Ok, I admit it….. I was channeling this song when titling this post. It is stuck in my head!

But that has nothing to do with what I am trying to talk about!! 🙂

For this year’s national president’s project, we are “Archiving OPA.” I am in the “traditions” group and, among other topics, we are working on “families.” (Hopefully now you understand where the title and the song come in… If not, it is really not important, and you are probably even better off that way!) Although this is a little outdated, here is a link to a page about our families.

So, for this project, I collected some information from my grand-big, Liz, a founding mother. Here is what she told me….

How Our Families Began

By: Teigan McIntosh, Zeta Class

Information collected from her Grand-big: Liz New, Founding Mother

The Alpha Zeta chapter of Omega Phi Alpha at Kennesaw State Univerisyt decided to create their families at the suggestion of the sisters from Nu Chapter at Georgia Tech who were instrumental in the founding of the Alpha Zeta chapter. Among them were Heather Pritchard, Amanda Harris, Chelsea Morrisey Navo, and Megan Sheppard, as well as the VP of Expansion at the time, Ginger McGarity. They thought it would be a good way for the Alpha Zeta chapter to trace their members back through the chapter as it grew and got older as well as create a tradition for the new chapter to uphold.

During August 2006, a few weeks after the colonization retreat but before the Alphas’ rush, the founding mothers formed the families at one of their chapter meetings held in the old social science building. (The families were first presented at the Alpha’s rush.) They decided that five families would be a good idea, so they wrote down all their names on slips of paper and put them into a plastic bowl. Then, they drew them out and sorted them into five piles. The matriarch for each family was decided based on which sister was closest to graduation. (Now, the matriarch of each family is determined by oldest pledge class and then graduation date, but, in the beginning, at that time we were all in the same class.

The five founding matriarchs were: Lambda – Kelly Cantrell; Chi – Allison Carder McKay;  Tau – Janice Turner Perea; Gamma – Brandi Gilbert; Kappa – Annie Smith.

Tau was for Turner, Gamma was for Gilbert, and, if Liz New remembers correctly, Chi was for Carder.  The rest of the families discussed the letters that they wanted and decided on something together. Again, if Liz New remembers correctly, the Lambda family traded the letter Kappa to the Kappa family because the Kappa family wanted it and the Lambdas didn’t. From there, each family brainstormed collectively and came up with our own mascots, flowers, and colors that night. Liz, a Lambda, remembers that the members of her family definitely wanted the Lambda’s to be unique, so they chose lavender and teal as their colors.

The family mascots, colors, and flowers are as follows:

  • Lambda – Colors: lavender and teal; Mascot: giraffe; Flower: purple tulip
  • Chi – Colors: purple and gold; Mascot: dinosaur; Flower: purple orchid
  • Tau- Colors: light pink and brown; Mascot: turtle; Flower: calla lilly
  • Gamma- Colors: hot pink and lime green; Mascot: teddy bear; Flower: pink gerber daisy
  • Kappa- Colors: yellow and green; Mascot: Kangaroo; Flower: sunflower