Our Story
It all began on April 5, 1895, at the University of Arkansas when four young women, with the help of a local dentist, established the secrets and symbolism that today bind over 260,000 women. This small band of women founded Chi Omega after realizing a need for an organization that would foster both friendship and respect for the potential and inherent value of women. Over the years, Chi Omega has provided its members with unique opportunities in leadership, scholarship, and lifelong friendship - striving to provide each Sister with a commitment to personal integrity, excellence in academic and intellectual pursuits, intergenerational participation, community service, leadership opportunities and social enrichment.

Chi-O-Hio Day become an annual event through 1962 at which time those in charge made it a bi-annual event held in the same years as our National Convention. The 1971 Chi-O-Hio Day began the tradition of being held in the off year of Convention. Our luncheon speakers have included eight Governing Council members, including Rosalyn Dabbs, Melanie Shain, and Mary Ann Fruge (all having served as SH).

Since the beginning of this Sisterhood Event, many great traditions have begun. At Chi-O-Hio Day 1977 in Cleveland, what is now known as The Chi Omega Alumnae Association, State of Ohio, became official. The first officers were Ronda Doane Deer, president; Suzanne Banks, 1st VP, Judy Rogers, secretary and Cathy Shepard, treasurer. The 2nd VP, who is always from the city where the next Chi-O-Hio Day will be held was Chris McClure. Through the years, many other Chi Omegas across the state have served as an officer or chair of the State Board.

Beginning in 1979, the tradition of honoring an Ohio Chi Omega who has served the Fraternity, been an outstanding role model, active in their community through church, school, and other worthwhile organizationa and career success was instituted. The first recipient to receive the Outstanding Chi Omega Alumna, State of Ohio was Margaret Denton, Kappa Gamma/Ohio Wesleyan who has since joined the Omega Chapter. Margaret was from the Akron area and served many years at Convention as the parliamentarian. Since then 19 Chi Omegas (Full List) have received this honor.

To honor Suzanne Banks, who joined the Omega Chapter in 1991, the Board voted to establish the Suzanne Danforth Banks Award to be given annually to honor an outstanding initiate from an Ohio Chapter. The first award was given in 1993 to Amy Harp, Pi Alpha/University of Cincinnati.

At Chi-O-Hio Day in Columbus in 1993, former SH Rosalyn Dabbs and Martha Bradshaw (representing the Chi Omega Foundation), honored us by attending and told us about a plan for Chi Omega's new headquarters in Memphis, TN. The Foundation was encouraging all active and alumnae chapters to donate to the contruction of this project. In answer to their appeal, the Chi Omega Alumnae Association, State of Ohio pledged $25,000 for the naming rights to the Alumnae Director's Office in the new headquarters. Chi Omegas across the State answered the appeal of Isabel Martin and we met the pledge.

In 1998, the Chi-O-Hio Foundation Scholarship was voted on and approved by the Board. The Fund was started with monies left from our Naming Opportunity. Since then, money has bee raised and will continue to be raised through the raffles at Chi-O-Hio Day, private donations, and other designated fundraising events. Our first scholarship was given to Erin Crotty, Sigma Alpha/Miami University in 2000.

Past Newsletters