36 - Centennials, A Milestone of Sisterhood

Do you know the year your chapter was founded? Was your chapter chartered in the 21st century or founded decades ago in the early 1900’s? Furthermore, is your chapter among the elite, but steadily growing, group of collegiate chapters who have celebrated their Centennial?

As Chi Omega’s 124th birthday draws near, several other celebrations are popping up around the country. Each chapter hopes to one day reach their Centennial celebration, a day that illuminates their chapter as one of steady foundation, a robust alumnae network, and an established name on their campus.

Centennial celebrations serve as a chance to reconnect with Sisters, the ever-evolving chapter, and those fleeting collegiate memories that make looking back so sweet. Centennials welcome Sisters across the nation, in every season of life to celebrate the successes of their chapter and relish in the nostalgia of their own unique Chi Omega experience.

Representing a long heritage of Sisters on purpose serving the Fraternity, Centennials celebrate those who have lived out Chi Omega’s values day after day, year after year. These chapters exhibit a learned resiliency that has supported their growth on their respected campuses over decades of generational and societal changes.

Any time a chapter celebrates their Centennial it’s a moment of respite for all Chi Omegas, not just exclusively those collegians and alumnae of that chapter, to take pride in the Fraternity that we call ours. With each addition of a chapter to the ranks of those who have celebrated 100 years, it not only solidifies their place on their individual campus, it also elevates Chi Omega’s national stature. As more chapters celebrate their Centennial, Chi Omega’s strong foundation will only continue to dig deeper roots and build stronger connections with campuses across the country.

2019 Centennial Celebration at Epsilon Alpha/Oklahoma

Insight From a Former Centennial Chair

Jane Wickard Rogers, Psi/University of Arkansas, is well-versed on Centennial celebrations, as she served as Chi Omega’s Centennial Celebration chair from 1990-1995. In addition, her Chi Omega volunteer roles have included Regional Alumnae Director, Fraternity National Alumnae Officer, and National Secretary. Jane joined the Foundation Board of Trustees in 2000 and served as President from 2000 to 2010 and again from 2014-2016. She now serves as Foundation Trustee Emeritus. Jane received Chi Omega’s highest award for Fraternity service, the President’s Award, in 2002.  She and her husband, Jay, live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have four grandchildren, a Chi Omega daughter, and a son.

How would you describe the importance of a Centennial celebration event?

Serving as Chairman of the Centennial Committee was one of the most satisfying, gratifying, and fun experiences I have ever known. I served as chair from 1990 until 1995. My job as chairman was to select the committee members, lead the committee meetings, keep the committees heading in the right direction, be the liaison with the Governing Council and the Chi Omega staff plus many more duties!

Can you explain how and why it is so impressive for a chapter to reach their Centennial?

Once a chapter reaches it Centennial, it is a sign of a well-established and successful chapter that has a firm footing on their campus.

Do you have a specific Centennial celebration that stands out to you as most memorable?

Of course, I have numerous Centennial memories that stand out in my mind. First is the Centennial committee – a group of 12 fabulous Chi Omegas. I have organized and chaired many big events in Little Rock and worked with many committees from citywide Riverfest to Junior League groups to the bank board.  But, the Centennial Committee was the most exceptional group of women I have ever worked with. Each sub-committee chair was ecstatic to be a part of the group and ‘gave it their all’ with each and every task. We all became good friends and supported and helped each other throughout the duration, all the while having plenty of fun,” says Jane.

Another vivid memory is arriving in Fayetteville (Psi Chapter) for the mother-chapter event April 5 and seeing the most beautiful red and yellow tulips standing straight up in the front lawn gardens of the chapter house.  They were so pretty that one would think they could not be real. It was simply magical and the icing on the cake.

Congratulations to these seven chapters celebrating a Centennial in 2019!

Delta Alpha/Tennessee-Chattanooga, March 15

Zeta Alpha/Ohio State University, March 17

Beta Alpha/University of Pennsylvania, April 5

Psi Beta/University of Iowa, May 7

Chi Beta/Purdue University, May 9

Epsilon Alpha/University of Oklahoma, November 13

Phi Beta/University of Pittsburgh, December 6