Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pay It Forward on Hera Day (March 1st)

(thank you Heights & Highlights from Foundation for allowing us to borrow this ...)

On March 1st of each year, Alpha Chi Omegas around the country celebrate Hera Day by recognizing the organization’s commitment to helping others. Hera was the queen of the Olympian deities, her name meaning “chosen one.” According to the 1935 Alpha Chi Omega history, “On the first of March, Alpha Chi Omega lays her gifts upon the altar of her patron goddess...the members of the fraternity devote that day to the doing of small deeds of kindness, to alleviate suffering, to bring hope to the is a dedication of personal talent, personal effort, to the well-being of others less fortunate.”

Hera Day is the embodiment of the “pay it forward” concept, the idea of doing good works for others to repay the good that you have experienced. In just a few weeks, Alpha Chi Omega members will volunteer at local domestic violence shelters, assist with Habitat for Humanity builds, visit hospitals and nursing homes, or simply lend a hand to a neighbor in need. There is no doubt that on this day of service our collegians and alumnae will be actively working at making a difference for those around them.

As members of this Fraternity, most would agree that we have been privileged to reap the benefits of a life-changing organization. So how can you pay it forward in terms of Alpha Chi Omega? Gifts to the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation are one way to make an impact. Without the contributions of alumnae, Alpha Chi Omega cannot meet the needs of today’s women and plan for the needs of tomorrow’s sisters. Your contributions to Alpha Chi Omega ensure that the next generation can have all that you experienced…and more.

So this Hera Day, in addition to personal service for others, consider making a gift to the Foundation in honor of three Alpha Chi Omega members who have touched your life. While the Foundation will notify the honoree of the gift, tell her yourself why she made your world a better place and encourage her to pay it forward by honoring those who have been a positive influence on her life. Start a circle of kindness and be amazed by the generosity that abounds!

Friday, February 25, 2011

National Ritual Celebration Week

Alpha Chi Omega is proud to join with Phi Mu and many other fraternities and sororities for National Ritual Celebration Week, March 1 - 7
Collegians and alumnae are encouraged to take time each day that week – either by participating in collegiate or alumnae chapter activities or personally – to reflect the meaning of Alpha Chi Omega Ritual and how intentionally personifying that Ritual positively impacts your life.

To honor Alpha Chi Omega’s seven founders, here are seven suggestions for how you and/or your chapter can participate in National Ritual Celebration Week:

☆Organize a Hera Day activity on March 1. Take time on March 1 to be of service to others.

☆Perform the Rededication of the Bond ceremony at your chapter meeting. Invite area alumnae to your chapter meeting that week and perform the ceremony for both collegians and alumnae. If you don’t live near a collegiate chapter, don’t have an alumnae chapter near you or don’t have a meeting scheduled that week, take a minute to reflect on your Initiation ceremony. Are you living the life you pledged to live that day? If so, how else could you show that every day? If not, there is no time like the present to start!

☆Reconnect with a sister you haven’t spoken to for awhile. Go to lunch. Have a phone date. Send a card. Write a text. Make time one day that week to reach out to someone and tell her why you’re glad she’s your sister. If you have regular conversations with sisters, take time this week to talk about the common bond you share with your closest Alpha Chi Omega friends.

☆Reflect on the meaning of The Symphony of Alpha Chi Omega. Re-read "The Symphony" at least one time during the week. How does it relate to where you are in life right now? What is your favorite part of the passage? Why?

☆Change your Facebook profile picture to the National Ritual Celebration Week logo. Consider posting your reflections and other Alpha Chi Omega stories and thoughts as your status updates and on the Alpha Chi Omega Facebook page during that week. You also could tweet your ideas during the week – tag your tweets with #AXORitualWeek and follow that tag throughout the week to see what others are saying on Twitter.

☆Reflect on how you personify Alpha Chi Omega’s values of Wisdom, Devotion and Achievement. You might consider a conversation about one of these ideals with a non-member and tell him/her why you value your Alpha Chi Omega experience so much.

☆Participate in National Panhellenic Conference’s International Badge Day on March 7. Proudly wear your lyre badge to work, on campus and to your community gatherings. Doing so not only honors Alpha Chi Omega, but gives you a chance to connect with other sorority women in your area and celebrate the history of women’s fraternities.

These are just a few of the ways you can celebrate. If you have other ideas we hope you’ll share them on the Alpha Chi Omega Facebook page.

Contact Alpha Chi Omega Headquarters if you have questions or need additional information.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

MacDowell Month Highlight: Star Studio

From MacDowell, Vol. 39, No.1 Summer 2010

When I first entered Star Studio, I noted immediately — and with relief — how pared down its contents were. Two desks were just the number I needed. A dictionary was the only book I wanted, and there it was.

The studio was gloriously devoid of Internet access yet within walking distance of a wireless network. This arrangement meant I was not so cut off that my agent panicked, but neither was I at the mercy of her always plugged-in work habits. Building a fire provided just the meditative activity that I, on occasion, needed. The simplicity of the studio was like a whetstone that honed my attention to a razor-sharp edge.

The cumulative result was the ability to squeeze three days of work out of every 24-hour period. The world that “is too much with us” fell away. In New York, I write before noon but by lunch I feel like I have to plug my phone back in and start returning calls. MacDowell has a different pace, and noon simply became the time when I could retrieve my lunch basket. My only company when I ate was four walls, two large windows, and those uncluttered desks. As I began my afternoon shift, my writing became focused — more alert to itself. Dinnertime arrived just when it needed to and then later, buoyed by the company of powerful artists at the communal meal, I returned to my cabin and worked yet again before retiring. I slept blissfully, in sight of my notebooks, knowing I could resume work when my eyelids opened and the day announced itself.

Jorge Ignacio CortiƱas’s awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. His plays include Maleta Mulata, Sleepwalkers, and Blind Mouth Singing, which was praised as having “visionary wit” by the Chicago Tribune and called “beautiful and strange” by The New York Times. CortiƱas is on the faculty at Lehigh University and belongs to the New York Theatre Workshop and New Dramatists.


Star Studio was the first studio donated by an outside organization:
the music sorority Alpha Chi Omega.

Friday, February 11, 2011

MacDowell Month - Alpha Chis Celebrating The Arts

Our sister Cindy supports the Arts all year round. We found her in the Gainesville Magazine enjoying Noche de Gala benefiting the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation.

We are also pleased to share an updated picture from Erin (Iota Psi, Elon)'s Celebrating the Arts mural. Today Mayor Marks cuts the ribbon, and welcomes the mural to Railroad Avenue and Gaines Street community. Thank you Erin, your colleagues and Tallahassee citizens for helping beautifying the city!

Help Make Tallahassee More Beautiful!

Alpha Chi Omega alumna Erin (Iota Psi, Elon)'s department (Department of Art Education) and student association (Art Therapy Association) are collaborating with Seven Days of Opening Nights Arts Fest and the City of Tallahassee to paint a mural on the corner of Gaines and Railroad Square from Feb. 10-22.  "We're there this week 9am-7pm and this weekend 12-5pm. We'll be there 9am-9pm beginning Feb 14. Any and all are welcome- we'd especially love for people to bring their classes (if they teach) or any volunteer organizations; it's pretty much paint by numbers; artistic or technical skill is not a requirement. 

"Students of any paintbrush-wielding age are welcome, provided they have proper supervision of course. We are also working with local programs such as Pyramid Studios, SAIL, and FDOA/Sports Ability. The theme of the mural is the arts-visual, and performing, so there are dancers and musicians and such throughout the mural design. It should be awesome!"

What a great way to celebrate MacDowell Month (when Alpha Chi Omegas everywhere take part in and support the fine arts)!
one section of the mural, just beginning to take shape on Friday!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

In Memory of Catherine Austin Buzzett

It is with heavy hearts that we share that we have lost a local Alpha Chi Omega alumna sister. Cathy was a 1947 initiate of Beta Eta chapter at FSU.

Catherine Austin Buzzett, 81, of St. George Island passed away Monday, Jan. 31, 2011 in Tampa.

Cathy Buzzett was born Feb. 1, 1929 to the late Loretta and Eugene Austin in Apalachicola. She graduated from Florida State University in 1950 and married Lt. Harry A. Buzzett later in that year. She was a devoted wife and mother to six children. She was an active member of St. Patrick Catholic Church and served many volunteer organizations throughout her life.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 60 years, Col. Harry A. Buzzett, children Ellen E. Mackay and husband, Steve, of Andover, Mass.; William A. Buzzett and wife, Kelly, of Seagrove Beach; Lisa M. Tanjuatco and husband, Ferdie, of Atlanta, Ga.; Cecilia A. Lovett and husband, Perrin, of Augusta, Ga. and Joseph G. Buzzett and wife, Jennifer, of Tampa; 10 grandchildren, Tricia, Daniel, Ryan, Austin, Wells, Trey, Gabrielle, Alexandria, Jacqueline, and Jordan; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her son, Michael A. Buzzett, and sisters Jean Elizabeth Atchison and Mary Marjorie Austin.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 4 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Apalachicola with Father Roger Latosynski officiating, with interment to follow in Magnolia Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Thursday, Feb 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. with a rosary at 7 p.m. at Kelly Funeral Home in Apalachicola.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Patrick Catholic Church, 6th Street, Apalachicola, FL.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Alpha Chi Omega to head the Florida Lottery

On Wednesday, February 2nd, Florida Governor Rick Scott named Alpha Chi Omega alumna Cynthia O'Connell (Beta Eta, FSU) to head the Florida Lottery! Please join us in sending her our congratulations and best wishes for her new position!

Press release:

Today, Governor Scott named Cynthia F. O’Connell as Secretary of the Florida Lottery. O’Connell has an experienced record in lottery management, communications, and higher education that will allow her to improve the agency’s efficiency and core mission of raising revenues for Florida public education.

O’Connell has previously served as a Division Director of Research and Promotions for the Florida Lottery, where she developed the promotional launch of the Lottery’s instant and online games, and oversaw a staff of twenty with a multi-million dollar budget authority. She most recently served as CEO at O’Connell Consulting, where she managed consulting contracts for clients seeking significant re-branding communication programs.

Previously, she served as a Senior Vice-President/GM at Hill & Knowlton, where she oversaw communications strategies for major national and Florida accounts. In addition, she served as the Information Manager for the Olympic Athletes Villages and Southeast US manager of the Torch Relay for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. She has vast experience as a branding, marketing, and communications executive with financial companies and higher-learning institutions.

Aside from her previous experience at the Florida Lottery, O’Connell has a long history of public service to Florida. She is an inaugural (2001-2011) Board of Trustee member of the University of Florida, where she oversaw committee assignments including educational policy and public relations including brand management. She has been a catalyst for numerous statewide philanthropic interests including the development of the Stephen C. O’Connell Supreme Court Reading Room at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. She serves as the Chairwoman of the Florida House in D.C, Florida’s embassy on Capitol Hill, where she oversees Florida House’s important mission of showcasing Florida’s cultural and economic resources to the nation’s capital.

“Cindy brings an impressive record of leadership and brand management to the Florida Lottery and will improve the agency’s important mission of maximizing revenues for the enhancement of public education in Florida,” Governor Scott said.