117 - The Nancy Walton Laurie Leadership Institute of Chi Omega

“The Nancy Walton Laurie Leadership Institute of Chi Omega is extraordinary!” says S.H. Shelley Potter when asked about the impact this program has had on Chi Omega. “By almost any measure, its success extends well beyond the actual educational sessions, leaving indelible fingerprints to help our Sisters cultivate a lifetime of purpose for themselves and others.  I’ve witnessed firsthand the intergenerational connectedness at our Flagship sessions as well as a newfound sense of confidence in the graduates.”

The Nancy Walton Laurie Leadership Institute of Chi Omega participants, April 2019

What began as the Leadership Institute in 1997 with initial programming geared toward new chapters, this program has seen thousands of women benefit from its valuable curriculum since. In 2005, The Institute was named for the generosity of Nancy Walton Laurie and became The Nancy Walton Laurie Leadership Institute of Chi Omega. Today, this distinguished program engages alumnae and collegiate members in leadership training which is both insightful and inspiring. Through this training, Chi Omega empowers members to explore and learn steps that result in extensive personal growth. By developing leaders, we know Sisters will, in turn, share their knowledge and skills with others on their campuses and in their communities.

Leadership Institute announcement featured in the 1997 issue of The Eleusis

Supported by a grant from the Chi Omega Foundation, the Laurie Leadership Institute offers a curriculum library designed to address a wide variety of leadership challenges. These workshops were developed by Chi Omegas for Chi Omegas to address the most relevant issues facing both collegiate and alumnae women today. An elite team of Chi Omega alumnae travels nationwide each year to present this content in an engaging, interactive environment.

The Laurie Leadership Institute impacts Chi Omegas through a variety of three different sessions. National Leadership Consultants are also trained to facilitate this curriculum for use during their visits nationwide, so every collegiate chapter is impacted and benefits from the Laurie Leadership Institute.

Workshop topics include:

  • The Resilient Leader
  • Leading with Values
  • Making Decisions & Managing Conflict
  • An Upright Life: Exploring Life Balance
  • Choosing Thoughtfully: How Ethics & Values Shape Our Lives
  • More Than Likes & Retweets: Building Authentic Relationships
  • The Four Cs: Chi Omega’s Brand of Leadership

Flagship Sessions

Each year, a select group of Chi Omega collegians and alumnae from across the country travel to Memphis, Tennessee, for the Flagship Session, all expenses covered. A team of talented Chi Omega facilitators leads participants through a weekend of personal growth, investment in self, and Sisterhood.

Our current Flagship Session topic is The Resilient Leader. In our complex world, resilience is an important attribute for Chi Omega leaders in any stage of life. Participants will focus on understanding their own strengths and learning to leverage them through an individual strengths assessment, moving forward from setbacks and adversity, and exploring the ways that failure can lead to growth.

A fall 2019 graduate, Katie Zampini, alumna of Iota Alpha/SMU, described her experience as, “This session was powerful. I am so thankful to Chi Omega for the opportunity and for choosing me to be here. It was an honor, and equipped me with tools that can change my life and the lives of those I serve in positive ways.”

The Nancy Walton Laurie Leadership Institute of Chi Omega participants, April 2019

Chapter Sessions

Collegiate chapters have the opportunity to participate in a Laurie Leadership Institute workshop without even having to leave their campus! If selected to participate, a team of energetic facilitators provides a dynamic morning or afternoon workshop designed to address a chapter’s specific needs. These workshops offer chapter members the opportunity to grow personally and professionally in Chi Omega.

One Omicron Beta/William and Mary attendee shared, “From this program, I am taking away the true importance of working to reflect my personal values in every organization that I belong in.”

Regional Sessions

Each year, the Laurie Leadership Institute hits the road to travel to 2-3 cities around the country. Chi Omega collegiate and alumnae members in the surrounding area are invited to these one-day intergenerational sessions, giving members the opportunity to grow professionally while networking with Sisters from their city

The Nancy Walton Laurie Leadership Institute of Chi Omega participants, April 2019

This program is named in honor of a dedicated Chi Omega sister, Nancy Walton Laurie. Nancy, an initiate of the Psi Chapter at the University of Arkansas, has been a model of a Chi Omega leader through her service to her community and to our Sisterhood. She has served as Recruitment Advisor for Rho Alpha Chapter at the University of Missouri and a member of its House Corporation Board. During Chi Omega Convention 2000 she was presented the Roselyn T. Dabbs Philanthropist Award.

Nancy Walton Laurie

Like Nancy Walton Laurie herself, graduates of the Laurie Leadership Institute, are equipped to embrace new opportunities to create a ripple effect throughout their life – impacting their families, campuses, and communities.