TheP i p e rAlpha Omicron Pi | December 2016
Rho Beta (Virginia Commonwealth
U) was the top fundraising team in
the Richmond Jingle Bell Run for
the second year in a row!
Founders’ Day Message
Jingle Bell Run Information...
SAVE THE DATES BoaErxdeMcutievsesage
Founders’ Day Observed
DECEMBER 15 Amber Countis
2017 Convention Awards
Competition Open (Pi/Tulane U)
DECEMBER 19-JANUARY 2 International Vice President
AOII Headquarters Closed
for the Holidays Dear Sisters,
As 2016 swiftly comes to a close, I am reminded of how much we
JANUARY 2 have accomplished together and what exciting opportunities lie
Founders’ Day ahead as we prepare to celebrate 120 years of Alpha Omicron Pi
JANUARY 7 • Five new chapters (Delta Gamma/Missouri State U, Lambda
Omicron Pi (U of Michigan) Lambda/U Connecticut, Phi Alpha/East Tennessee State U, Tau
Reinstallation Mu/Texas A&M U, and Omicron Pi/U Michigan) were colonized this semester, and two have
already been installed at ETSU and Missouri State.
JANUARY 9 • Collegians and alumnae across the country are participating in Jingle Bell Run to help bring
ELC Applications Due awareness and raise funds to find a cure for arthritis. Are you signed up? Click here to find a team
near you! Don’t miss this great video to share with your chapters too.
JANUARY 22 • Members are participating in the democratic process of our organization by submitting
Tau Mu (Texas A&M U) proposed amendments to the Governing Documents, as well as submitting their name and
Installation information to nominating trustees for an opportunity to serve as a member of the Foundation or
JANUARY 29 • Chapters will soon complete award applications for consideration of recognition and celebration
Lambda Lambda (U of of all they have done on their campuses and in their community over the last year plus. Don’t miss
Connecticut) Installation your opportunity to also be recognized by submitting your award applications here.
• Carole Jones has been serving as vice chair of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and
FEBRUARY 3-5 will assume the helm in the fall of 2017 as chair. This is an honor that comes around once every
Leadership Academy 2017 52 years and we look forward to supporting her as she moves into this next phase of leadership.
To that end our collegians and advisers will have the opportunity to learn more about what
1 this means to them and how they can help locally by participating in a Panhellenic-themed
Leadership Academy 2017 at AOII Headquarters on February 3-5, 2017. For more information,
click here. Don’t miss the registration deadline of January 3!
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Northeast AOII Weekend which provides education,
networking and sisterhood for alumnae and collegians in Network 1. I also ventured further
north to celebrate 75 years of the Montreal Alumnae Chapter in October. These are just two
examples of the many things that are happening on a daily basis all around North America to
engage and ensure an exceptional membership experience for both collegians and alumnae. I
hope you are able to make the most of Strike Out events, Founders’ Days, workshops, book clubs,
potluck dinners, retreats, etc. that happen in your area. You never know who you’ll meet there or
what kind of positive impact you may make on another sister.
Every day I learn something new about what it means to be a sister and a leader. I am motivated
by all of you who let your light shine and challenge yourselves and your chapters to be the best.
When we are faced with challenging situations and decisions, remembering how we all contribute
to the betterment of AOII daily is so inspiring. Thank you for all that you do every day to advance
AOII through your work on your campus and in your communities!
Happy Holidays, sisters!
Founders’ Day Message
Click here to listen to the Founders’Day Message.
Happy Founders’ Day! In celebration of our 120th year, let us pause to salute the founding of our sisterhood and especially
the four young women who set us on a path of lifelong friendship. What began as four with Stella, Bess, Jessie and Helen,
now numbers a sisterhood of almost 190,000 initiated members.
Stella Perry charmingly wrote in 1936, “…in the ‘90s [1890s that is], we were just four regular college girls, very like your-
selves. I used to say that, if the clock could turn back and put us four on your campus as students, you’d know the differ-
ence only by our clothes. Remembering our young days, with their many un-heroic phases, it amuses us and makes us feel
apologetic, too, to appear before you so often as on pedestals.”
While our founders may not have chosen the word “brave” to describe themselves individually, we know they were brave
and quite deserving of our praise. Opportunities for women in higher education, and in society, in the late 1890s were lim-
ited at best. Our founders were four determined young women, with unwavering passion for the high ideals they shared.
They knew that they were seeking, “…a fraternity that should carry on the delightful fellowships and co-operations of col-
lege days into the workaday years ahead and do so magnanimously, both in school and afterwards.” They also understood
that they, “… wanted a high and active special purpose to justify existence, a simple devotion to some worthy end.” Rather
than settle on membership elsewhere, we are the beneficiaries of their labor of love.
A few years earlier, in 1930, Bess Wyman shared her wish for our AOII sisterhood, “Let us be young together, savoring the
sweetness of comradeship and mutual endeavor. Let us grow old together, uplifted by the consciousness of younger hands
that will carry our banner on to greater heights of idealism and service.”
For our youngest new members to our oldest alumnae, we invite you to, once again, relive the first moments of Alpha Omi-
cron Pi as reminisced by Stella Perry in 1936:
“Now, having determined to make this democratic, unostentatious, simple society, we climbed up a little winding stair into
the stackroom, a small upper chamber of the old Columbia Library, a beautiful Gothic building, now demolished. This was
a little tower room, rarely used, where Anglo-Saxon tomes and ancient vellum manuscripts were stored. We sat in a deep
seat built under a mullioned window of that quiet room, pigeons outside and snow lightly falling, and there, with what
emotion you can imagine, we pledged one another, at the very beginning of the year 1897. And you were all there, though
we did not know it!”
As we look to our bright future, may we always hold true to our deep roots. On behalf of the AOII Executive Board, we
send our warmest greetings to AOIIs young and old on this 120th anniversary of the founding of Alpha Omicron Pi!
The Executive Board
Gayle Fitzpatrick, Alpha Rho, International President
Susan Bonifield, Nu Beta, Vice President of Finance
Crystal Combs, Nu Beta, Vice President
Amber Countis, Pi, Vice President
Susan Danko, Phi Upsilon, Vice President
Grace Houston, Lambda Tau, Vice President
Jessie Wang-Grimm, Phi Chi, Vice President
Krista Whipple, Omega, Vice President
Allison Allgier, Epsilon Omega, Past International President
Ruby Fund Message
Happy Founders’ Day!
In celebration of our 120th year, let us be reminded of the four women who began our sisterhood so
many years ago. Stella referred to the other Founders, and herself, as “four regular college girls.” AOII
and our sisterhood still reflect and value the humbleness and modesty on which Stella, Bess, Jessie and
Helen founded our Fraternity.
Today, our undergraduate sisters may hold an elected office on campus, may be the only female in her
chosen academic discipline, or she may be a sister fighting the daily battle of living with a mental illness.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), more than 25% of collegiate students
have been treated or diagnosed by a professional for a mental health condition within the past year.
Chances are, you or someone you know is battling this illness. It is comforting to know that as AOII
sisters, we pride ourselves in celebrating our differences, being authentic and supporting each other in
our greatest time of need.
When we think of the Ruby Fund, we often think of helping a sister who has suffered a loss through
a natural disaster, or who is physically ill for a temporary period, or even one who has experienced
domestic violence. What we may not have considered is the sister whose difficulties are a part of who
she is, a part of her inner make-up, so to speak.
Recently, a sister was awarded a Ruby Fund grant to help pay her living expenses after losing her job
during her fourth hospitalization for psychiatric care. This sister recently shared, “My hospitalization
gave me the opportunity to take a step out of the stress of daily life, allowing me to focus fully on
my mental health. My recovery has been a long road after being diagnosed bipolar in 2014. While
hospitalizations can greatly benefit my recovery, you can only put your life on hold for so long. The
Ruby Fund allowed me to get back on my feet after four hospitalizations in one year. I am so grateful to
have such loving and supportive sisters.”
As you consider donating to the Ruby Fund this year, we ask that you remember the challenges that
our sisters face every day—the challenges that you cannot necessarily see. May we always vow to be
“regular girls” who hold true to our deep roots. Thank you for your support of our sisterhood and of
The Ruby Fund Committee
Tracy Herand McCarty, Chairman, Upsilon Alpha
Debbie Welsh Koenig, Beta Lambda
Theresa Ngo-Anh Ludvigson, Chi Psi
Toni Flowers Morgan, Alpha Chi
Michelle Lopez, Foundation Board Liaison, Delta Theta
*To be read at your chapter’s Founders’ Day celebration or reprinted in your newsletter.
is Jingle in your
We need everyone’s help TODAY to reach our Jingle Bell Run fundraising goal of $150,000! AOII’s International
President Gayle Fitzpatrick is leading the way as the 2016 National JBR Chair, so please donate today and encourage
your sisters, family and friends to help AOII meet our goal!
As of this morning, we have raised $118,336. While most of these dollars have been raised by AOII’s JBR teams and
participants, today’s giving option offers everyone another way to show support. Jingle in Your Jammies was created
by the Arthritis Foundation to give participants an option to support the Jingle Bell Run event series and raise crucial
funds for the AF even for those not able to make it out to an event in person.
To support AOII’s Jingle in Your Jammies Team, click on this link.
Once you are on our Team page, you have two options:
1- JOIN TEAM means you are joining our Jingle in Your Jammies team for a $40 donation. You will receive the
event tee shirt by mail.
2- DONATE NOW means you can give any amount of your choosing. Selecting this option does not include a tee shirt.
Help us spread the word - once you give, post on social media a photo of yourself in your pajamas, a holiday costume,
holiday socks, a fun hat, holding a mug of cocoa, dress up your pet, or whatever other means of festive attire you can
think up! Then proudly share that you are supporting AOII and the Jingle Bell Run. Please tag AOII and use the hashtag
During 2016, AOII has already given $575,000 to the Arthritis Foundation, and that total does not even including
these JBR dollars! AOII is funding meaningful research, sponsoring a popular juvenile arthritis backpack program for
patients, sending families to conferences and camps and supporting other outstanding programs. We are truly making
Please join our Jingle in Your Jammies team TODAY by clicking here.
(Notes: Our National AOII Jingle in Your Jammies team is registered under the Franklin, Tennessee event. Though we
would appreciate your gift today, you can join or donate to this team anytime between now and December 15.)
AOII Foundation News
#GivingTuesday Goal Surpassed!
Thank you to all of our donors and Foundation friends who donated to
#GivingTuesday. We are proud to announce that we surpassed our goal and
raised more than $22,500!
The AOII Foundation wishes to thank each one of you who shared our
posts and donated to the Loyalty Fund. You made #GivingTuesday a
huge success and your gifts will be used to administer the Ruby Fund,
Scholarships, Educational and Arthritis Grants.
We Give Thanks for YOU!
Get Started on Your Scholarship Application!
Diamond Jubilee Scholarships are available for undergraduate, graduate and returning
alumnae sisters; several named scholarships are also available. Don’t miss your
opportunity to apply for tuition assistance! Last year, 30% of applicants were awarded a
Plus, we have a new opportunity for members applying for graduate and returning
alumnae scholarships! You can now be enrolled as a full time OR part-time student
and still be eligible for a scholarship. Applicants must be registered for a minimum of 6
credit hours in order to be considered.
Visit the Foundation website at www.aoiifoundation.org and click on Programs/Scholarships to apply using our on-line
application. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2017.
Honor a Sister with a Holiday eCard!
Looking for the perfect gift? Look no further! Send an AOII holiday eCard to that
special sister on your list. Visit our website at www.aoiifoundation.org to celebrate
the holiday season with a personalized eCard!
Ruby Fund Message
The Ruby Fund Message can be found on our website under Programs/Ruby Fund to share at your Founders’ Day
celebrations! In addition, donations to the Ruby Fund can be sent to us at: Alpha Omicron Pi Foundation, 5390 Virginia
Way, Brentwood, TN 37027. Please make sure that you state the donation is for the Ruby Fund when you mail your
individual or chapter donation.
Apply to lobby on behalf of the
community in Washington, D.C.!
AOII and the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition (FGRC) is
looking for outstanding campus and chapter leaders to travel to Wash-
ington, D.C. to advocate for legislation that is important to the success
of fraternity and sorority organizations across the country. This opportunity provides students with the unique opportunity
to experience the nation's capital in a new way through direct interaction in the legislative process. AOII will sponsor two
US members to attend these visits.
The Congressional visits will take place in Washington, D.C April 24-27, 2017. You must be available during those dates in
order to apply. All applications are due by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, December 9, 2016.
During the visits, much of our lobbying will focus on the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA) that would
help make fraternity and sorority housing safer and more affordable. Depending on the status of other major legislation,
including the pending higher education reauthorization, it is possible that other issues such as the single-sex status of our
organizations, freedom of association, campus safety and due process for student organizations will be included in our
efforts. You should not apply to participate if you do not feel comfortable advocating for these legislative issues that are
priorities for the FGRC.
The tentative schedule for the FGRC Congressional visits is as follows:
· Monday, April 24: Students arrive in Washington, D.C.
· Tuesday, April 25: Training for student participants in the morning and joint training for students
and alumni in the afternoon.
· Wednesday, April 26: Students and alumni participate in the annual lobbying day on Capitol Hill.
· Thursday, April 27: Students travel back to campus.
If selected, you will be expected to participate in prep work leading up to training sessions and visits that includes partic-
ipation in a webinar to learn about the FGRC’s legislative priorities and securing letters of support from your institution’s
leadership. It is also important that you are aware that you will miss at least 3-4 days of class that week and should be pre-
pared to plan accordingly with your professors during that time.
To apply, click here to fill out the application by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, December 9, 2016.
If you have any questions about the legislative agenda, the application process or the Congressional
visits, please email [email protected]
Have you read the latest
edition of To Dragma?
Available online only, this special edition is full of content about arthritis.
Click here to read.
NPC Annual Meeting Recap
The 2016 National Panhellenic Conference annual meeting offered delegation members, inter/national presidents and
executive directors an opportunity to reflect on and discuss how the 26 member organizations are advancing sorority
together. The leaders met Oct. 20-23 at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel.
For the first time, in an effort to build relationships among the executive leadership, the delegate, inter/national president
and executive director for each member organization attended an off-site event. The group visited the Missouri History
Museum — home of the first Thomas Jefferson memorial — to tour the Route 66 exhibit and have dinner Thursday, Oct.
20. Ginny Carroll, Alpha Xi Delta, InGiNuity, guided lively conversation on NPC memories and what NPC does best.
NPC platinum partners also joined the excursion: Billhighway, CrowdChange, Herff Jones Greek Division, MJ Insurance
Sorority Division and OmegaFi.
Friday, Oct. 21, began with the executive leadership gathering for a facilitated conversation led by Carroll, including
breakouts into their specific designations as board members, inter/national presidents and executive directors. Lunch
offered a learning opportunity on the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation and further networking. The annual meeting
then opened for all alternate delegates, NPC Foundation trustees and guests, including nondelegation area advisors.
The afternoon included training for new area advisors and those who serve on the Alumnae Panhellenics and College
That evening, attendees gathered to discuss the proposed legislation, hear an update from the Government Relations
Committee and learn how the inter/national presidents of the organizations represented at Harvard University are
responding to Harvard’s ban on campus participation for members of single-sex organizations. During dinner, sponsored
by gold partner CSL Management, delegations had time to catch up and discuss the proposed legislation.
Friday continued with the official opening of the business meeting. Delegations introduced members and guests, legislation
was proposed and adopted, and the chairman gave the state of NPC presentation. This year, the address took on a new twist
as a video complementing the annual report displayed the accomplishments of the past year. Chairman Donna C. King,
Sigma Kappa, closed the presentation saying, “Thank you to each of you for working together to ensure the achievements
of 2015-16 send a strong message to our publics that the sorority experience is alive, well and growing.” After the business
meeting, first-time attendees adjourned to a reception hosted by King, and others gathered at a reception to celebrate the
retirement of long-time delegation member Patty Disque, Chi Omega.
Early morning committee meetings kicked off Saturday, Oct. 22, followed by inter/national presidents and executive
directors visiting the 37 NPC partners in the exhibit hall to learn about the valuable services they can provide member
organizations. During the exhibit hall hours, College Panhellenic and Alumnae Panhellenic Area Advisors met by region
and then attended breakout sessions to delve into specific areas, such as finance and recruitment. All attendees then
enjoyed a networking lunch with the partners.
The afternoon featured campus meetings where member organizations met to discuss specific concerns identified on
certain campuses. The closing business meeting included additional proposed legislation and special presentations from
member organizations. Then, for the first time at an even-year meeting, NPC held the memorial service. Said Malaea
Seleski, Zeta Tau Alpha, “Open your hearts and reflect on these amazing women who touched us. We know they are
smiling down at us from somewhere over the rainbow.” She then sang a touching rendition of “Over the Rainbow” while a
video shared the panhellenic spirit of 10 women who served NPC and had passed away during the year.
After the business meeting, that night’s dinner celebrated the accomplishments of the NPC Foundation. Before and
throughout the annual meeting delegation members, inter/national presidents, executive directors, College Panhellenics,
Alumnae Panhellenics and Panhellenic friends purchased sunflower stickers for $5 each. These stickers were given to
attendees — or emailed to them if they weren’t in attendance — to say thank you for advancing the sorority experience.
Janet Brown, Alpha Omicron Pi, NPC Foundation Board of Trustees President, announced during dinner that this year’s
sales raised more than $8,000 for the spirit fund. She also noted that 17 member organizations met the 100 percent
delegation donation challenge.
The annual meeting concluded with a town hall gathering Saturday night. Jon Coffin, VOX Global, moderated a panel
discussion on the evolution of gender identity. The conversation presented an educational opportunity to listen and learn
about a topic that intersects with the unique position NPC organizations have as all-women’s groups. Panelists were
Tim Burke, President of Manley Burke and its Fraternal Law Partners division; Jessica Pettitt, Delta Gamma, Diversity
Consultant for Good Enough Now; Dr. Lori Reesor, Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Indiana
University – Bloomington; and Beth Stathos, General Counsel for and member of Chi Omega. After this thoughtful
discussion, attendees enjoyed each other’s company at a dessert reception.
On Sunday, Oct. 23, NPC hosted a special educational summit for communications decision makers. In opening the
summit, Donna Chereck, Alpha Chi Omega, NPC Advocacy Chairman, explained that “I like that phrase ‘a rising tide
lifts all boats’… and I hope we can keep that in mind as we tell the stories of our own member organizations and promote
the broader sorority experience at the same time.” In total, 35 member organization representatives learned about internal
communications, brand ambassadorship, how to talk to the media and how to leverage social media. Participants wrapped
up the day by breaking into small groups to apply the concepts to case studies.
Task Force Formed
The Executive Board has recently commissioned a gender identity task force
that brings together a group of alumnae from different professional, AOII,
and geographical backgrounds. This group will research the questions and
considerations related to gender identity and how it will impact membership,
housing, and other issues for the Fraternity. The team will consult external
subject matter experts and other resources throughout this process. The task
force will ultimately recommend a position statement to the Executive Board
and suggest needed educational resources to share with members related
to these topics. Thank you to Network 8 NS-L Wendy Espinoza, Kappa Tau
Chapter Adviser Molly Fenton, Network 1 NS-R Amy Kumpel, NPC Alternate
Delegate Kerry Soller, Properties Board Director Cindy Visot, AOII General
Counsel Kandyce Harber, and XB Vice President Amber Countis, chair, for
serving on this task force.
Save the Date!
Leadership Academy 2017
February 3rd - 5th
All Collegiate Chapter Presidents, Panhellenic Delegates and Chapter Advisors are
invited to attend Leadership Academy 2017 in Brentwood, Tennessee. This annual
event is a great opportunity to learn from Headquarters staff, volunteers and NPC
delegates, while building relationships with sisters from the United States and
Canada. More information will be sent to these officers regarding how to register and
registration deadlines. Be sure to keep up with AOII on social media for details about the event and
what you can look forward to this February! Click here for FAQs.
Ambassadors... How Can They Help?
"I liked getting to know the other AAC members, and learning
more about the organizational structure of AOII."
"It was extremely interesting hearing about big picture AOII
and it helped me better understand my responsibilities on the
Above are a couple of quotes about how our Alumnae Advisory
Committees (AAC) are benefiting from the Training Ambassador
Program. Has your chapter taken advantage of this select group of
volunteers? This is the third year AOII has deployed these volunteer
trainers to conduct team building training activities and impart knowledge about how advisers and advisees can
communicate with one another. In a similar vein, Recruitment Ambassadors are great to call upon to lead workshops on
Values Based & Purposeful Membership Selection Conversations, Social Excellence, or Chapter Branding. Gamma Phi/
Seton Hall hosted a joint recruitment workshop with two recruitment ambassadors and Iota Theta/Monmouth University,
Alpha Nu/Ramapo College of New Jersey and Theta Pi/Wagner College this Fall. For more information or to set up a
workshop please contact Lindsay Stoltz at [email protected]!
Wrapping Up Successfully & Coming in Inquisitively
End this year with the best officer transition your chapter has experienced by: organizing your files (binders, files,
electronic documents), making introductions to Network Specialists and advisers, handing over logins and passwords, and
reviewing daily, weekly, and monthly responsibilities. Let the officer replacing you know what is expected of her and she
will feel more confident and excited to lead.
For all the newly elected officers trying to make meaning of their role, begin
with Ritual in mind. Try to understand the values spoken of and how to act
upon them prior to digging into any new projects. Deeply connect with ritual
and be inquisitive in your one-on-one transition with the outgoing officer.
You probably have tons of ideas swirling around in your head but make it a
point to learn from those who came before you. Be charitable and provide
proper closure to the outgoing officer(s) by really trying to understand how
they approached their time in office. If you are willing to learn from your
sisters and their mistakes, your time in office will be fruitful. As Stella said,
“It is seldom too late to profit by experience; it is never too early to do so.”
Click on the how-to video concerning Officer Transition!
The application is now open for our 2017-18 Alpha Omicron
Pi Educational Leadership Consultant team! Can you picture
yourself working and growing with a dynamic team of sisters as
ambassadors for the Fraternity? AOII ELCs serve as liaisons between
our collegiate chapters and International Headquarters through
individualized chapter support and education. Along the way, our
ELCs create lasting memories and friendships that make this an
exciting opportunity full of many rewarding experiences! More
details including application instructions, a position description,
responsibilities, and expectations for the role are accessible on AOII’s
website at www.alphaomicronpi.org/career-opportunities.
Get your application started today!
Good luck to all our
with final exams!
AOII’s social media outlets are the best way to stay up-to-date on AOII news. From recruitment results
and photos, to Strike Out Arthritis! and other philanthropic events, to notes of congratulations to
exemplary members and chapters for accomplishments and good works in the community, we are
always sharing the latest information. If your chapter has news or photos to share with us, please send
them to [email protected]! Photos to be considered for To Dragma should be sent to
[email protected] and must be 1MB or larger in size.
facebook.com/aoiifraternity Instagram: @alphaomicronpi
Spend some time with AOII’s Founders! The Rituals, Traditions and Jewelry Committee
(RT&J) has recorded and developed a monthly podcast series called “Ritual Moments,”
where members can learn, understand and reflect on AOII’s rich history. Watch for a
new “Ritual Moments” installment on the second Monday of each month! November’s
recording was a “Letter from Stella Perry to New Initiates” from 1939. Members can also
access a transcript of each recording in the Ritual section of the Officer Resource Library
on Fulfilling the Promise (edu.alphaomicronpi.org > Officer Recourse Library > Ritual >
Ritual Moments & Ritual Moments Transcripts).
AOII Career Center
Alpha Omicron Pi is proud to launch a career center for all members! This database, accessible through a link
on the AOII website main toolbar (www.alphaomicronpi.org) provides alumnae and collegiate members with a
safe and easy place to:
• search for potential employment
• feature internships or jobs
• upload resumes for employers to view
• find employment positions within AOII
• search for potential employees
Another added bonus to the new career center is our partnership with FinLogic and Lorman Education
to provide resources for continuing professional education for alumnae at a 10% discount!
2017 Convention Awards
The awards competition will open on December 15 and all materials can be accessed on the AOII awards website.