Alpha Chi Omega - University of Kansas

Spring 2021 Newsletter

Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega at the University of Kansas

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N O T E S O F T H E L Y R E | P A G E 2 Paying It Forward for Phi Chapter (Continued from page 1) declared), she rented a room in a house near Phi's chapter house. By happenstance, she got to know some of the Alpha Chi women who ended up asking her to pledge. It was too late to be initiated in that year's pledge class, so she eagerly waited until the following fall semester to join the sisterhood. "I don't know how I was lucky enough, but I was chosen to be initiated at that year's Convention in Pasadena, California," she said. "It was a little odd not knowing anyone but an adventure nonetheless!" Other memorable times in her Alpha Chi adventure included elegant and creative pinnings and engagements at mealtimes; the front porch of the chapter house crowded with couples sharing goodnight kisses as their housemother flashed the light indicating closing hours; and Sunday night dinners when pledges had to take the housemother to dinner (Virginia's least favorite activity). "Two pledges had to take the housemother out to dinner on Sunday evenings, when no meal was served in the house. I hated it when it was my turn," she stated. "Our housemother never wanted to walk one step further than necessary, so she'd have us cruise around the area watching for someone to come out near the restaurant door. Then one of us would have to get out of the car and stand in the freed-up spot to save it until the driver could go around the block to return and park!" Virginia resides in San Diego, California, and you can connect with her at W hen Anne Lyons Putnam '90 came to KU, she was the first in her family to join a sorority; it was a new and exciting experience. She simply chose her favorite group during recruitment, which turned out to be Alpha Chi Omega. Anne credits those years with helping her build strong relationships with women. "I sure learned how to get along with all different types of personalities!" For Anne's daughter, Liz Putnam '17, KU was an easy choice as college approached: close to her home and family and rich in the traditions she shared with them. She had a positive impression of AXΩ from her mom and her childhood friends, but she kept an open mind in recruitment. "I tried to start my own tradition and tried to like another chapter more than Alpha Chi Omega, but I just couldn't," Liz recalls. "Every time I walked into Alpha Chi Omega I instantly felt at home. Every woman was so genuine and kind, they continued to make me feel so special; I had to choose Alpha Chi Omega." Liz loved learning more about her mother's Alpha Chi experience as she formed her own similar, yet unique memories at Phi Chapter, from living in the chapter house to seeing the room where her parents got engaged, as well as traveling to Allen Fieldhouse for Bid Day, where she nearly cried from excitement when her best friend, Emma Ferguson '16, officially invited her to the sisterhood. Liz and Anne even shared the same Phi house mom, Mom Pat. "It is great getting to know Mom Pat; she always remembers me by my mom's maiden name!" Anne's main advice to Liz has been to enjoy her years in the house living with a group of women. "It's something that you usually only get to do for a short period of your life, and you learn so much and have some really great times." Anne has loved seeing her daughter not only bond with Mom Pat, but also make great friends that she might not have otherwise. Over the past few years, the Phi experience has shown both mother and daughter how similar they can be. "We both love to be social and get to know people, but we also love to just hang out, have a night in and watch movies," Liz said. The friends, classes, and names may be different, but they share fun memories of parties, events, and simply living in the house. "We can hang very comfortably in a big group, but choose to have just a few really close friends," Anne said. "She has really enjoyed the date parties too, as did I!" Liz is in her third year of the KU five-year master of architecture program and plans to pursue design jobs. For now, she continues to enjoy her Jayhawk and Phi experience. "I just can't believe how fast the time has gone!" "I am so proud and honored that Liz joined the Alpha Chi sisterhood," Anne said. "It has been so fun living it again vicariously with her. I hope when she looks back on her college years, her memories of living in the sorority are just as fond as mine!" Connect with Anne at and Liz at Alpha Chi Runs in the Family Liz '17 and Anne Lyons Putnam '90 Reflect on Shared Experiences Thank you for your generosity, Virginia!

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