Alpha Chi Omega - University of Kansas

Fall 2017 Newsletter

Phi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega at the University of Kansas

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J ennifer Tiller Burgoyne-Dechant '87, Rebecca Tiller Bunting '88, and Krista Tiller Shackelford '94 share the unique experience of being connected as siblings and as AXΩ members. Learn what their favorite memories of growing up Phi were below. Q: Why did you join AXΩ? Jennifer Tiller Burgoyne-Dechant '87: I came from a small high school in Andover, Kansas, so I wanted to have my own "little family" on campus and get to know people. Traci Keene Atzenweiler-Barney '86 was my childhood friend from Wichita and she recruited me. I felt like I fit in at the Alpha Chi house. Rebecca Tiller Bunting '88: AXΩ is where I felt I fit in the best. Jennifer being a member played a part in my joining, of course, but it was also the great group and variety of women who lived in the chapter house at the time. Krista Tiller Shackelford '94: On pref night, I struggled to decide whether I wanted to be an Alpha Chi or another chapter. I was the last one in the room with my paper pref list. I didn't want to join just because my older sisters were alumnae, but my gut kept saying, "ΑΧΩ." I've never regretted or questioned my decision. Q: What was it like sharing the sorority with your siblings? Jennifer: I told Rebecca she couldn't go anywhere else! I was really happy she joined. We were roommates for a semester--which was a learning experience for us both. Rebecca: Jennifer and I are very close; 15 months apart. As with many siblings, there was a like/dislike kind of relationship between us, but she was always available to give me advice. Rooming together did not work for us, which we laugh about now. We fought so much that we got pulled into standards! Krista: My siblings are 7-8 years older than me. Despite the age difference, the vision and goals of AXΩ were the same when my sisters were undergraduates and when I was. The one constant—Mom Pat! Q: What are your favorite memories from your time in Phi chapter? Jennifer: Hanging out with my pledge sisters, study breaks at Joe's Donuts, Barn Party, and our Pink Champagne Formal. I loved living in the chapter house and Mom Pat was great to all of us! It was convenient, and allowed me to focus on my collegiate experience and coursework without having to worry about taking care of an apartment or preparing meals. I really liked the friendships I developed more than anything and I also enjoyed intramurals. Rebecca: I loved my pledge class. We had 68 women in our pledge class—one of the largest at the time for Phi! You would think with a class that big that there would be divisions, but there really weren't. Some of my pledge sisters lived in the annex by the sorority house and we would get into a little bit of mischief. I enjoyed hanging out in the formal/informal room, just sitting on the floor talking. When the sisters were taking the GMAT or LSAT and getting ready for graduate school, we would all open our scores together—it was so much fun! Krista: Planned "playtime" because I always needed someone to tell me to leave the library and have fun. Volunteering with my sisters and intramural sports were fun too. I loved winning the Hill in multiple sports and learned to play flag football with AXΩ. Catching and throwing a football has come in handy with two boys! Q: What do you do for a living? Jennifer: I am a board certified ophthalmologist and have lived and practiced in Wichita, Kansas, since 2001. I run my own practice now called ICT Eye, LLC which I opened in 2014. Rebecca: I have my own marketing consulting company that focuses on grand management and strategic planning. It allows me to do things with my kids when I want and work when I want. Krista: I am a board certified physician, specializing in dermatology. I practice in Wichita at The Dermatology Clinic, P.A. Q: What advice would you offer to current undergraduates? Jennifer: Surround yourself with people who have goals and good values, and "stick with the winners." Have fun and get involved in some type of organization that interests you. Work hard at school, but take time to play! Rebecca: My daughter is going to college next year. There is so much more stress now to be academically perfect. Get involved in the community and school, and strive to lead a balanced life. My dad always said, "Treat college like a full-time job." Krista: Be responsive and emotionally available to your friends and family; be there when they need you, especially in-person. My AXΩ sisters, Blythe Ridenour-Jones '95 and Sunny Young- Linnebur '94, showed up to my house in 2009 when our father was murdered. They didn't live in the same town, let alone same state. They dropped everything in their lives to attend his memorial. Their kindness and support, and that of the countless other AXΩ sisters who sent flowers or cards when I hadn't communicated with them in ages, will never be forgotten by me. Q: Were there any alumnae who had a positive impact on your time in the chapter? Jennifer: Heather Comstock Claybrook '87 was one of my best friends in college and really helped me appreciate music, movies, and non- science stuff--she made me laugh all the time. Dawn Adams-Lowden '87 was in my pledge class—we studied for the MCAT together and made it into medical school at KU! Rebecca: Mom Pat. I would go sit in Mom Pat's apartment and we would have conversations about life, college, or I would just cry on her Bonded By the Ties of Phi Q&A with the Tiller Sisters N O T E S O F T H E L Y R E | P A G E 2 Jennifer Tiller Burgoyne-Dechant '87, Rebecca Tiller Bunting '88, and Krista Tiller Shackelford '94. Rebecca and Jennifer at the 1988 AXΩ Snowball Formal.

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