The Mu Delta chapter of Chi Omega women’s fraternity celebrated 70 years of sisterhood and philanthropy on Bradley’s campus April 8.
The celebration invited present members and alumnae to participate in numerous planned events including a luncheon, an open house tour, a raising of Chi Omega’s flag on the Hardin Circle of Pride and various honors and speakers.
Serving as a foundation for the celebration, the event began with a quick history lesson of Chi Omega, which was Bradley’s first national greek organization.
Chi Omega’s origins stem from a group of women who called themselves “Delta Kappa.” This, however, was initially unrecognized by the National Panhellenic Council. It took 15 years for the women of Delta Kappa to earn their right to membership into the Chi Omega sorority.
Chi Omega member Anitza Martins said she was thrilled to host the celebration with the founders of Mu Delta in mind.
“Attending Chi Omega’s 70th year reunion was such a heart-warming experience,” Martins, a senior public relations and marketing double major, said. “Having several of our founding members come back and tell us about their experience in Chi Omega was invaluable. Despite many generational gaps, we all share the same values and are able to connect with one another.”
Co-chairperson of Chi Omega’s 70th celebration and alumna of Chi Omega Kim Armstrong (’80) described the charter women as “strong, loyal, and dedicated.” Armstrong said she would forever be inspired by the actions of these women.
“They worked for over 15 years to move Delta Kappa from a local organization to Chi Omega – making it the first national greek organization, men’s or women’s, on Bradley’s campus,” Armstrong said. “Today, they continue to tell stories of what [the membership process] was like, what Bradley was like at the time and how excited they were when Chi Omega accepted their application.”
According to Armstrong, the charter women of Chi Omega at Bradley are a large reason why she is proud to be a member of the sorority today. She said the perception of strength and leadership found between the sorority sisters she graduated with is similarly shown between the members of Chi Omega today.
“I tell women all the time, what you will walk away with are women you likely would not have known otherwise, potentially your bridesmaids, your children’s godparents, your boss, your employee or simply the person you know you can always reach out to – always,” Armstrong said.
Joan Kruppa (’67) said she holds the highest regard for Bradley, as she not only attended the university for two additional years for her master’s, but was also employed by the university for nearly 10 years. Kruppa said she proudly claims her biggest takeaway from Bradley was being a part of Chi Omega.
“I love Bradley for many reasons, but [specifically] the university enabled me to join a sorority that helped me grow and succeed in many aspects of life,” Kruppa said. “I credit the leadership skills I learned at [Bradley] in large part to the activities I enjoyed through Chi Omega during my four years. These skills I still use today as an active community volunteer. My sisters have become my lifelong friends, and I am thankful for having such close friendships even today.”
According to Chi Omega president Alexis Lovell, the sorority’s 70th anniversary celebration was more meaningful than she could have imagined.
“This celebration was so much more than going to a luncheon and having good food for a day,” Lovell, a sophomore nursing major, said. “This was an opportunity to learn about the history of this house. This was an opportunity to network with alumni. This was an opportunity to see what being an active Chi Omega was like 70 years or even 10 years ago. Being a part of this celebration was the chance to meet some of our sisters and see what an amazing organization we are all apart of.”