Thankful for Alpha Chi Friendships, Opportunities
Why Kathryn Crandall Pickering ’03 Donated to Phi Chapter
Kathryn Crandall Pickering ’03 grew up excited to make Alpha Chi Omega a part of her life someday. Thanks to her mother, Jan Crandall, Past National President of Alpha Chi Omega, she learned from an early age that Alpha Chi is more than just a four year commitment—it is a lifetime commitment.
As an undergraduate, recruitment was a favorite time of year for Kate. “I loved having that time to really bond with the rest of my Alpha Chi sisters. Some of my best friends came from friendships formed in my bump groups, and the feeling of pride I had standing beside the girls in my pledge class on preference night my senior year is a feeling I’ve never forgotten.”
Alpha Chi has remained an important part of Kate’s life since graduation. She served as recruitment advisor for five years and was a member of the Phi Chapter House Corporation Board for four years. Today, she spends much of her spare time continuing to give back to Alpha Chi as recruitment advisor at Psi Chapter at the University of Oklahoma, a recruitment specialist for Alpha Chi, working with chapters in Louisiana and Alabama, as a sponsorship committee alumnae co-chairman for Alpha Chi Couture (Iota Sigma, Alpha Chi at SMU’s philanthropy event), and as a member of Beta Kappa Beta, the Dallas alumnae group. She continues to be very close friends with the girls in her pledge class, and they have had a lot of fun traveling on girls’ trips and each other’s weddings.
When the capital campaign was announced, Kate knew she wanted to give back to Alpha Chi. “It is important to me to give back to a place that gave me so much. I want Phi Chapter to continue to thrive and I know how important it is that we give back in order to ensure that happens. Investing in Phi’s future now will ensure its continued success.” She is proud of the Chapter for winning chapter of the year last year, and hopes that current chapter members see alumnae giving back and in return, will give back when they are able. “It is important that Phi continues to have a strong support system to keep us competitive and strong on campus going into the next 100 years.”
To her sisters who have not yet donated, Kate has this to say: “Remember your time in the chapter. How did it benefit you? We need to give back to ensure that Phi Chapter is always there to give future Alpha Chi members that same experience. Even the smallest amount will help!”
Today, Kate and her husband, Chauncey, live in Dallas, Texas, where Kate is a teacher. Reach out to Kate via e-mail at email@example.com.
Becoming the Real. Strong. Woman. Alpha Chi Encouraged Her to Be
Why Heather Comstock Claybrook ’87 Gave to the Campaign
At times, Heather Comstock Claybrook ’87 feels it was pure luck she found Alpha Chi Omega. When she went through recruitment she was 18 and “clueless” about where she needed to be; however, something in her gut told her Phi was home. Being in Alpha Chi was not only a time for Heather to develop relationships with women of similar goals, ambitions, and dreams, but sorority life helped her put into practice many skills needed for life after college, such as leadership, accountability, and time management.
“We provide a circle of support for one another as we strive to be that woman Alpha Chi Omega saw in us the day we pledged.” Those core relationships are still an important part of Heather’s life. “My friendships through Phi are multi-generational and what a blessing it is. The sisterhood has allowed me to develop friendships with Jo Sicking Hurley ’57 and Julie Crider Wisbrock ’95. Both inspire me with their positive energy and remind me why Alpha Chi Omega is truly a lifetime engagement.
“My pledge mom, Lisa Foerschler Roepe ’86, and I talk weekly. Lisa has given unconditional support as I have moved through different chapters in my life. It is a privilege to have her as my closest friend. More than 25 years ago we were sharing our hopes and dreams as young women and now we discuss it in regard to our daughters. What an amazing journey of friendship!”
Heather believes it is important to serve Alpha Chi because it provided her with so much. She is on her sixth, and final, year of serving on the national housing corporation. “By serving on the national level, I understand the trends and needs regarding housing and the collegiate experience. One of the components to sustaining a chapter and remaining competitive is housing. Women have so many more choices in where they live when they step onto a college campus. So to attract the best and the brightest recruits, we need to maintain a chapter house that supports their needs.”
Knowing the importance of alumnae support for Phi’s success, Heather chose to give to the campaign. “It is my hope that all alumnae financially support the campaign. Whether a pledge or a one-time donation, every penny makes a difference. Whatever you can give not only supports Phi, but also supports women and helping them becoming the Real. Strong. Women. Alpha Chi Omega saw in us many years ago.”
She encourages all of her sisters to reflect on the memories they have of Phi and what they can do to assist undergraduates and maintain the strength and tradition of Alpha Chi Omega at the University of Kansas. “A healthy, safe living environment is what our current members and future members need to be successful. The local housing corporation has worked for decades maintaining that type of environment, but to remain competitive on campus, they need our help.”
“First support the idea of the campaign and why it is necessary. Second, commit to Phi and the sorority experience. That will look different for all of us. It may mean committing to volunteer by serving on a board. It may mean being a cheerleader for Phi and talking to young women about sorority life. It may mean getting involved in an alumnae group in your area. Or it may mean writing a check. That commitment will one day support your daughter, granddaughter, or even that young woman who will marry your son.”
Celebrating the Centennial and Seeing Improvements
Patricia Hollingsworth Mayor ’61 Hopes to See More Alumnae Involvement Year-Round
It takes a special kind of woman to want to be a sorority housemother. She must be poised, organized, kind, well-spoken, and, most of all, fun-loving. It’s not often you find the perfect fit for each chapter, but for Phi, the best woman for the job was one of our own, Patricia Hollingsworth Mayor ’61.
Mom Pat pledged Alpha Chi in 1961 and for her choosing Phi Chapter was an easy decision. She had come from Shawnee Mission, Kansas, and knew many woman in the chapter from high school. She marvels at how times have changed and how different her experience was compared to sorority women today. “We couldn’t wear slacks unless the weather was officially announced as a blizzard. We had to sign in and out of the chapter house and had a curfew. On Wednesdays we had a formal dinner with the entire chapter.”
Years after graduation, Mom Pat was approached by Mary Whitaker ’59, who was beginning to start a new alumnae board, to work on the interior design of the chapter. It was then she learned that the housemother wanted to retire, so in 1988 Mom Pat agreed to the challenge and moved into 1500 Sigma Nu Place.
All these years later, and Mom Pat still loves her job. She has noticed how the women have changed, but the furniture and décor around them has stayed the same. “We have a good house; we just need to keep up with the other sororities. We are also far away from campus and need to find ways to make up for that.”
Mom Pat most enjoys the new dining room tables (the original ones she purchased when she was on the decorating committee in 1988 were still in use until now) and knows the girls appreciate the custom headboards with outlets for all of the electronic devices. She hopes that more alumnae will visit the house, see the positive changes that are being made, and will choose to give to the campaign.