When a woman joins a sorority, she instantly extends her family: a so-called second family where she gains hundreds of sisters and a big, grand-big, and so on. But for some women in our chapter, their Alpha Chi Omega family includes their moms, sisters, aunts, grandmas, or cousins. For sophomore Faith McPherson, junior Kyra Fry, and senior Anna Parsons, sharing the bond of Alpha Chi Omega with their relatives has shaped their Greek experience in the best way.
Faith came from a long line of Alpha Chi Omegas. Her mom, aunt, and grandma were all Alpha Chi’s at Oklahoma State University while another aunt of hers was in the Epsilon Kappa chapter at Cal State Fullerton. With a strong tradition of Alpha Chi Omega in the family, it seems she might have felt pressure during recruitment, but Faith said “My family was really open to me choosing whatever house I thought I was the best fit for and Alpha Chi at TCU just happened to be that fit!”
Kyra experienced a similar situation. Kyra’s mom and two aunts (all biological sisters) were Alpha Chi’s at the Delta Nu chapter at Iowa State University. Growing up surrounded by Alpha Chi’s gave Kyra some insight as she entered recruitment: “When [my mom] talked about her experience in Alpha Chi Omega, she often talked about it in a general sense of just how great it is to go Greek – not necessarily going Alpha Chi. She knows that every chapter is different, and she wanted me to choose whatever organization I felt most at comfortable in.” Despite her mom’s encouragement to be open minded and to choose a house she felt she fit best, Kyra said “During recruitment, I always looked forward to going to the Alpha Chi Omega house because I knew a little more about it than the other sororities. I felt at home, and I think that initial feeling was because of my mom’s and aunt’s legacies.” While Kyra was going through recruitment at TCU, her cousin, Kate, the daughter of one of Kyra’s Alpha Chi aunts, was also going through recruitment at Iowa State. “We didn’t really talk about recruitment at all with each other, but the fact that we both ended up going Alpha Chi Omega was such a blessing.”
Anna’s recruitment experience didn’t include a legacy status, as she had no Alpha Chi family members at the time. Anna joined the Iota Lambda chapter in November of her freshman year. A few short months later, her twin sister, Kira, went through recruitment at Southern Methodist University. Already having chosen Alpha Chi, Anna had the opportunity to influence her twin sister’s decision. Anna said “I tried so hard to let her decide on her own what would be the best place for her. I would subtly tell her my opinion by sending her green and red hearts though.” When questioned if she was surprised her sister choose Alpha Chi, Anna said “It definitely surprised me when she chose Alpha Chi. She had liked a lot of chapters and knew about others before recruitment started.” But Anna added, “By the third day of recruitment she was in love with Alpha Chi and wanted nobody else.”
When asked about their favorite memory of sharing Alpha Chi Omega with their family, all three women answered the same saying that having family pin them at initiation was their most special memory. Anna said “when [Kira] pinned me, it sealed the deal that this was the sorority that I was meant to be in. Just having her there meant the world to me.” Kyra’s mom came down to TCU to pin her and Kyra said “My mom and I are really close, and her being there to initiate me into something I knew she loved so much is something I am very thankful for.” Faith’s mom, aunt, and grandma came to her initiation, but her grandma was the one who pinned her: “I am so blessed that I was able to have her there with me, and it was something that I’ll never forget.” Some other memories these girls enjoyed with their Alpha Chi families include “singing Alpha Chi songs at family get-togethers. They teach me Alpha Chi songs from Iowa State, I teach them songs from TCU” Kyra said. Kyra also had the opportunity to travel to Iowa State and attend a chapter meeting and ceremonies with her cousin Kate, as well as have Kate come to TCU and attend philanthropy events with the Iota Lambda chapter. And Anna and Kira “share shirts, go to each other’s mock recruitments and fashion shows.”
These three women explained what sharing the bond of Alpha Chi Omega with their relatives means to them. Faith said “I didn’t really expect that being in the same sorority as my mother, grandmother, and two of my aunts would be that big of a deal, but honestly it has made my experience becoming an Alpha Chi that much more incredible. Having them there for me on bid day and initiation was so amazing, and we definitely made memories I will never forget.” Anna will forever enjoy this bond with her twin, and she said “It means so much to me to share this with her. She is my best friend so to be able to share a sisterhood together is really special.” Kyra feels similarly of her cousin, saying “the bond we share is even stronger than I could ever imagine. She’s not only my cousin. She’s my best friend and she’s also my sister.” These three women prove that the bond of Alpha Chi Omega is incredibly special, and although we aren’t all legacies or have relatives in other Alpha Chi chapters, we all share this same bond that truly makes us sisters.