30 - Eleusinias, Celebrations of Sisterhood

How are you celebrating Chi Omega’s 124th birthday this year?

With Eleusinia 2019 right around the corner Lyn Harris, National Archivist, offers a tip on how to discuss this exciting annual event. She explains, “Eleusinia is a noun. Eleusinian is an adjective. It’s ‘Welcome to the Eleusinia’ or ‘I’m attending the Eleusinian Banquet.’ That is correct!”

Eleusinian celebrations happen annually to mark the Founding of Chi Omega that took place on April 5, 1895. In subsequent years, when Eleusinian celebrations were held across the country, the phrase, “The Founders little dreamed…” was often uttered. Our Founders would indeed be amazed at what Chi Omega has become today.

As Chi Omega’s 124th Eleusinia is quickly approaching in just a few short weeks, we encourage Sisters to plan how you’ll be celebrating. Will you be at an Eleusinia with Sisters? You may decide to send your pledge Sisters cards or give to the Chi Omega Foundation in honor of our Founders’ Day Challenge. Wherever and however you celebrate, join us as we rejoice in 124 years of Chi Omega helping Sisters cultivate a lifetime of purpose. Everything we do is intentional and thoughtful and for “the greater happiness of our Sisters in Chi Omega,” and that sure is worth celebrating!

Eleusinias Throughout the Years

Three of the five members of the Atlanta Alumnae group are pictured here celebrating Eleusinia in 1906. All three women were initiates of Sigma Chapter at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.

Atlanta Alumnae celebrate Eleusinia in 1906

Fall Eleusinia was declared to take place on October 5, during the 1908 Convention in Chicago. Below the collegiate chapters are encouraged to host celebrations for the “Autumn Eleusinia.”

Announced at Convention 1908

October 5 is Fall Eleusinia stated by “The Manual of Chi Omega” published in 1909

As Chi Omega grew, so did the Eleusinian celebrations. Below are large groups who gathered to share in Sisterhood in 1931.

1931 Eleusinia in New Orleans

Mary Love Collins is featured front, middle at 1931 Eleusinia in Columbus, Ohio
Delta Alpha/Chattanooga Eleusinia in 1931

Delta Alpha/Chattanooga has long celebrated Chi Omega Sisters with awards at their Eleusinian celebrations. Beginning in 1940, Delta Alpha awarded women of merit special recognition at the annual event.

Example of the awards of recognition and past recipients of Delta Alpha’s Eleusinian celebrations

Today’s collegians and alumnae often get nervous to speak at Eleusinian celebrations, but imagine how nervous you’d be if S.H. Elizabeth Dyer and Founder Jobelle Holcombe in attendance like the 1955 Eleusina at Psi!

1955 Eleusinia at Psi

The 1961 Spring Eleusinia in Casper, Wyoming hosted Chi Omega leaders like Nancy K. Hall, Alpha Alpha/North Texas and S.H. Elizabeth Dyer, Delta/Dickinson. The hats, corsage, name tag, and replica of the Chi Omega Greek Theatre as a centerpiece all create for a celebration of Sisterhood that would make our Founders proud!

Nancy K. Hall, Alpha Alpha/North Texas, left, and S.H. Elizabeth Dyer, Delta/Dickinson, right

Chi Omega’s tradition of celebrating our Sisterhood’s annual Eleusinia is still strong today as Sisters all across the country gather annually to celebrate Chi Omega’s cultivation of a lifetime of purpose in our Sisters.

Chicago Eleusinia 2015

New York City Eleusinia 2017