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!

Countdown to Founders' Day!

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