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VOLUME 49 | No. 01 The Chevron is a quarterly newsletter produced for Omega Phi Alpha

National Appointments

As of September 1, 2016. For an updated list, please visit omegaphialpha.org President’s Council Director Colleen Ryan

Technology Director Lynn Dudash

Convention Parliamentarian Lynn Dudash

Fundraising Chair Stephanie Burke

Convention Coordinators Penny Guiles, Kara Zinsmeister

Expansions Assistants Caitlyn Duran, Samantha Gillies, Shannon McKenna

National Service Sorority alumnae and active chapters. National Executive Board Members President | Heather Pritchard VP Business Operations | Kasey Stevens VP Programs | Brittany Thornton VP Communications | Thea Moritz VP Finance | Pamela McEwen

Convention Activities Directors Andie Hixson, Stasia Charter

VP Expansions | Jessica Toms VP Chapter Support | Rachel Whitten VP Alumnae Relations | Ginger McGarity

Insignia Coordinator Kara Zinsmeister

VP Administration | Trista Guzman VP Membership | Megan Sheppard Past President | Andie Bowman Hixson Chevron Editors Editor | Thea Moritz Layout Editor | Shelley Lai Copy Editor | Donna Pintek Writers | Renée DePietro, Catherine Ferrell, Mackenzie Garretson Graves, Adrianne Grubic, Natalie Pita, Ashleigh Schneider Distribution Dates and Deadlines October 1 | due August 15 January 1 | due November 15 April 1 | due February 15 July 1 | due May 15 Submissions If you would like to submit a feature story about an alumna or a service project happening at your chapter, please email it to: chevron@omegaphialpha.org Please send photos in 300dpi JPG format. National Office Mailing Address

National Service Director Radha Manthe National Leadership Program Director Ariel Hutter Career Development Director Gwen Hughes District Summit Activities Coordinator Alexa Tavasci District Summit Logistics Coordinator Catherine East National Handbook Editors Courtney Hall, Learyn Miller

Alumnae Societies Director and Alumnae Convention Coordinator Suzy McTaggart Rush Assistance Coordinator Brittany Bartak Leadership Development (LEAD) Team Maureen Doyle, Mackenzie Garretson Graves, Learyn Miller Traveling Leadership Consultants: Azalea Kayli Baker Bluegrass , Colonial, Cajun Country, Carolina, Liberty VACANT—to apply visit http://omegaphialpha.org/positions/ Founding Crystal Spurgeon

Leadership Program Facilitators Lynn Dudash, Sara McAllister, Learyn Miller, Ragan Walker

Lone Star Meghan Lund

National Awards Chair Megan Bodmann

Cactus Pine Isabella Rohrbacher

Marketing Coordinator Chantel Eubanks

Heartland Wendi Holland

Social Media Coordinator Melanie Avila

Peaches and Beaches Melanie Avila

Website Coordinator Amie Just

See masthead at left for Chevron staff. Additional pending alumnae appointments are listed online.

Omega Phi Alpha National Office PO Box 955 East Lyme, CT 06333 Official National Website omegaphialpha.org Contact List To request a list of all sorority officers, appointments and chapters, please email VPadmin@omegaphialpha.org Update Your Contact Information members.omegaphialpha.org

/OmegaPhiAlphaNationalServiceSorority @OmegaPhiAlpha @ophia67 Join our group on LinkedIn: Omega Phi Alpha National Service Sorority @Omega_Phi_Alpha


DELEGATES NEARLY SET PACKING RECORD

SERVICE

Convention 2016 Service Project

Above, delegates filter the rice mixture; below, Andie Hixson Bowman organizes the volunteers, National President Heather Pritchard, right, presented Janine Skinner, development advisor at FMSC in Mesa, with a donation of $2,600 from OPA. Feed My Starving Children staff show volunteers how to seal the packages.

While sisters traveled from north, south, east and west to Phoenix, AZ, a four-star charity in nearby Mesa has been packaging meals to literally “Feed My Starving Children” (FMSC). The organization was founded in 1987 by a Minnesota businessman challenged by the needs he saw while on missions in Honduras. In the following years, the organization developed a nutritious rice/soy formula for children. By 2005, they perfected the packing process and expanded to include more sites across the country, such as the one located in Mesa. After the Haiti earthquake in 2010, FMSC’s efforts doubled. Today they pack nearly 275 million meals, with more than a million volunteers. So on Thursday morning, July 14, 89 OPA

sisters took shuttle buses from the hotel to the facility, ready to do what they do best— service. Putting first things first—each sister donned a hair net to maintain cleanliness! After a brief orientation session, the delegates quickly assembled into several packing teams. They found out that they would be preparing boxes to be shipped to children in Mexico. After washing their hands, the sisters worked for almost two hours scooping, labeling, sealing, counting and filling boxes of food. Time passed quickly, as each team loudly announced their progress to the room while pop hits played on the loudspeakers. At the end of the session, everyone again gathered with the FMSC staff to discover their results: 230 boxes had been packed to feed 136

kids for a year, almost breaking the facility’s two-hour packing record! OPA has been fundraising all year to help pay for the food the sisters would be packing. Donations were still being collected that morning, which allowed National President Heather Pritchard to present Janine Skinner, development advisor at FMSC, with a check for $2,600 from OPA. Thank you to all the OPA members who donated. The top two fundraisers were Megan Sheppard (Alpha Iota) and Trista Guzman (Phi), and each of them won gift baskets of donated items. For more information about Feed My Starving Children, please visit www.fmsc.org/. By Thea Moritz (Beta), VP Communications

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NATIONAL NEWS

SUNSHINE AND SISTERHOOD HEATS UP IN PHOENIX

Anticipation for Convention 2016 began the moment sisters finished their bon voyage brunch in Chattanooga last year. With most of Omega Phi Alpha’s members residing in eastern and central U.S. states, the chance for delegates to visit the West for OPA’s national Convention is a unique treat. More than 115 sisters attended all or part of Convention 2016. July is arguably one of the hottest months of the year, but compound that with the desert sun, and you have temperatures topping 110 degrees. Thankfully, the Tempe Mission Palms hotel is located within short walking distance of local restaurants and shops, minimizing the need to go outside for very long. Delegates were able to check in on Wednesday (July 13) and enjoy a leisurely

discussion filled most of the day. In between sessions, delegates from each active and alumnae chapter were able to introduce themselves and provide an update on happenings within their chapters. Sisters also participated in a daily Instagram challenge. Many chapters also brought scrapbooks, which were put on display for the scrapbook award, and free time could be spent browsing at the Rose Shop. Snapchat was the app of the event, with OPA having its own geofilter to use on snaps. In the evening, most of the delegates traveled to downtown Phoenix via light rail to see the Arizona Diamondbacks face the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field. The Dodgers prevailed in this match-up with the diehards

can contribute $5 to OPA in honor of another sister, or $50 for 50 years of OPA service. To participate in this program, see back cover. With business finished early, the rest of the afternoon was filled with the sisterhood and leadership modules, before getting ready for the evening awards gala. The shuttle buses once again transported sisters, this time to the Tempe Center for the Arts next to Rio Salado Park. The evening was spectacular against the dusk backdrop of the setting sun and later the lighted bridges. Inside, everyone gathered for the group photo before proceeding to the banquet room for a dessert buffet. The awards ceremony soon began, complete with “red-carpet” treatment and

Photos left to right: OPA sisters enjoyed an Arizona Diamondbacks game; delegates during the business discussion; saying goodbye at the farewell brunch; Alpha Alpha delegates.

evening in downtown Tempe, dodging into the cooling mists when necessary. The Cactus Café reception also greeted early arrivals with ice breakers and other welcoming activities. By Thursday morning, 89 OPA sisters volunteered at the Feed My Starving Children service project in nearby Mesa (see page 3), with OPA also donating $2,600 to cover a portion of the food costs—thanks to your giving! Back at the hotel for the welcome lunch, the delegation was officially introduced to the Phoenix area by the 2016 Arizona Cinderella Charm Girl, Sophie Clyne. Sophie is the daughter of Ginger McGarity (Delta/Nu), vice president of alumnae relations. Business meetings began in the afternoon, along with legislative review, primers for first timers, and district summit forum, before everyone headed off to either play or avoid Pokémon Go while looking for a dinner spot. The alumnae hung out together at Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill. On Friday, more business meetings, Vision 2020, candidates forum, chapter breakouts, budget review and more candidates

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staying to view the post-game fireworks. On Saturday, following breakfast, delegates met for the final business session and elected two new NEB officers. With three candidates running for VP membership, it took several rounds of voting before a majority was reached. Finally, Megan Sheppard (Alpha Iota) won, and Pamela McEwen (Epsilon) was elected the new VP finance. Both positions are one-year terms (see page 5). To round out the day, important legislation was thoughtfully debated by the delegates (see page 5). The group also witnessed the induction of six alumnae into the alumnae society (see page 10). The alumnae luncheon was held on Saturday at the Gordon Biersch restaurant in Tempe, where the Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award was presented to Mary Morrison (Delta) via Skype (see page 11). And, the inaugural Outstanding Alumnae Chapter Award was presented to Omega Tau (Houstonarea alumnae chapter). That morning, OPA also kicked off a new campaign for the 50th anniversary called “Honor A Member.” Sisters

photo ops (see page 6). OPA sisters deserved this special attention, since they completed 1,241 service projects during the past year. That’s equal to 58,383 service hours! National President Heather Pritchard (Nu) announced the 2016–17 President’s Project as “Chapter Choice,” letting chapters choose their own project. Alumnae chapters and individuals can also participate. Her speech was broadcasted on Facebook Live. See page 7 for more on the President’s Project. On Sunday morning, belongings were collected and suitcases were packed once again for those having to depart right after the farewell brunch. Andie Bowman Hixson (Epsilon), convention activities director, spoke to the group with last-minute information. Ginger also announced that Digging for Diamonds would be held in Atlanta this year. Many heartfelt thanks and appreciation goes to the entire Convention committee for a job well done! By Thea Moritz (Beta), VP Communications


NATIONAL NEWS

NEB Election Results The results of the 2016–17 national executive board election are in from Convention. Pamela McEwen (Epsilon) was chosen to serve as vice president of finance, a position she has held in the past. Megan Sheppard (Alpha Iota) was elected vice president of membership in a tight, three-way race. Both are one-year terms, due to the recent resignations of Megan Johnston (Phi) and Leann Williams (Nu). We thank them both for their service to the NEB. Pamela, who recently retired to sunny Florida, hopes to leverage her skills to prepare OPA’s financials for the transition to the new national structure. She brings more than two decades of national OPA experience, including 13 years as vice president of finance or national treasurer. Her background in financial planning does not stop there. She has 35 years of professional accounting experience working for the public sector. Armed with this knowledge, she has been the driving force behind OPA’s 501(c)(3) taxexempt status and giving programs. Pamela has also been a valued national officer in several other past roles on the NEB. She also received the Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award, and OPA’s highest honor, the Susan Terzian Award. Coupled with her love of OPA, Pamela is known for her level-headed judgment and vision for OPA’s future. Megan, a founding member of Alpha Iota Chapter at Notre Dame of Maryland University, will serve as OPA’s new vice president of membership. She was the chapter’s president, membership director, pledge educator and service director, and later served as TLC for the Liberty District and as DAA (east). She is also active in the Baltimore Provisional Alumnae Chapter. She looks forward to helping chapters with the pledging process and to continue the amazing legacy of service and sisterhood. Megan lives in Millville, NJ.

2016–17 National Executive Board

2016 Legislative Review At Convention 2016 in Phoenix, OPA’s delegation, made up of both active and alumnae sisters, voted during official business meetings on legislative proposals submitted by sisters. Most of these proposals were minor “fixerupper” amendments. The delegation did approve an amendment to move from an annual convention to a biennial convention after the 50th Anniversary Convention in 2017. This amendment was submitted by the convention committee in an effort to reduce yearly convention expenses that can be more effectively used in other programming. Also, district summit legislation passed by the delegation clarifies the requirement for each chapter to be present for at least 75 percent of their summit. In the spirit of Omega Phi Alpha’s inclusiveness, the delegation approved legislation in Article IV, Section 13, of the constitution to now read: “All members of Omega Phi Alpha, regardless of gender, shall be referred to as ‘sisters’ and shall respect the preferred pronouns of each member.” Additionally, another legislative proposal relating to gender-neutral pronouns was tabled and referred to committee for more information and input. If you have any questions regarding the legislation passed at Convention 2016, please send an email to Trista Guzman at vpadmin@omegaphialpha.org.

Friends of Ophia Members who want to support Omega Phi Alpha through a financial gift can become a Friend of Ophia. This is a way for actives and alumnae to further support the sorority’s mission and vision, beyond their day-to-day contributions to their chapter, school and community. An annual gift of $5 is all it takes to become a Friend of Ophia. Sisters are encouraged to be a Friend of Ophia every year. Actives and alumnae who make a yearly $5 donation will be recognized for their years of participation at the national Convention and in the Chevron. Any sister who missed a year of giving will be able to catch up at any time. Sisters can take a break from giving while they establish careers or families, and when they are in a position to catch up, they can do just that. Just submit a payment for the catch-up amount, making sure that it is identified as a catch-up payment for the years covered. Please make your check payable to Omega Phi Alpha, indicate in the memo line that the contribution is for Friends of Ophia and mail to: Omega Phi Alpha National Office, P.O. Box 955, East Lyme, CT 06333 You can also contribute online at http://omegaphialpha.org/give/donate/. Friends of Ophia Donors for 2016 Meghan Bodman (Delta) Pamela Conlan (Delta) Pamela Faulkner (Delta) Katrina Garcia (Phi) Megan Gonzales (Alpha)

Sitting L–R, Heather Pritchard, Jessica Toms, Pamela McEwen, Rachel Whitten. Standing: Thea Moritz, Brittany Thornton, Trista Guzman, Kasey Stevens, Megan Sheppard, Ginger McGarity.

Megan Johnston (Alpha) Susie Larson (Mu) Connie Skomra (Kappa) Brittany Thorton (Alpha Kappa)

District Summit Theme: OPA Through the Years Dates to be announced by December. Actives and alumnae are invited!

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NATIONAL NEWS

NATIONAL AWARDS 2016–17

National Service Award Rho Chapter

National Website Award Delta Chapter

Service to the University Community Chi Chapter

National Scrapbook Award Alpha Gamma Chapter

Service to the Community-at-Large Alpha Kappa Chapter

National Travel Award Alpha Kappa Chapter

Service to the Members of the Sorority Delta Chapter Service to the Nations of the World Rho Chapter President’s Project (Mental Health Matters) Rho Chapter Permanent Project (Mental Health) Rho Chapter Chapter Excellence Program Gold: Delta, Gamma, Nu, Alpha Kappa Silver: Alpha Delta, Alpha Zeta, Alpha Mu Bronze: Rho, Alpha Gamma Individual Service Awards Top 10 Breanna Harris (Rho) Cheyenne McDougal (Rho) Anna Browning (Rho) Alyssa Manfredi (Alpha Theta) Amie Just (Alpha Kappa) Lydia Basham (Rho) Durinda Barker (Alpha Theta) Shayna Zack (Alpha Theta) Kimberley Fazio (Alpha Theta) Molly Young (Alpha Theta)

Hours 324 224 198 193 178.5 175 160.5 160 153 141

Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award Mary Morrison (Delta) Outstanding Chapter President Maureen Doyle (Alpha) Jessica Campbell (Gamma) Catherine Falzareno (Delta) Courtney D. Hall (Nu) Outstanding Chapter Vice President Macey Normyle (Delta) Claire MacLachlan (Alpha Kappa) Outstanding Chapter Service Director Lynsie Patschke (Delta) Lyn Lazaro (Alpha Alpha) Bianca Ho (Alpha Mu) Cate Hicks (Alpha Pi)

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Rho Chapter received the National Service Award.

Outstanding Chapter Secretary Katie Blanco (Alpha) Megan Wotta (Gamma) Victoria Inman (Nu) Sam Giaccio (Chi) Akhila Padi (Chi) Brianna West (Alpha Zeta) Rebekah Burgweger (Alpha Kappa) Outstanding Chapter Treasurer Julie Tull (Alpha Gamma) Aleena Butler (Alpha Zeta) Outstanding Chapter Membership Director EmmaLee Herlocher (Gamma) Grace Cantu (Delta) Karina Suri (Chi) Lindsey Stewart (Chi) Karson Terry (Chi) Mary Kathryn Mazell (Chi) Neha Sinha (Nu) Mary Cole Daulton (Omicron) Samantha Berlin (Alpha Alpha) Mary Mawdsley (Alpha Gamma) Morgan Mills (Alpha Gamma) Amanda Morton (Alpha Gamma) Toni E. Hagin (Alpha Delta) Krista Linehan (Alpha Zeta) Caitlyn Szlenk (Alpha Kappa) Allie Wiethop (Alpha Kappa) Shannon McKenna (Alpha Pi) Outstanding Chapter Alumnae Liaison Sarah Lemke (Gamma) Divad Miles (Nu) Nicole Meger (Alpha Alpha) Alexis Grossman (Alpha Delta) Breeanna Russ (Alpha Gamma) Krista Linehan (Alpha Zeta) National Membership Award Omega Chapter Alpha Delta Chapter New Chapter Builder Award Omega Chapter

Chapter Alumnae Travel Award Gamma Chapter Individual Alumnae Travel Award Pamela Faulkner (Delta) Outstanding Alumnae Chapter Omega Tau (Houston) OPA Leadership Program Leadership Module Paige Amoroso (Sigma) Elizabeth Anderson (Mu) Nina Arszulowicz (Alpha Gamma) Kaleigh Blackwell (Alpha Nu) Virginia Collier (Nu) Lynn Dudash (Nu) Kelsey Farris (Alpha Gamma) Mackenzie Graves (Alpha Delta) Ashleigh Hancock (Alpha Nu) Savannah Hay (Alpha Kappa) Cara Heise (Alpha Alpha) Riley Higgins (Alpha Nu) Megan Johnston (Alpha Alpha) Allison Lindsey (Alpha Gamma) Alexis Markowitz (Alpha Nu) Elizabeth McMahan (Alpha Nu) Suzy McTaggart (Gamma) Learyn Miller (Sigma) Thea Moritz (Beta) Angela Norton (Alpha Nu) Lindsey Paramo (Alpha Nu) Kristen Pauley (Alpha Nu) Brooke Raborn (Alpha Nu) Sarah Rentcome (Alpha Nu) Kasey Stevens (Phi) Molly Thomas (Alpha Kappa) Julie Tull Jourdain WeHunt (Alpha Nu) Alex Welch (Alpha Kappa) Analise Ybarbo (Alpha Nu) Diversity Module Lynn Dudash (Nu) Mackenzie Graves (Alpha Delta) Savannah Hay (Alpha Kappa) Suzy McTaggart (Gamma) Alex Welch (Alpha Kappa)


NATIONAL NEWS

CHAPTER PRESIDENT’S PROJECT 2016–17 For my fourth and final Omega Phi Alpha President’s Project, I’ve decided to go a little off the wall. When my three-year term was extended to four years, I started thinking about what I might want my fourth President’s Project to be. And, to be honest, I had no clue what I was going to pick. Then, in February of this year, I received an email from Lynsie Patschke, an active at Delta Chapter at Texas A&M University. In the email, she gave me a suggestion for the President’s Project. In my four years as OPA’s national president, I had never received anything like this before. I thought, “Who is this girl who thinks she can tell me what my project is going to be? That’s the one

cool thing that I get to do as the national president!” And then I thought about it. And I thought some more. And then I realized that, while I’m not passionate about the cause Lynsie suggested, she is. Every pledge that comes through OPA has had the thought: “It’d be cool if I was national president, because I know exactly what I’d pick for my President’s Project.” Just because I’m not passionate about a cause doesn’t mean that another sister isn’t. So, going into our 50th year, I’m turning the power back over to our members. Inspired by Lynsie, my President’s Project for the 2016– 17 academic year is “Chapter Choice.”

Each collegiate chapter will notify the national office of its choice of cause by September 15. They’ll devote two or more service projects to this cause during the school year. Alumnae chapters can get in on the fun as well—pick a project the next time you meet and devote a day to it. For individual alumnae, I want you to take this year to focus on a cause that inspires or moves you. Spend a weekend volunteering at an animal shelter. Help out at a hospital. Hand out water at a 5k race. Anything goes, as long as it’s something that’s important to you. Tell us on Facebook what causes inspire you! By Heather Pritchard (Nu), National President

OMEGA PHI ALPHA has been developing service-minded leaders for 50 years. In that time, we’ve donated MORE THAN A MILLION HOURS to making our communities stronger, more vibrant places to live and work. And we couldn’t have done it without you. So we’re celebrating this golden birthday by asking each of our lifelong OPA members and supporters to donate $1 for every year OPA has been making this world a better place: $50 FOR 50 YEARS. These funds will make a big impact—going to support national and district programming, expansions efforts, and lifelong sisterhoodbased community service and leadership development. DONATE online at The Rose Shop: https://mkt.com/the-rose-shop/ Or mail your check to Omega Phi Alpha National Office, P.O. Box 955, East Lyme, CT 06333 FALL 2016

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NATIONAL NEWS

NEW LICENSING PROGRAM PROTECTS THE OPA BRAND

Since 1993, the Greek words “Omega Phi Alpha” have been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The OPA name, as well as its crest, coat of arms, Greek letters and current brand identity (logos and marks) are all protected under the trademark umbrella. This means that OPA has the right to control its insignia for use in any format. The idea of licensing should not be unfamiliar. Most universities participate in some kind of licensing program, especially at high-profile universities with athletic programs that promote and sell branded or “officially licensed” products. The same is true for Greek organizations, although for several years manufacturers assumed fraternity and sorority trademarks were considered “public domain.” But by the year 2000, a landmark court decision in defense of Greek organizations opened up the market for Greek licensing and, by 2011, the rights were further expanded to include marks and symbols. For larger organizations, this can be challenging to manage internally. So in order to establish continuous control over the use of OPA’s marks, assure proper usage and avoid abandonment, a licensing consultant is typically hired to manage the program. To further protect these marks from misrepresentation by manufacturers and retail operations, in July 2016, OPA entered into an agreement with Affinity Marketing Consultants (also known as GreekLicensing.com) to administer an official licensing program. This includes locating and negotiating with potential licensees that comply with OPA’s quality requirements. Affinity also will ensure that all manufacturing, marketing and distribution of products using OPA’s approved marks are done in compliance with the agreement and with OPA’s approval. Affinity will notify any companies that may be in violation

of the proper use of OPA’s marks. Affinity also collects royalty payments from the licensed vendors and, after meeting the initial sales quota, OPA will also receive a share of the commission moving forward. Through this program, OPA also can monitor the quality and types of products bearing the name Omega Phi Alpha to meet OPA’s standards with the seal “Officially Licensed Product,” whether the item is for resale externally or used internally. What does this mean to OPA? Omega Phi Alpha will now only recognize certain vendors as “Authorized Licensed Vendors” of products or merchandise bearing the sorority’s name or symbols. These vendors work in cooperation with the OPA’s professional staff to develop and market OPA products and services to consistently reflect OPA values. OPA recommends that all visual marketing and promotional materials contain one of the approved and official OPA brand identity marks. If your chapter is selling anything that potentially has the “Omega Phi Alpha” name

on the product, you will need to order it through one of OPA’s licensed vendors. Since this is a new program and the list of vendors is growing, we want everyone to ask their usual vendors to apply to become licensed. Vendors interested in becoming licensed to produce OPA products should visit Affinity’s website https://greeklicensing.com/licensing or contact Melissa Jean-Baptiste, Affinity account services, at 760-734-6764, ext. 140, or email mmelissa@affinity-consultants.com. Please review the Omega Phi Alpha Brand Standards guide (found on OPA’s website under Members>Resources) for official insignia, brand identity and appropriate uses. Licensed vendors have access to official vector artwork via Affinity’s online gateway. Proposed artwork by vendors is reviewed and approved by the national vice president of communications within 48 hours of submittal to OPA’s online portal at Affinity. To find a licensed vendor for an OPA product, visit the vendor page: https:// greeklicensing.com/clients/omega-phialpha/19497/search. For more information about licensing, visit https://greeklicensing.com/faq. How can I use the OPA logo? Please email comm@omegaphialpha.org to obtain official logos/marks for one-time use. If the vendor you want to use is not an official OPA licensed vendor, and the logo/mark is being requested for more than a one-time use, this request will not be fulfilled due to branding restrictions. Using the name Omega Phi Alpha without proper consent is trademark infringement and will be treated as such. We appreciate your help in protecting the name, insignia and logos of Omega Phi Alpha. By Thea Moritz (Beta), VP Communications

Some examples of correct and incorrect logo usage. Please see OPA’s Brand Standards Guide for more information.

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NATIONAL NEWS

STATE OF THE SORORITY 2016 Completion of Vision 2020

ACTIVE CHAPTERS 30 collegiate chapters No current colonies

TOTAL COLLEGIATE MEMBERSHIP 1,262

NEW MEMBERS 2015–16 847

TOTAL COLLEGIATE SERVICE 1,241 service projects 58,383.54 service hours Worth $423,287.67 Service projects included: Visiting local nursing homes to spend time with and plan events for residents Volunteering at and donating blood at blood drives Participating in Relay for Life Volunteering with local Boys & Girls Clubs Using the Free Rice app to donate food to people in other countries

LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS Completed and presented modules: leadership, diversity, sisterhood Completed modules not presented: education, traditions In process: service Diversity module offered Sept. 12 to Oct. 16 35 members completed modules during 2015–16 DISTRICT SUMMITS 100% of District Summits held 706 members registered to attend a summit CONVENTION 2016 New activities: Fundraising campaign for service project (FMSC) Baseball game with sisters 117 attended (113 last year) Registration cost same as last year: $80 ALUMNAE Digging for Diamonds held in Connecticut 7 sisters inducted into alumnae society at D4D (5 diamond, 2 sapphire) 6 sisters inducted into alumnae society at Convention (5 topaz, 1 sapphire) 6 active alumnae chapters 4 provisional chapters

PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES Vision 2020 Strategic Plan National Structure Task Force 50th Anniversary Convention

NATIONAL VOLUNTEER APPOINTMENTS Visit http://omegaphialpha.org/nationalappointments/

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ALUMNAE

ALUMNAE SOCIETY INDUCTION CONVENTION 2016

Omega Phi Alpha proudly inducted six sisters into alumnae societies at Convention 2016. Sisters are inducted to celebrate milestone anniversaries of their activation into OPA. The Topaz Society signifies at least 10 years of membership; Sapphire recognizes 25 years, and Diamond celebrates 40 years of membership in OPA. Escorted by their ceremonial big sisters, each alum shared a story, filling the room with laughter or tears. TOPAZ SOCIETY (10 YEARS) Katarina Gomez Garcia (Phi) Summary of life: Katie pledged OPA in 2006 and graduated from Arizona State University in 2009. In 2015, she also earned a master’s in elementary education from California State University in Fullerton. She recently started her eighth year of teaching, and she loves it now more than ever! Katie lives in Covina, CA, with her husband, Cesar. OPA fact from Facebook: Nancy Greenwood is grand-big to Katie Garcia and Jessica Toms. Adrianne Grubic (Omicron) Summary of life: Adrianne pledged OPA in 1993, and was president during the summer and fall of 1996. She was a founding member of Chi Chapter in 1998. Adrianne earned a BA in mass communication from Auburn University, a master of mass communication at University of South Carolina, and a juris master from Emory University School of Law in 2015. She has been employed by CNN for the past 13 years as a sports assignment coordinator. Adrianne currently lives in Atlanta with her dog, a Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix. Her hobbies include tai chi and kung fu. What is your favorite OPA memory? “It’s hard to pinpoint one favorite memory, but a big thing at Auburn is tailgating at football games. I always had a blast with my sisters at the games, and back in the day we had a whole OPA section, so it was a great bonding experience.” Gini Jackson (Phi) Summary of life: An Arizona native, Gini pledged OPA in Spring 2006 and graduated from ASU in 2009. She studied elementary education with a minor in French. Gini taught for six and a half years and then transitioned into a mentoring role at a K–12 school in downtown Phoenix. She lives with her fiancé and his 9-year-old daughter, and they are getting married in June 2017. They enjoy going to the movies, riding bikes and quads, spending time with their dogs, friends and family.

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Alumnae society inductees at Convention 2016 are (L–R) Jennie Bergerson (Kappa), Adrianne Grubic (Omicron), Katarina Gomez Garcia (Phi), Gini Jackson (Phi), Jessica Cole Toms (Phi) and Nancy York Greenwood (Phi).

What is your favorite OPA memory? “My favorite OPA memories are from Girl Scout Badge Day, a Phi Chapter project that we did almost every year. I loved helping the girls earn different badges while spending that time with my sisters. It was a great way to prepare for my career as well!” Jessica Cole Toms (Phi) Summary of life: Jessica pledged Phi Chapter in 2005 and became an alumna in the spring of 2006 since she transferred schools. She has served in many OPA positions including DAA, TLC, Chevron writer and national awards chair, before being elected to the vice president of expansions in 2014. Jessica earned a bachelor’s degree from NC State in December 2007 and graduated with a master’s in adult education from East Carolina University in May 2011. Currently, she lives just outside of Raleigh, NC. Jessica and her “amazing” husband, Seneca, have been married for five years and have a twoyear-old daughter, Samantha. Jessica is a stay-at-home mom but also makes and sells cancer awareness jewelry and accessories at her Etsy shop. What is your favorite OPA memory? “My husband surprised me at OPA Convention 2010 in St. Louis to propose! I then got to do a candle pass ceremony to announce our engagement to all the OPA sisters in attendance at the awards banquet.” Nancy York Greenwood (Phi) Summary of life: Nancy pledged OPA in Fall 2000 and graduated from ASU in 2005. She lives in Chandler, AZ, with her husband, Chris, and works at the Arizona Historical Society. OPA memory from Facebook: “So many great Convention memories—Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, and now Phoenix. So thankful to be able to relive some of them

this weekend and to be reminded that I am forever a sister.” SAPPHIRE SOCIETY (25 YEARS) Jennie Bergerson (Kappa) Summary of life: Jennie grew up in a suburb of Kalamazoo, MI, and attended Capital University in Columbus, OH, where she pledged OPA in 1981. She was president for a year. Jennie transferred to Western Michigan University (but that OPA chapter was already inactive) and earned a bachelor’s in music education. She later moved to the Phoenix area, where she taught in Peoria, AZ, for 27 years (six years in music education and 21 years in technology education). Jennie earned a master’s in educational media and computers from Arizona State University. She retired in July 2016 to help care for her elderly father. What is your favorite OPA memory? “Each year OPA would make the homecoming float with Alpha Phi Omega. One year, it was a Disney theme Mickey Mouse riding on the float with the royalty court. Since I was Mickey, one of the OPA art majors made a papier-mâché Mickey head, but we still needed a tuxedo. My friend Mort in APO said to meet him the night before to borrow a tux from the men’s glee club’s storage room. I knew he worked in the glee club’s office, so I thought nothing of this. Well, when we arrived (in the dead of night), we walked over to a window instead of a door. He then said he didn’t have a key, and that I would have to climb in the window (as he was too large to fit). He had unlocked it before he left that day. Turns out Mort hadn’t actually asked to borrow a tux for fear of being told no, which would leave us with no other way to get a free tux to borrow for the float. We didn’t get caught, and no one ever questioned where the tuxedo came from, so happy ending (and no criminal record)! Ah, the thrill of being young and foolish!” By Renée DePietro (Beta), Chevron writer


ALUMNAE

GIVING SPIRIT GUIDES DELTA ALUMNA MARY MORRISON

Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award Mary Morrison was in between loads of of sisters here at A&M. Mary took the laundry on Convention Saturday when she definition of what it meant to be a member of received the news that she had received one of OPA and embodies it in everything she does.” Omega Phi Alpha’s special honorary awards— In addition to continuing to be active the Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award, with Delta, she has played an integral role which is named for the former OPA national in Omega Tau Alumnae Chapter since its president who passed away in 2013. founding more than 20 years ago. Omega Mary’s friend and fellow-alumna, Pamela Tau is the oldest continuously engaged OPA Mudd Conlan, had convinced her to call into alumnae chapter, and is known for holding the Convention in Phoenix, telling her that monthly Bunko parties, participating in area she needed to call in to a committee meeting fundraising events for charity, and roadwith regard to an alumnae chapter matter. Not only was the honor a huge surprise for her, but it also held special meaning, because Ann DeMatteo was a personal friend of hers. “It was very, very surprising. And of course it being named for Ann DeMatteo—I had been on the national board with Ann in the late 80s and knew her quite well. I remember a convention where we did the recordings of all the national songs. She just spearheaded that effort,” Mary said. “I remember Ann. So to have it named after someone I actually knew and held with really high regard was really special.” Mary is an alumna of Delta Chapter at Texas A&M University. Macey Normyle, a current officer of that chapter who had first met Mary at a national convention, originally nominated Mary for the award. “[Mary] supports our chapter physically, mentally and financially,” Macey said in the nomination. “On Mary Morrison recently volunteered top of physically being one of our most at the Christian Community Service active alumnae members, she also Center’s back-to-school program. consistently donates financially to our chapter. She is a ray of sunshine for us and constantly inspires us to be as active as tripping to San Marcos each year for holiday she is once we leave active status.” shopping. Through her involvement with Delta Pamela, another leader within Omega Chapter, she has become a role model for Tau, said that Mary has tirelessly organized the current members of that chapter. Macey service events, hosted gatherings and also said that Mary “defines what Omega Phi donated both time and money, often without Alpha is.” the majority of members knowing. She opens “She is an amazing leader, an amazing her home for events and projects, and even servant to the community, and an amazing held the chapter’s very first meeting. sister,” Macey continued. “She embodies the Pamela had almost endless praise for Mary, definition of selfless service and sisterhood mentioning her “heart of gold” and stating in the way that she continues to help her that “her energy and spirit of service know no community at large as well as her community bounds.”

“Mary’s generous giving spirit, exceptional ideas and amazing energy inspires many to also get involved, donate and see the world in a different light,” Pamela said. “Omega Tau Chapter simply would not exist without Mary.” Mary has put such big emphasis on going above and beyond with her participation in OPA because the organization had a huge impact on her while she was a college student at Texas A&M. “I think it was important to me, as a college student having an opportunity to volunteer in my community, to actually be a leader, and have that leadership opportunity, as well as to make really, really good friends,” she said. “I just think it’s important to continue supporting this service sorority, so it can continue to do the same for other women.” On top of everything she contributes to OPA, Mary also has a full-time job in the benefits department of the American Bureau of Shipping. She is a certified employee benefit specialist with more than 20 years of experience working with various corporations and consulting firms to provide employees with health and retirement benefits through their employers. Mary also has been involved with the Christian Community Service Center, a community-based nonprofit organization serving the inner city Houston community for almost 20 years. She has served as an officer, board member and a volunteer with the organization. The organization consists of about 40 churches that band together to provide emergency services. They execute projects such as providing students with back-to-school supplies and helping to take care of families in need during Christmas. Along with all previous and future recipients of the award, Mary will receive a customized guard of recognition and distinction. The design for the guard consists of two hands curving upward, nestling a crystal that represents Ann DeMatteo’s birthstone. By Natalie Pita (Chi), Chevron writer

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ALUMNAE

Alumnae Chapter Reports

Omega Delta

OMEGA DELTA Nashville, TN Omega Delta members met on August 14 at Panera Bread. Susie Pack Larson (Mu), Convention 2016 alumnae delegate, summarized legislation changes and announced award winners to those who came. Everyone was so surprised to receive third place for the first-ever OPA Outstanding Alumnae Chapter Award. We also discussed the 50th anniversary at Convention 2017 and sent out save-the-date postcards to area alumnae. Susie is researching the possibility of chartering a bus to take sisters to Convention 2017. We also discussed the idea of all alumnae chapters working together in service to the sisters who are doing volunteer work overseas and also to help the Nations of the World. On October 29, Omega Delta members will participate in the Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome. Fellow alumna, Faithe Logan (Mu), has a daughter with Down Syndrome, and the chapter is glad to support her. The event will be at Centennial Park in Nashville with more than 5,000 people gathering to support the Down Syndrome community. Games, music and more start at 10 a.m. followed by presentations at noon—and then the walk! The cast of the hit reality TV show Born That Way will be there, and everyone is welcome! For more information or to donate please visit the Light Up The Darkness Team fundraising page: dsamt.donordrive.com Congratulations to Mary Morrison, Delta alumna, for receiving the Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award.

STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS!

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OMEGA TAU Houston, TX The past few months were productive and successful ones for Omega Tau Chapter. We applied for and won the inaugural Alumnae Chapter of the Year Award at Convention 2016, largely through the amazing contributions of time and money from our alum Mary Morrison (Delta). We are incredibly proud of Mary, an instrumental member of our chapter, who was honored with the Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award. Through the years, Mary has Ginger McGarity (left) and Meghan Lund (Delta), right, virtually present the Alumnae Service Award to Mary Morrison (center)

OMEGA THETA Lafayette (Acadiana), LA Omega Theta Chapter has been hard at work planning several great events for the upcoming months. These include a sisterhood project, a service project and a leadership project, the latter will double as our senior ceremony to welcome new alumnae. We are also in the process of planning a fundraiser to support our local chapter. Finally, we are very excited to be assisting our local chapter, Upsilon, with its events as the school year starts. It will be an exciting few months for Omega Theta!

Omega Iota

Omega Tau members at the March of Dimes fundraiser in Houston

organized and hosted dozens of service projects and gatherings, and has impacted the lives of many individuals through her love and spirit of service. We are so thankful for her contributions. (Read more about Mary on page 11.) Omega Tau has selected the year of the child as their national President’s Project. To kick off this effort, we participated in a luncheon at the Royal Sonesta Houston Hotel on August 27 to benefit the March of Dimes, in particular the NICU Family Support Program Woman’s Hospital of Texas. Alumnae from Delta, Tau, Chi and Alpha Nu attended the lunch, which also included a style show and shopping at the nearby Galleria mall. The second project took place on September 25 to benefit Angel Gowns. We collected, deconstructed and cut donated wedding and formal gowns into patterns, which were then used to create the Angel Gowns. These gowns are donated as burial gowns to families who have suffered the loss of a child before, during or shortly after birth. We are incredibly happy to support this important organization as part of our President’s Project.

OMEGA IOTA Phoenix, AZ Omega Iota Chapter is honored to place second for Outstanding Alumnae Chapter of the Year at Convention 2016. Several members also attended, and four were inducted into the alumnae society (see page 10). During our annual meeting, we assembled Samaritan Bags to keep in our cars and distribute to homeless individuals. These bags included water, food, bandages, socks and resource cards. We are planning a fall sisterhood Paint Night, Phi Chapter senior ceremony, and our annual Christmas Adopt-A-Family gift donation drive.

In Memoriam

Cathy Hill Griswold Kaylee Platz-Panico Cathy Hill Griswold (1953–2016) passed away on August 18 after a hardfought battle with brain cancer. Cathy pledged Epsilon Chapter at Tennessee Technological University in 1973. Her announcement in The Tennessean called her “a loving wife, mother, and “mom” to many, many youth.” She lived with her family in Hermitage, TN. “She fought a brave battle with a wonderful husband by her side. May she rest in peace,” said Melissa McDonald (Epsilon) on Facebook. At press time, OPA learned of the sudden passing of active Kaylee PlatzPanico (1993–2016) on September 4, who pledged Delta Chapter at Texas A&M in 2013. She was from Magnolia, TX. Omega Phi Alpha sends heartfelt condolences to both families.


CHAPTER REPORTS

Chapter Reports ALPHA Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH • Founded in 1967 62 actives/20 potential new members Rush theme: Passport to Paradise. Our membership director will be making “passports” for the new members to get to know all of our active sisters. President’s Project: We will decide on this project as a chapter. It will be something that we are all very passionate about. Fall service: Helping with weekly bingo games at Wood Lane; helping with Taste of BG; a campus-wide environment effort to turn off unused lights, known as Friday Night Lights; cleaning our stretch of highway, and many more to come! Fun fact: Our brand new university residential housing on campus is finally completed! Contact: alpha@omegaphialpha.org Anna Lynn and Sarah Lemke proudly representing Gamma Chapter at Convention 2016.

GAMMA Eastern Michigan University—Ypsilanti, MI Founded in 1967/Rechartered in 1993 25 actives Rush theme: OphiAs in Wonderland President’s Project: To be determined Fall service: Suicide Awareness bracelets, Body Pride, Park Clean ups, Study Buddies, Love Your Sister, Autism Sensory Bags and Zipper Pulls. Fun fact: Our chapter is the proud owner of a giraffe named Rosie. The chapter mascot is a giraffe, so our lovely Fall 2015 pledge class adopted her as their gift to the chapter. Contact: gamma@omegaphialpha.org DELTA Texas A&M University—College Station, TX Founded in 1970 65 actives/25 potential new members Rush theme: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory President’s Project: Empowerment Fall service: In order to empower others, we have to empower ourselves first. Our fab service director, Nancy Covarrubias, plans to focus heavily on the friendship pillar for the first part of the year to strengthen the sisterhood. Nancy is also planning a partnership with an alum, who works with

SPARK in Houston to help raise awareness to improve the lives of those affected with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We will be helping with the organization and the overall implementation of their upcoming project. Fun fact: Flashback to earlier this year when our chapter held our first philanthropy event, OlymPhiAns, during District Summit. This past April, teams of locals and fellow sorority sisters (Lookin’’ at you Tau, Psi and Alpha Nu chapters!) competed for prizes, while also raising money for the Boys and Girls Club. Contact: delta@omegaphialpha.org

Epsilon Chapter

EPSILON Tennessee Technological University Cookeville, TN • Founded in 1973 39 actives Rush theme: Casino—Come Find Your Luck With OPA President’s Project: Meals on Wheels Fall service: We will be completing various projects, such as Boo at the Zoo, Canned Food Drive for our campus food pantry, hosting a Charity Days Event, volunteering at Meals on Wheels, and answering questions for Free Rice. Fun fact: We are hosting our very first event called Charity Days to raise money for three different local organizations. During the two-day event, we will sell T-shirts, have a penny drop, host a food night at a local restaurant, and host a campus-wide dodgeball tournament. Contact: epsilon@omegaphialpha.org MU Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, TN • Founded in 1983 11 actives/10 potential new members Rush theme: Nautical President’s Project: Toys for Tots Fall service: Our rush project, volunteer at Journey home in Murfreesboro, host a family weekend, attend a Zumba class; sell buttons for a cause, our President’s Project, and more! Fun fact: “Mardi Bra” has been one of our biggest service projects! Contact: mu@omegaphialpha.org NU Georgia Institute of Technology—Atlanta, GA Founded in 1988 57 actives/33 potential new members Rush theme: Sisters are for Life, Service is Forever (Tiffany & Co.)

Nu actives and alumnae at Convention 2016. Top row, L–R: Heather Pritchard, Lynn Dudash and Ginger McGarity (our founder). Bottom row, L–R: Neha Sinha, Courtney Shirley and Jessica Chau.

President’s Project: We have narrowed our list down to three primary ideas, which we will vote on. These ideas are: Domestic Violence, Children in Foster Care, and Empowering Women and Children. We are really excited to lead our chapter in service this year! Fall service: We held a PCOS symposium in September. We are also returning to some organizations that we haven’t worked with in a while (Friends of Disabled Children), staying with some we worked with last spring (Books for Africa and Shakespeare’s Tavern), and partnering with some new ones (Ahimsa House, working with domestic violence and animal cruelty). Fun fact: Our chapter received the Gold Chapter Excellence Award for 13 years in a row! Contact: nu@omegaphialpha.org TAU The University of Texas at Austin—Austin, TX Founded in 1994 22 actives Rush theme: Hawaiian President’s Project: To be determined Fall service: Community at Large: Light the Night Walk. Nations of the World: Christmas cards for soldiers. University Community: Longhorn Halloween. Permanent Project: soup kitchen Fun fact: Each active member can speak two or more languages! Contact: tau@omegaphialpha.org

UPSILON University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, LA • Founded in 1997 9 actives Rush theme: Greek Goddesses President’s Project: To be determined Fall service: We plan to join with Habitat for Humanity to help build and renovate local

FALL 2016

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CHAPTER REPORTS homes. We are doing more bonding activities to build our sisterhood. We also plan to join other campus organizations. We also raised money to help the Louisiana community during the flooding in August. Fun fact: We have a sister of the week mostly every week. Contact: upsilon@omegaphialpha.org PHI Arizona State University—Tempe, AZ Founded in 1998 60 actives/35 potential new members Rush theme: Tropical “Welcome to Paradise” President’s Project: To be determined Fall service: Volunteering at the Phoenix Dream Center (local nonprofit serving the homeless), NAMI Walk (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Girl Scout Badge Day, and helping ASU students register to vote while in line for school sporting events. Fun fact: We have a permanent project we do every semester called Girl Scout Badge Day to honor our OPhiA roots. We host the event at a local park with multiple stations and activities. Local troops are invited to help the girls’ earn new badges. Contact: phi@omegaphialpha.org

Chi Chapter enjoyed meeting other OPA members at Convention, including the lovely sisters of Alpha Delta.

CHI University of South Carolina—Columbia, SC Founded in 1998 • 69 Actives Rush theme: Finding OPhiA (Finding Nemo) President’s Project: Chi is planning to focus on the fight against systemic injustice and bring awareness to injustices against minority groups. We hope to partner with other campus organizations that consist predominantly of minority groups, and help with any events they are planning. Fall service: We are continuing our involvement with English Programs for Internationals (EPI), and helping students practice English with conversation partners. Other plans include volunteering at Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter through their Super Suppers program, and various events throughout the year; a semester service kick off with information about each area of service, mini challenges and projects to represent future projects for each area. Fun fact: Chi Chapter is ready to kick off the school year with service! Contact: chi@omegaphialpha.org

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PSI Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX • Founded in 1998 6 actives President’s Project: Love-In-A-Box Fall service: Women’s Shelter of South Texas play time Fun fact: Our local mascot is a sea turtle named Franklin. Contact: psi@omegaphialpha.org Omega sisters at Rutgers Dance Marathon. Omega Chapter single-handedly raised $10,356 out of the $912,143.47 total for the Embrace Kids Foundation.

OMEGA Rutgers University—New Brunswick, NJ Founded in 2000/Rechartered in 2015 66 actives President’s Project: To be determined Fall service: We are looking forward to participating in Buddy Ball, where we will play soccer on the weekends with special needs children in the area. We will also make photo posters for each member of the soccer team, all signed by the sisterhood! Fun fact: For the second semester in a row, our chapter has achieved the highest cumulative term GPA out of all the sororities on campus. Contact: omega@omegaphialpha.org Alpha Alpha active and alumnae sisters at Convention 2016.

ALPHA ALPHA Northern Arizona University—Flagstaff, AZ Founded in 2000 55 actives Rush theme: Omega Phi Until I Dye (Bohemian Theme) President’s Project: Ending Hunger in Flagstaff Fall service: Work with the Boys and Girls Club, volunteer and participate in an Alzheimer’s Awareness Walk. Raise money and awareness to end sex trafficking in Cambodia, Teach a Sister, and a Canned Food Drive for Louie’s Cupboard on campus. Fun fact: We have a sisterhood blanket that every sister has added a scrap of fabric to, so the whole sisterhood is represented. At each

meeting, the sisterhood director passes the sisterhood blanket to a sister in need of extra support that week. This lets the sister know that her sisters are always there for her. Contact: alpha_alpha@omegaphialpha.org ALPHA BETA University of Mississippi—Oxford, MS Founded in 2003 9 actives/15 potential new members Rush theme: Service in the City President’s Project: To be determined Fall service: Groove in @ Move in @ Ole Miss, Girls Day 5K Obstacle Course empowering young women to reach their goals, Zaxby’s Night, breast cancer walk, Operation Christmas, and a car wash. Fun fact: Flamingo egg yolks are pink! (Just learned this today!) Contact: alpha_beta@omegaphialpha.org

Emma Bigheart and Morgan Mills showing off one of Alpha Gamma’s awards from Convention 2016.

ALPHA GAMMA Oklahoma State University—Stillwater, OK Founded in 2004 62 actives Rush theme: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sisterhood (Baseball) President’s Project: We are helping the business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, with the OSU Homecoming Memorial Run, for those who were killed in last year’s Homecoming accident. Fall service: Walk to End Alzheimer’s; volunteering at the OKC Food Bank to help thousands of families by packing food boxes; Letters of Love, where each sister brings a wooden letter to be decorated and passed around, so fellow sisters can write kind things about that particular sister; helping with OBI’s school blood drive, by passing out flyers to raise awareness. Our nation’s project will be Little Dresses for Africa—making dresses out of pillowcases to be donated to orphanages, churches and schools. Fun fact: Alpha Gamma won the National Scrapbook Award and the Chapter Excellence Program Bronze Seal at Convention this year. Contact: alpha_gamma@omegaphialpha.org ALPHA ZETA Kennesaw State University—Kennesaw, GA Founded in 2006 27 actives Rush theme: Sail Away with OPhiA


CHAPTER REPORTS but to show how united, proud and supportive we are of each other, and how important this proposal is to Alpha Kappa. Contact: alpha_kappa@omegaphialpha.org

Alpha Zeta sisters enjoying the Spring Retreat

President’s Project: To be determined Fall service: We plan to support local women’s shelters this year, as well as help feed the homeless. We were inspired by the Convention 2016 service project and searched for a similar company in Atlanta. On top of working with Stop Hunger Now, we also plan on sponsoring a child in a third-world country. Alpha Zeta is doing great things this year! Fun fact: This year is our 10th anniversary! Contact: alpha_zeta@omegaphialpha.org ALPHA THETA The Pennsylvania State University—University Park, PA • Founded in 2006 70 actives/25 potential new members Rush theme: America President’s Project: Canning trips benefiting Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) Fall service: Volunteering at animal shelters, writing letter for troops, volunteering at a food bank, and cleaning up the arboretum. Fun fact: We have sisters from at least 12 different states, even a sister from Taiwan. Contact: alpha_theta@omegaphialpha.org ALPHA KAPPA University of Kansas—Lawrence, KS Founded in 2010 60 actives/30 potential new members Rush theme: Adventure “Let the Adventure Begin” President’s Project: Environment Fall service: We’re holding a voter registration drive on campus. For KU Gardens and Grounds, members will collect coffee grounds from campus coffee shops to distribute to the student farms in Lawrence as compost and fertilizer. We’re trying to start an alumnae chapter in Kansas City to strengthen alumnae/active sister bonds with multiple service projects, such as sponsoring a young girl named Fanta in South Africa. We’ll write her cards and donate money to her school. Other projects include running in the Pumpkin Patch race in Kansas City, CASA bags, Jubilee Café and Willow Domestic Center. Fun fact: At Convention, we successfully passed a proposal to change the National Constitution to accept and call all of our sisters by their preferred pronouns. A second proposal will be discussed at Convention 2017. We have been arranging multiple fundraising events to send as many of our sisters to Convention as we can, not only for the amazing experience,

ALPHA LAMBDA North Carolina State University—Raleigh, NC Founded in 2010 44 actives/10 potential new members Rush theme: Olympics President’s Project: Helping the Community Fall service: Miracle League, Agro-Eco Farm, QPR Training, Cultural Awareness Days, Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club, Read to Lead, and much more! Fun fact: We are a small group from different backgrounds, but we are a close-knit family. Contact: alpha_lambda@omegaphialpha.org ALPHA MU Boston University—Boston, MA Founded in 2011 52 actives President’s Project: Human Rights Fall service: Planning to continue volunteering at our favorite places in the Boston area, such as the Red Cross Food Pantry, Boston Public Health Commission, and Room to Grow. We are excited for our 30 new activated members to get involved in more service in the community. Fun fact: Our sisters did more than 900 hours of service last semester. Contact: alpha_mu@omegaphialpha.org

Alpha Nu actives advocating a positive body image using Barbie boxes and the hashtags #BetterThanBarbie or #BetterThanKen. Left to right: Brenda Solis, Ashleigh Hancock, Kendall Thatcher, Gabrielle Vasquez, Karson Tamas, and Larisa Gawlik.

ALPHA NU Texas State University San Marcos—San Marcos, TX • Founded in 2013 31 potential new members Rush theme: Under the Sea President’s Project: To be determined Fall service: Our chapter will be adding more optional service projects in each area of service this coming semester. A few ideas are helping at a local food bank and volunteering at the Canyon Lake Animal Shelter. Fun fact: Alpha Nu is currently putting together our first recruitment video. We are looking forward to showing PNMs our sisterhood, and why we joined OPA! Contact: alpha_nu@omegaphialpha.org

Alpha Xi sisters volunteer at the Performing Arts Theatre during their spring retreat by helping to set up for the weekend event.

ALPHA XI University of Central Florida—Orlando, FL Founded in 2014 President’s Project: To be determined Fall service: PACE Center for Girls, Literacy Project, Clean the World and Special Olympics Bowling Tournament. Contact: alpha_xi@omegaphialpha.org ALPHA OMICRON University of Florida—Gainesville, FL Founded in 2014 51 actives/30 potential new members Rush theme: Hooked on Service President’s Project: To be determined Fall service: We plan to further increase our total number of service hours as a chapter. Fun fact: We are often serenaded at our chapter meetings and events by the gentlemen of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Contact: alpha_omicron@omegaphialpha.org ALPHA PI West Virginia University—Morgantown, WV Founded in 2014 52 actives/15 potential new members Rush theme: Under the Sea President’s Project: West Virginia Flood Relief Fall service: Fall craft party for children at local after-school program, hosting a bingo game night at local nursing home, and collecting shoes for Soles4Souls Foundation. Supporting local dog shelter by volunteering at their puppy adoption days, plus making toys and treats for the dogs. Fun fact: Over the summer, we launched an extra service project where sisters could receive hours for donating money and/or items to the victims of the flooding in West Virginia. Sisters could also receive hours by going to Charleston, WV, and giving hands-on help to organizations working there. We had many sisters participate, with one sister earning 10 hours of service before the fall semester even started! Contact: alpha_pi@omegaphialpha.org Compiled by Catherine Ferrell (Alpha Gamma)

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National Office PO Box 955 East Lyme, CT 06333 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

SAVE THE DATES for the 50th CELEBRATION CONVENTION June 14–18, 2017 Bowling Green, Ohio Hilton Garden Inn 6165 Levis Commons Boulevard, Perrysburg, Ohio Our sisterhood’s 50th anniversary as a national organization is less than a year away. All OPA members are invited to join in on the celebration. Tell your OPA friends, find lost sisters and plan to celebrate this milestone event together in Ohio. Ways to Help • Update your contact information at members.omegaphialpha.org • Email stories and photos to opa50th@omegaphialpha.org • Reconnect with your alumnae sisters and plan a reunion at the 50th Celebration Convention Tentative Schedule Wednesday.....Welcome Home Event Thursday.........Ophia’s Birthday Party and Throwback Thursday Dress Mixer (wear an outfit from a past OPA decade) Friday..............Sorority Business and Talent Show Saturday.........50th Anniversary Celebration Sunday............Salute to Service Brunch For questions or suggestions, email opa50th@omegaphialpha.org Follow OPA’s Facebook event page for details.

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