Alpha Chi Omega - University of Kansas

Spring 2021 Newsletter

Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega at the University of Kansas

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Notes of the Lyre PHI CHAPTER OF ALPHA CHI OMEGA | UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS | SPRING 2021 Supporting Sisters Through an Unforgettable Year Phi Chapter Persists Thanks to Your Generosity I am not sure about anyone else, but I am excited for 2021. It is difficult to believe, but a year ago our collegians were moving out and returning home for the remainder of the spring semester due to COVID-19 precautions. Since then, it has been a continuous struggle for not only our chapter, but for the rest of Greek life at KU. For a year now, our sisters, alumnae, house corporation, and Headquarters have worked together to successfully overcome the obstacles of this pandemic. Thank you to everyone who has helped in any way or form; without you, it would have been an even more daunting and overwhelming year. However, it does not surprise me that we had so much support because that is who Alpha Chi Omega women are: strong, supportive, and caring. In August, Phi Chapter began the Supporting Our Sisters (SOS) campaign with the help of our partners at Pennington & Company. I am so touched by the financial support that the chapter received. By January, generous alumnae contributed a total of $25,261. This was unfortunately only half of our projected goal of $50,000. Even after cutting the chapter's expenses as much as possible, and factoring in the donations and assistance (the house corporation decreased rent for the year), the chapter's budget was still in the red. Then, on February 3, Virginia Thomson Hargarten '49, who had lived in our first chapter house, emailed us saying she wanted to help us reach our goal. She generously donated $25,000 to Phi Chapter's SOS campaign. With this donation, we reached our $50,000 goal! Thank you so much to Virginia, who is 90 years young as of February 2021. Having met our campaign goal, the chapter can now meet its budgetary needs and keep the house functioning smoothly through the spring semester. Again, thank you all for your generosity! Everyone on the board and in the chapter house is blessed to have such wonderful alumnae who care so deeply for Phi Chapter. Lastly, I remain hopeful that this fall will feel like a "normal" semester. As the rollout of vaccinations continues, I pray that you all remain safe. Phi Chapter hopes that, in the near future, we can invite alumnae back into the chapter house to enjoy the home that all of you were able to keep strong through this pandemic. Loyally, Stephanie Spratt Schmidt '93 President, House Corporation (Continued on page 2) Paying It Forward for Phi Chapter The Generosity of Virginia Thomson Hargarten '49 A fter recently celebrating her 90th birthday, Virginia Thomson Hargarten '49 discovered that at a certain point in one's life, it is okay to do what you really enjoy and gracefully decline what doesn't suit you. Fortunately, she wanted to pay it forward and support Phi Chapter's Supporting Our Sisters campaign. Her contribution shows her appreciation for her personal Alpha Chi Omega experience at KU and what it means to be committed to the sisterhood beyond college. "I was sorry to see that the chapter had fallen short in what seemed to me a reasonable goal," Virginia shared. "Since graduating, I've never 'given back' and this seemed like a good time to do so." Virginia stepped up in a big way last fall by bridging the $25,000 fundraising gap in the campaign to help Phi reach its goal and ensure that the chapter prevails through the pandemic. Through Alpha Chi Omega, she learned to live with others in harmony with others, even if they are not people she would necessarily seek out for companionship. She also learned that what's important to her is not necessarily important to others, but that it doesn't denigrate her choices. "Life is full of decisions. Sometimes we make the right ones, sometimes we stray," she stated. "It's learning from our mistakes and reveling in the successes that makes one's life worthwhile." Before Virginia joined Alpha Chi Omega, she thought she wanted to be a member of Gamma Phi Beta. After not receiving a bid ("Thank goodness, in retrospect!" Virginia

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