Epsilon Gamma | Tulsa

We – Diane Lee (Iota | Texas) and Soriya Estes (Tau Beta |Oklahoma State) – had the honor and privilege of presenting Jane Scruggs with her 75-year Chi Omega certificate. We were joined by her daughter, Jan Moynahan (Iota | Texas), her granddaughter, (Kate Hall, Zeta Lambda | Wake Forest) and Kate’s pledge sister, Erin Malone (Zeta Lambda | Wake Forest).

Jane pledged Chi Omega at the University of Tulsa in 1942 where she was the Band Queen. She transferred to the University of Texas when her family moved to Texas and then served at G.H. for the University of Texas Chapter – and notes she may be the only transfer to have ever been president of Iota Chapter. Jane noted that it was very common to wear your sorority pin every day. She met the Chi Omega’s during summer rush on “coke dates” and knew that Chi Omega was a good sorority and the girls were nice.

One memory of college life during World War II was that the semesters were condensed into two-month time periods (July – August and September – October) so that the young men would be ready to leave for service on November 1. Students were able to graduate early with this adjusted schedule.
Jane lived in the Chi Omega house that was on Wichita Street which housed twenty-five girls. They were a close group of friends. Parties with the various fraternities were a part of college life.

After obtaining her business degree, Jane married Jim Scruggs from Roscoe, Texas who had just completed medical school. Jim was in the Navy and was initially stationed at a VA hospital in Amarillo. After working in St. Louis and Houston, the Scruggs were ready to find a permanent home. Jim’s specialty was ophthalmology and after some research, Jane suggested they live in Waco where there were not many doctors practicing ophthalmology. She would have enjoyed living in Tulsa where she grew up, and Jim might have agreed to that if Tulsa had been in Texas!

Jane and Jim built a house in Waco, raised their four daughters there and lived in that same house for 57 years. Jane moved to Austin in 2017 upon Jim’s passing. Jane has five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Jane has a group of Chi Omega friends called the “ranch bunch.” These 15 women met every other year at a friend’s ranch outside of Houston. One year, about 12 of the ranch bunch traveled to Memphis to see the Chi Omega Executive Headquarters. Jane’s granddaughter, Kate, recalled that the ranch bunch generously wrote letters of support for Kate when she went through recruitment at Wake Forest.

Jane volunteered as the Waco liaison for the Baylor Chi Omega chapter and enjoyed working with the collegians.
Jane’s daughter, Jan, in an email said “Mom is a dynamic lady with a vibrant personality! Chi Omega has always been an important part of her life, and it was so meaningful for her years to be recognized.” At 93, Jane’s suggestion is to “embrace your age.”

Leah Burrows, Mu | UC – Berkeley

Julia Kronholz (Gamma | FSU) and Patrice Surdi (Alpha | Washington) visited Leah Burrows Felt to celebrate her 75-year recognition at her home in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Leah went to school at University of California, Berkeley and majored in English. Leah shared that college was a very special time for her and that moving from Salt Lake City, Utah to the Bay Area in California was a life-changing experience. She noted it was the first time in her life that she had met people from different states, countries, religious backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities and that she absolutely loved learning more about different kinds of people.

She chose to attend Cal because the love of her life was serving in the Navy in the Pacific, and she believed he might be sent to the Bay Area when his duties were done. As it turns out, she was correct. Her to-be husband was injured and was sent to California for medical attention. Leah stated that she was able to take the bus from campus to the hospital to visit him each day, studying her course materials on the way there and on the way back.

Leah enjoyed living in the Chi Omega house, and talked about life as a Chi Omega, which included formal dinners and chapter meetings once per week.

After graduation, Leah used her English degree to teach soldiers who had returned from war and pursued higher education as part of the G.I. Bill. Leah and her husband, Whit, raised five wonderful children in a beautiful home in Salt Lake City, Utah, overlooking Mt. Olympus. Leah stated that she and her husband were “the happiest couple.” Her children live close to her, and she feels very blessed.

Leah also mentioned that through the years, she and her fellow Chi Omega Sisters have gathered each month to spend time together and expressed gratitude for the lifelong friendships that Chi Omega has brought her.

Kathryn Cheek, Nu Beta | Alabama

Hannah Tiblier (Sigma Epsilon | Vanderbilt), Becky Lowe (Rho Epsilon | TCU), Phylis Harrell (Chi Theta | Western Kentucky), and I (Kit Landry | Rho | Newcomb College/Tulane) honored Mrs. Kathryn Cheek (Nu Beta | Alabama) of Nashville for her 75th Member Recognition.

Mrs. Cheek graciously received us in her beautiful home with a lovely tea table set up with iced tea, water, and a tiered epergne of cookies.

She showed us two of her yearbooks featuring Chi Omega photos from the University of Alabama. She also shared with us her ‘beauty book’. She was elected to the Homecoming Court two years in a row. And indeed Kathryn is still beautiful in every way.

She remains active. She paints and socializes and appears to enjoy life to the fullest. We enjoyed Kathryn sharing memories with us about her college days, her husband, her travels, and her love of snow skiing.

We showered her with two dozen red roses, red and yellow balloons, and two dozen red and white mini cupcakes. Becky, an accomplished singer with a seriously beautiful wide-ranging voice, serenaded Kathryn with a variety of songs. Becky brought smiles to our faces and hearts.

It was an absolute delight and pleasure to meet Kathryn. I am — and I assume all of us are — better for having met her.

Louis Isgrig, Psi | Arkansas & Maurine Hale, Nu Beta | Alabama

Earlier this spring, Louis Isgrig (Psi | Arkansas) and Maurine Hale (Nu Beta | Alabama) were presented with 75-year certificates and white carnations. Gathered together at Presbyterian Village, a retirement community in Arkansas, the two ladies were joined in celebration with Donna Hall (Gamma Zeta | Arkansas – Little Rock) and Louise Gutierrez (Epsilon Beta | UNC – Chapel Hill, and daughter of Maurine Hale).

The four ladies spent time reminiscing over Louis and Maurine’s memories of college and the world around them while in school. Both women recall the events of Pearl Harbor and the affects which led to World War II. Specifically, Louis remembers withdrawing from the University of Arkansas to be with her family when her brother left to fight overseas.

While is school, Maurine was an editor for the school newspaper. A memory she shared with her Chi Omega visitors was how difficult it was at times to get the men to do what she needed them to do. Louis also recalled a fond college memory of when her and her fellow pledges decided to go to a New Year’s Eve party. When the pledges returned, they attempted to sneak back in the house using the fire escape but were greeted by the executive members upon return. Their punishment was “house-campus” for a month.

The 75-year member visit was a joyous occasion for all who were present. After saying her goodbyes to Louis and Maurine, Donna Hall mentioned, “it is easy to forget how much joy you can bring to these elderly ladies with these small acts of thoughtfulness and kindness.”

Mary Stratico, Lambda Beta | Rhode Island

Mary Stratico (Lambda Beta | Rhode Island) was presented with her 75-year-certificate by Elyssa DeAlmeida (also a Lambda Beta | Rhode Island initiate) this spring. They met at Mary’s home in Cape Cod.

During their visit, Mary talked about her close friendship in Chi Omega with two other Sisters. The three of them were known throughout the URI campus as “The Three Marys.” They were roommates in the Chi Omega chapter house. At the time, the chapter had between 18-20 members and Mary was floored to learn that new member classes can now be over 50 girls at her alma mater. She talked about memories of “thumbing” to get a ride to the nearby Narragansett beach with her friends and the excitement of recruiting new members. She also mentioned a few exciting moments when Chi Omega was asked to formals at Brown, PC, or Harvard. Despite the special occasions, they were still expected back in the chapter house by the 10 pm curfew! At one point in the visit she said to me, “If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I always felt welcome and at home.”

Mary shared stories about attending college during WWII. First of all, she was encouraged to attend college prior to graduating high school because attendance in colleges were low due to the war effort. While she was there, her meat rations were mailed in from her mother in NY in order for the dining halls to be stocked for her meals. One of the buildings next to the Chi Omega house was filled with GIs and she said how sad it was that nearly the entire group passed away in the war. She cited an example of how she helped the war effort by picking potatoes in the URI agricultural field so that they could be send to soldiers. She was allowed to take one home one day and she mailed it to her mother in NY who claimed it was the best potato she had ever eaten! Mary and her friends also spent time teaching the soldiers to swim in a nearby lake.

After graduation (which by the way – her degree was earned in just a short 33 months), she moved in with her parents in Yonkers. She became a middle school home economics teacher, which ended up being her profession until she retired. She met her husband in Yonkers one day when he threw a snowball at her to get her attention. Later, when she was running errands for her parents, the clerk at the store said there was someone who wanted to meet her. Mary replied that it “better not be that man who threw the snowball.” But, alas, it was and the rest is history. Mary and her husband Jim ended up moving to Massachusetts which is where she still resides. She has four children and three grandchildren.

Elyssa described the visit with Mary as follows:

“This was an incredible visit for me. I am also an alumna of Lambda Beta at URI so it was extra exciting for me to hear her stories and to be able to envision what that time was like for her. I spent hours with her just listening to her stories and enjoying her company. She mentioned her fabulous professors and at one point grew serious and asked me to tell her honestly how I was treated as a woman while getting my degree. She seemed very pleased with my response and then grew more playful and outgoing again. When I left, she told me that I was a “true Chi Omega” and that there is no greater compliment she could bestow upon me. I feel truly honored to have met Mary.”

Lenore Johnson, Phi | Southern California

Lenore Johnson (Phi | University of Southern California), 93 years young, celebrated 75 years of membership in Chi Omega.

Lenore recalls, “If it weren’t for Chi Omega, I would have never graduated college!” Sister Jan Eber (Lambda/U of Kansas) presented Lenore with her certificate and vase of carnations. Lenore’s daughter and son-in-law were also present for the meet-up.

Lenore lived in the Chi Omega house on University of Southern California’s campus. Her Sisters were very supportive of her studies and she graduated from the School of Business! After graduation, she married a professor and moved to Seattle. A few years later, her husband was offered a position at the University of Hawai’i and recalls that their first night in Hawai’i they stayed with one of her Chi Omega Sisters who lived near Waikiki Beach.

While in Hawai’i, Lenore joined the University of Hawai’i’s Campus Club, a group of wives who helped welcome new faculty to University of Hawai’i. They held dinners, dances, fundraisers, started a child care facility, and offered scholarships. Lenore was also a founder of the Aina Haina Community Association and served as President for many years of the Friends of Aina Haina Public Library. She and her husband also raised three children.

It was a wonderful visit on the Big Island of Hawai’i! Jan and Lenore enjoyed reminiscing about her time in Chi Omega at USC – such an influential chapter of her life.

Chi Omega’s 125th Anniversary in 2020!


To our Sisters on purpose –

We’re excited to celebrate our 125th at Convention 2020!
A new logo has been created for use over the next biennium and you will begin
to see it implemented throughout social media, printed materials, and Chi Omega’s website.

Check out this launch video and partake in the journey
to celebrate 125 years of Sisterhood!


Countdown to Founders' Day!

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