72 - Our Beloved Buckeye

A Sister who has dedicated her life to our Fraternity and taken on titles including S.H. and now Foundation President also has another title that those who know her could never forget: The Ohio State University’s biggest fan! Although many know this about her, few know the story of how she almost attended a completely different school all together!

The summer after her senior year of high school, Letitia Fulkerson’s family made the decision to move to Florida to be near her grandfather. Within just a few days she had withdrawn from Ohio State, enrolled in classes at the University of Florida, registered for sorority recruitment, gotten an apartment, a roommate, and football tickets for the season. Her tenacity and ability to conquer a to-do list was obviously innate from a young age.

But, just as quick as she had moved her college career to Florida, her plans changed again. Just two days before she was set to move to Gainesville for school, her family decided they were going to stay in West Virginia. Again, Letitia did what she does best. She swiftly took care of what needed to be done with the utmost grace and reenrolled at Ohio State, attending the final orientation session of the summer being offered.

And just like that, “I became a Buckeye,” says Letitia proudly.

Letitia pictured with her Zeta Alpha Sisters on her Bid Day in 1980

Letitia thrived as a Buckeye, becoming a member and Model Initiate in Zeta Alpha chapter, then eventually being slated as G.H. After earning her degree in business administration, she traveled for two years as a National Leadership Consultant, then known as a Chapter Visitor. All of these accolades, of which most would deem a wild success for a Chi Omega life, were truly just the beginning of Letitia’s journey.

Letitia is pictured with her Zeta Alpha Sisters circa 1981, top row, far-right

In 1985, Letitia began working at Chi Omega National Headquarters when it was located in Carew Tower in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was tasked with spearheading extension projects, alumnae initiatives, and eventually, her passion for the Fraternity pushed her to be named Director of Chapter Services.

“We were a close-knit staff because the staff was much smaller at that time,” says Letitia.

1987 Upsilon Lambda/Hanover installation with Letitia pictured second from the right, as Director of Chapter Services standing next to then S.H. Melanie Shain
1988 gathering of then-current and former Chapter Visitors with Letitia pictured front, left
1990 Mu Lambda/Dayton installation with Letitia pictured third row, third from the right with then S.H. Roselyn Dabbs, then Extension Director Lorrie Hill, future S.M. Missy Pask, and future National Archivist Lyn Harris.

Following years of working as a Fraternity staff member, developing chapter support for women across the country, and personally establishing an award-winning State Farm Insurance Agency in 1990, Letitia’s role at the national level was elevated beyond what she could have imagined as that young Model Initiate in 1981. In 2004, she joined the Chi Omega Governing Council as Treasurer.

The momentum of her hard work coupled with her relentless passion for the Fraternity earned her the title of the first ex-officio Foundation Trustee when the role was created in 2006. Then, in 2008 Letitia was named S.H. of the Fraternity. In this role, she would go on to serve the entirety of our membership for six years.

When chosen as S.H. in 2008, Letitia says the first thoughts that came to mind were, “I had wonderful mentors. I knew Kirk Cocke was going to sit on one shoulder and Roselyn Dabbs was going to sit on the other shoulder. I knew that Melanie Shain and Mary Ann Frugé and Jean Mrasek were all only a phone call away… But I also knew the various experiences that I had throughout the years really prepared me.”

Letitia, center, newly chosen as S.H. with the 2008 Governing Council

Even after serving as S.H., Letitia’s role in Chi Omega remains a pinnacle of the Fraternity’s success. She received Chi Omega’s highest award for Fraternity service, the President’s Award, in 2016 and was then appointed by S.H. Shelley Potter to serve as Foundation President beginning 2017. 

Today, Letitia brings a wealth of experience and skills that guide the Foundation for its next endeavors in supporting the Fraternity.

S.H. Shelley Potter awarding Letitia with the President’s Award at 2016 Convention

After dedicating her life to Chi Omega and the women whose lives she has permanently impacted, one might wonder what is it about our Sisterhood that keeps her coming back?

“The volunteer commitment that we have from our alumnae,” she says “There were numerous times in meetings with other groups… I was asked ‘How does Chi Omega do it? How do we get the volunteers to commit to the time, the energy, and the length of service that we do…’ Our volunteerism within the Fraternity has been outstanding throughout the years.”

This dedication to volunteerism comes from the standard of excellence that has been set forth by Sisters like Letitia herself for years.

A past president of The Ohio State University’s Greek Leaders Alumni Society, Letitia has been honored with the Outstanding OSU Alumni Society Leader Award. She also received the Outstanding Chi Omega Alumna State of Ohio Award in 2001 and continues to operate her award-winning State Farm Insurance Agency in Cincinnati, Ohio where she lives with her husband, Mike.

When asked what advice she would give to alumnae and seniors who are soon going to be joining the alumnae world, Letitia said, “I would hope that they continue to be engaged with Chi Omega. As an alumna, it’s possible… whether it’s just reading your Eleusis, volunteering as a chapter advisor, participating in alumnae chapter events, calling your big or little Sister once a year and saying ‘Hey let’s go on a girls trip for the weekend!’, attending an Eleusinia, or having coffee with a neighbor who’s a Chi Omega”

As a Sister who has personally lived this call that she now bestows on each of us, Letitia’s accomplishments and lasting legacy is an illuminated example of what can come from a lifetime of commitment to our Fraternity.