Happy Holidays from Gamma Alpha! We hope today is filled with cozy and genuine times with your loved ones.
We have had such an amazing year for Gamma Alpha! As the holiday season is here we are looking back and reminiscing about all the things to be grateful for. We have gotten to spend wonderful times together in sisterhood events like our Fall Sisterhood Retreat at Cox Farms and a heart pumping Pure Barre class lead by our very own Gamma Alpha alum. 2017 has also brought immensely rewarding philanthropic events like our signature Strike Out and Jingle Bell Run, strengthening our beautiful sisterhood and community by giving back to the Arthritis Foundation! Lastly, we have had to say goodbye to sisters that will continue to inspire ambition post graduation but have also gotten to welcome two beautiful pledge classes of genuine AOII women.
We wish you all a grateful holiday season and hope you are as excited for 2018 as we are!
Every year we recognize a Gamma Alpha sister that exemplifies the values of Alpha Omicron Pi. Our Keeper of Ritual named Torey Weimer the 2017 Rose of year for all she has done for our chapter in the past year. Two of AOII's highest values are character and dignity, values that Torey embodies to their fullest! She served as the Vice President of Standards, a demanding position, this past year. With her upstanding character she kept chapter harmony by showing respect for each and every sister she worked with. She met her position with the dignity of confidentiality, understanding, and most importantly love. Apart from serving on our LC, Torey is known for her kindness, bringing light to every interaction.
"Congratulations Torey; we love you and are forever grateful for all that you do to serve our chapter! I'm so proud to call you 2017's Rose of the Year," -Heather Nortz, 2017 Keeper of Ritual
To our surprise, Alpha Omicron Pi chose to hold the 2017 National Convention in Washington, DC. Being as to how close we are to Washington, DC our LC got the amazing opportunity to attend convention as a whole!
Surrounded by sisters from all over the country and Canada, convention was full of amazing events for everyone to attend. These events included seminars, workshops, a ritual with thousands of sisters, a Washington Nationals baseball game, Rose Ball, and an awards ceremony.
At the awards ceremony, Gamma Alpha was honored with seven awards from headquarters, the most in ΓA history! Our alumna, Ashleigh Bennett, was also awarded with the Mary Louise Roller Award. This award honors the collegian who provides outstanding service and leadership to her local Panhellenic, campus, and community. We are so proud of our chapter for all they have achieved!
"I loved convention because we had the unique opportunity this year of having it close to home in DC. This meant that our Leaders Council could attend too and it made me so happy to see my officers inspired by Alpha Omicron Pi on an international level. It was also amazing to see how far Gamma Alpha has come and how much we've achieved in the past years."
-Julia Kauffman, Chapter President
AOII Wants You to Sign Up for Recruitment!
With only 100 days till September 15th, our excitement for recruitment is growing, and yours should be too! An exciting four days filled with meeting all the sororities at George Mason, you will begin to feel at home within a select sisterhood. Particular women and their stories will be shared with you while you learn about the values of all eight chapters. Recruitment is a very special time because you will meet your new best friends and sisters!
I cannot imagine what my college experience would be like without Alpha Omicron Pi. I have witnessed my sisters grow together and I have built amazing friendships. AOII truly changed my life and I would never take back my decision to join! Being a girl who was unsure if greek life was for me, I was very hesitant to sign up until I met some wonderful women in AOII. I witnessed true happiness and their genuine love for one another by just being around them. If you are nervous for recruitment, that's normal! It is a big decision, but I promise you that its a life changing decision you will not regret."
Being the biggest University in Virginia, it is important to find your home away from home. Alpha Omicron Pi welcomes you with open arms in hope that you find the perfect sisterhood!
To sign up for GMU's 2017 Sorority Recruitment, click here!
We are thrilled to announce our newly named fraternity sweethearts! Many of our sisters have built beautiful relationships with different fraternities and we are honored to call these women our sisters. Being a fraternity sweetheart is such a special title, being that these ladies are held to a higher honor. We love seeing how involved our sisters are in greek life and we are so proud to present them as the new 2017 sweethearts!
Kappa Sigma Sweetheart: Courtney Holmberg
"Since my first day of college at Mason the gentlemen of kappa sigma have made me feel welcome and at home. They are some of my best friends and I can confidently say that I love each and everyone of them individually. They are the guys that will be goofy and crazy with me as well as my shoulder to cry on when Im upset. At the end of the day, they mean the absolute world to me and my college experience would not be the same without them."
Pi Kappa Phi Rose Queen: Parasteh Malihi
"The gentlemen of Pi Kappa Phi have truly made my college career unbelievably amazing. Having another family here at Mason to support me unconditionally means the world to me and will continue to mean so much more as I see them grow and succeed. I'm humbled to be their Rose Queen and will always be someone they can count on. I love you boys endlessly."
Alpha Sigma Phi Sweetheart: Cassidy Baginski
"In life, there are a few moments that fill a person with tears of joy and pride as far as the eye could see—for me, this was becoming Alpha Sigma Phi’s sweetheart. A Sig means family to me—they are the guys that I can 100% say that every person in their fraternity has my back, and I have theirs. They’re like my protective older brothers, and trust me when I say I am protective of them too and would give them the world if I could. Alpha Sigma Phi is composed of such amazing, strong, and dedicated men that continue to amaze and make me fall in love with them more every single day. They truly do embody their saying 'To Better the Man' and anyone would be lucky to represent their letters."
Phi Kappa Sigma Sweetheart: Sydney Hoy
"Phi Kappa Sigma means so much to me, it's hard to even explain. They have been there for me since the beginning. When I was a freshman, I was going through a really rough time and actually made more of a fool of myself than anything, the first time I met a group of them, but they still made me feel welcome. That night was one of the greatest because, I didn't realize it at the time, it was the night where I met my best friends and big brothers for the next four years and beyond that."
Please join the Gamma Alpha chapter as we raise money for the Arthritis Foundation! We will be pairing with the Washington Nationals and attending their game on Sunday, April 30th. This game begins at 1:30pm and a portion of the ticket profits will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation.
Tickets to the AOII section are currently at an early bird special for $36, and include a $10 credit towards concessions. Follow this link to purchase yours today!
Join our Strike Out Arthritis event page to keep up with all of our updates! The following link will connect you to this page: https://www.facebook.com/events/923848471089655/?active_tab=about
We hope to see you there, as we will be having one ball of a time!
I am so excited to welcome you into the Gamma Alpha Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi and guide you on your journey to becoming future sisters. Since I was a new member, I have always loved the new member process because it is one of the most exciting times during your time in AOII.
My goals for the upcoming pledge classes are to create a group of girls who have a genuine bond along with other sisters within the chapter as well. I have all the faith in the world that the New Member Team and myself will help you find your place in AOII as I have.
I remember going through the same nerve wrecking process during Fall '15, trying to figure out what to wear each day and hoping that I didn't say anything stupid when I walked into each room. I have developed some of my closest and long term friends within my New Member Process and I can only hope that you do the same. I can't wait to welcome you into this genuine sisterhood that has already done so much for me.
New Member Educator
Founded in 1897, the sisterhood of Alpha Omicron Pi was created on true bonds of genuine and resilient friendships. One of AOII’s founders, Stella George Stern Perry, wrote, “We wanted a fraternity that should carry on the delightful fellowships and cooperation of college days into the workaday years ahead and to do so magnanimously. Above all, we wanted a high and active special purpose to justify existence and a simple devotion to some worthy end.”
Determined to make a democratic, unostentatious society, the four women, Stella George Stern Perry, Helen St. Clair Mullan, Elizabeth Heywood Wyman, and Jessie Wallace Hughan wanted to create a genuine sisterhood that they knew they wouldn’t find in any other existing sorority.
The friends were true AOII women through and through- accepting each other’s differences, yet building on these to create a strong sisterhood. Stella was Jewish, Helen was Episcopalian, Elizabeth was Protestant, and Jessie was Quaker, making it an unprecedented, diverse and accepting sisterhood, especially for its time.
A large part of the founding of AOII was due to the fact that the already existing women’s fraternities would not accept Stella into their sisterhood, simply because she was Jewish. Therefore, in their faithfulness to Stella, the friends decided to go against societal expectation, and create their very own society that would not discriminate, and would exceed every expectation. Membership would be offered regardless of ethnicity, religion, or socio-economic background. Because of this, any woman could feel welcomed and loved within the sisterhood.
Barnard College welcomed the new fraternity and it was not long before the first chapter, Alpha, was flourishing.
Over the next 100 plus years, AOII has added to hundreds of chapters to its international presence, become one of the most prominent PanHellenic organizations.
AOII has thrived and continued to grow throughout the changing 20th century by basing itself on this commitment to the sisterhood; a commitment that our founders made to one another back in 1897 to love one another and stand up for their differences. Despite several wars, economic recessions, the women’s suffrage movement and the ever changing social aspects of our society, AOII has continued to hold true to these ideals. Stella once wrote, “That which makes our bond is promise certain of success. Let us follow our ensign devotedly, utterly and bravely. For our purpose cannot fail.”
It is through our past that Alpha Omicron Pi is able to swiftly move into the present, further implementing our founder’s principles, traditions, and values in order to create a more perfect world and an exceptional society of distinguished and timeless women.
Arthritis is not just one kind of pain, “arthritis” refers to over 100 types of joint disease. Arthritis does not discriminate, and can strike at any time. Over 53 million adults and more than 300,000 children are diagnosed with arthritis in the United States alone, and the sisters of the Gamma Alpha chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi are among them. This is part of the reason that we are so passionate about our philanthropy.
Arthritis isn't an "old person's" disease, it's a disease that hurts so many- our parents, little siblings, peers, and sisters. Read some experiences our sisters have with arthritis.
Fourteen years ago, Alex Gharbo, member of the Spring ’16 pledge class, was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). She said, “I distinctly remember my first flair up at 7 years old. I was on a family vacation when my knees swelled up to the size of grapefruits, making it difficult to ignore due to the pain and the loss of flexibility. When I finally went to my mom, she instantly knew exactly what it was because she also has Rheumatoid Arthritis. After that initial flair up, my arthritis started to affect my other joints too.
I immediately knew that this was the sorority for me, not just because I have JRA and they support the movement to find a cure for arthritis, but because now I had the chance to join a sisterhood that was helping people like me. AOII isn’t just a sorority to me, it’s a group of girls who I can always count on to understand what I’m going through after so many years of feeling like no one understood. AOII has changed my view on arthritis for the better, I now feel hopeful that one day doctors will find better medications and maybe even a cure for Arthritis. I could not be happier with my decision to become a member of the Gamma Alpha chapter of Alpha Omicron PI, and to be able to contribute to this amazing search for a cure for arthritis!”
Written by Abby Sohi and Meredith Watkins
Joining Greek life opens you up to a support system and a group of friends that you can always count on. One of the best things about Greek life at George Mason is that there is a sense of community with every single chapter on campus. Being in one chapter does not restrict you from building relationships and bonds with other organizations. Every spring, fraternities honor these bonds by electing young woman who they feel represent their chapter and embody the values that their organization stands for. Three of our sisters were given the highest honor of being named sweethearts for three different fraternities at Mason. Two more sisters received the Carnation Award for their endless support for the gentlemen of Phi Sigma Kappa.
Delta Chi Sweetheart
Phi Sigma Kappa Carnation
A word from Brother Parker Dumas: “Elaina is such a kind and generous individual. She has gone above and beyond countless times to improve our organization. No matter the task she is always willing to help.”
We are so proud of our sisters for the endless dedication, and cannot wait to see them represent some of the great fraternities around campus!