Tuesday January 20, 2015
On Wednesday, Jan. 14 at the Bailey Center, fundraising chair and Chi Omega Alumni Martha Stephenson met with Patrick Murray of ECO Construction and Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni and Development Christian O’Neal to view a sample commemorative plaque that will be located in the sororities gift to the school: The Chi Omega Plaza. The construction timeline notes the plaque going into the space sometime in March, which is located outside of Ottenheimer Library on campus.
May 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the UALR Gamma Zeta Chapter of Chi Omega. The milestone was coupled with fundraising of more than $28,000 for a student sitting area and courtyard which is now under construction. Nationally, it’s a guiding principle for the sorority to give the host university a gift at the 50 year mark, and the Gamma Zeta Chapter Alumni settled on a courtyard.
The area will be complete in May, a full year after the 50th anniversary. Stephenson said: “I’m so excited to see the culmination of two years of hard work that we have put in come to a close.” She totals the number of those who have helped make the gift a reality: “There have been nearly 125 contributors, I believe.” The plaza took nearly two years of planning, and working closely with the Alumni Association and ECO Construction, the area is truly beginning to take shape.
The courtyard comes together during a time on the UALR campus when the Greek system is seeing the potential for growth. Stephenson will be honored with the President’s Award later this Spring, and O’Neal expects a strong Chi Omega presence at the event. Taste of Little Rock will also have a Greek spin this year. Stephenson says, “One of the goals is to … have a Greek alumni reunion and presence. That will be not only alumni of the current fraternities and sororities, but also the ones that are no longer here that would like to return.”
O’Neal praised the Alumni of Gamma Zeta Chapter as he said, “They have had a wonderful history of organizing and being leaders on campus.” The organization has six principles: scholarship, friendship, community, career development, participation in campus activities, and high standards of personnel, and these ultimately create a strong tie between student and the university. Stephenson adds, “I think … Greek life gives students who are interested a vehicle for forming friendships on a smaller level in college where you have a support system.”
The Chi Omega courtyard is therefore one catalyst in drumming up more interest in bringing back inactive Greek chapters on the campus, as well as bringing the alumni of the inactive and active sororities and fraternities together.
For more information on the Chi Omega Courtyard visit: https://ualr.edu/giving/product/chi-omega-brick/.