Chi Omega

Pledge Formals and the Ladies of Metzger Hall

April 1963

Barbara Wishmeyer, the Dean of Women for the Academic Year 1962-1963, included photographs of her female students in her scrapbook of their pledge formal attire during the sorority rush/pledge spring season. Women had the opportunity to pledge Chi Omega, Phi Mu, Pi Beta Phi, and Zeta Tau Alpha. In these photographs from top to bottom are:

Peggy McBee

Doris Detweiler '66

Carol Frey '66

Ann Davis

Elisabeth Lane '66

Lori Shimer

Omega Psi Sorority Becomes Chi Omega in 1907


In 1907, the Omega Psi Sorority was adopted into the Delta Chapter of the Chi Omega Sorority. The Omega Psi Sorority was started in 1899 at Dickinson College.

Chi Omega in 1958


In 1958, Chi Omega members contributed to the Tri-County-Crippled Children's Home and supported Christmas and Easter Seal envelopes. According to the Microcosm entry, Chi Omegas had a "heavily laden" social calendar involving activities such as Frisbee matches against Sigma Chi, hockey games against Phi Kaps during the fall sports season, dessert parties, "raking" parties, and other socials with men's fraternities. Seniors were honored at their "High Society" formal, and pledges at the pledge formal dance.

Chi Omega in 1957


According to the Microcosm, Chi Omega's activities in 1957 included "outings at Pine Grove, breakfasts in the rooms, and coffee hours with the faculty and other fraternities." Traditional formals and teas were also held. Like Pi Beta Phi and Zeta Tau Alpha, Chi Omega also listed their officers according to spring and fall semesters for the first time. Fall semester's leaders were Pat Eshelman, President; Joan Gallagher, Vice President; Mae Smethurst, Treasurer; and Betsy Reichle, Secretary. Spring semester's leaders were Inge Paul, President; Nancy A.

Chi Omega in 1956


In 1956 Chi Omega was led by President Sally Anderson, Vice-President Barbara Boffemmeyer, Secretary Sue Thoenenbe, and Treasurer Jean Hampton. Their annual activities included, as in years past, a fashion show and various rummage sales to benefit worthy causes, informal dinners and Sunday morning breakfasts, faculty gatherings, dances, and an alumnae banquet.

Chi Omega in 1955


In 1955, the women of Chi Omega maintained a busy schedule of scholastic, social, and service-related activities.  Their serivce projects included Campus Chest and assisting at a local Recreational Center for underprivileged children.  They raised money for each of these activities through rummage sales and a jazz concert.  They organized informal discussions with professors on pertinent topics and held a tea at the beginning of the year to welcome new faculty and transfer students.  Their social activities included a hayride, Winter Formal, breakfast in rooms, serenading college men, and a

Frances Weighs in on Sororities in the 1920s

April 21, 1994

Frances Vuilleumier (Class of 1924) reports in an interview that Dickinson had four sororities: Pi Phi, Chi Omega, Phi Mu, and Zeta Tua Alpha. She characterizes Pi Phi as the oldest and strongest sorority as well as the only sorority that "survived." According to Vuilleumier, "it was considered quite a good thing to be a Pi [Phi]," and daughters of faculty members often joined Pi Phi. Chi Omega, explains Vuilleumier, was not as old as Pi Phi. Vuilleumier claims that its members were "very social." Vuilleumier's sorority, Phi Mu, was a newer sorority and was always academic.

Discrimination in the 1920s

April 21, 1994

Frances Vuilleumier (Class of 1924) explains in an interview that her sorority, Phi Mu, did not extend membership to black or Jewish students, adding that there "was probably some[one] else we didn't allow." Calling Phi Mu exclusive, she explains that these practices were normal during that period. She points to the 1960s as the decade in which "they didn't stand for that anymore," although the national chapter of some sororities, according to Vuilleumer, still prevented the pledging of minority women.

Sororities and Independent Women

August 1962

According to "Inside Information" a guidebook for women published by the Dean of Women's office, there were four national sororities on campus, Phi Mu, Pi Beta Phi, Chi Omega, and Zeta Tau Alpha as well as a group known as the Independent Women. The Independent Women was a social group of women that chose not to participate in the greek system.

Paying Homage to their Patronesses

November 18, 1989

Being a former member of Chi Omega sorority Margaret MacGregor reported in her interview that in order to govern and monitor student conduct across campus, sororities
had what were called patronesses, ladies from the area who were a part of that
Greek organization or were simply interested in volunteering their time towards
that sorority. Visitations to these chapter patronesses were required and
entailed formal wear in which the ladies had to "get dressed up with white
gloves and hats..." with "... their best finery." If for some