Fall 2019 Newsletter

Phi Fun in 2020
Hoping that our Winter 2018-19 Update on all things Omega finds everyone happy, healthy and ready for Phi Fun in 2020.

Save the Date–Centennial Celebration 2020
Exciting news!  Our Omega Centennial Celebration is set for the weekend of February 28, 2020 with the following schedule:

Friday 2/28/20:  Cocktail event
Saturday 2/29/20:  Brunch at the Alpha Phi House
& dinner that evening

The Friday and Saturday night events will be held at the AT&T Center, just down University Ave from the Omega House.  LOTS more information about a possible block of rooms and related events will be coming in the next few months.  Start your planning now because we can’t wait to see everyone about a year from now!

Share Your Memories
In addition to marking your calendars, you can help us by sending in your Alpha Phi photos and mementos.  We would also love to have any recipes you have from House Mothers or staff that remind you of your time in the Chapter. You can share these treasures with us one of two ways:

  • Follow this link https://cluster.co/i/6UYRSHFU to a private photo sharing site where you can share your pictures with your sisters, make comments on photos and see what your sisters are sharing. You will have to set up an account with username and password but it doesn’t require that you have Facebook or Instagram.
  • Email to UTAlphaPhiHCB@gmail.com and we will collect everything and share some of the best on our Facebook page.
The photos and mementos you submit will be used for some fun slide shows planned for the 2020 events.

Centennial Corner
As we approach our centennial anniversary, we will share more about upcoming activities, along with bits of history about the chapter.  For example, did you know that Alpha Phi had the first dedicated chapter house on the UT campus?

The Omega Chapter was chartered in 1920 but it wasn’t until 1932 that a chapter house became a reality.   Mary Eliza Brown sold the 80 ft x 125 ft piece of land at 2005 University Ave to Alpha Phi for $5,000. The chapter then borrowed about $22,000 and commissioned Bartlett Cocke, AIA of San Antonio, whose wife Mildred was an early Alpha Phi initiate, to design a two-story “ranch style” house of approximately 6,000 square feet, housing 22 women, that looked like the photo below.

In 1949, the firm of Page Southerland Page Architects of Austin designed a two-story addition to the east side (stadium side) of the original building, taking in what were original vestibules and porch to the east of the parlor.  This created the game room or downstairs TV room.

In 1952, Bartlett Cocke renovated the house to include the addition of a complete third floor over the entire original building as well as the addition of a two story wing along the north side, next to the church.  These additions provided additional bedrooms and baths, a new kitchen and dining room, a chapter room, fire escapes and carport.  During that renovation, the wrought iron we all know and love replaced the original balcony on the west facade, giving the house its present New Orleans style.

In 1971, the interior courtyard was enclosed, creating an open space with skylights that many of us call the “Big Room”.  The chapter house now slept 44 women.  Finally, in 1978, the second floor above the kitchen/dining room was redesigned with the addition of a space above the carport.  This enlarged the Chapter Room and created the sewing or copy room, now the guest bedroom, and the small bathroom.

While there have been no structural additions to the House since 1978, we have had lots of interior updates over the years.  Today, the Omega Chapter House is a three-story brick structure of approximately 14,000 square feet that houses 48 women and one House Director!

To keep our beloved Omega House healthy and strong for decades to come, the House Corporation Board (HCB) will establish a Building Fund that will create an ongoing bank of funds to be used for renovations and decorating.  More information on that in our next newsletter.

Holiday Ornaments—a Big Hit!

Hopefully the lucky 261 women who ordered our first Centennial “goodie” have packed up their holiday ornaments.  The rest of us are in luck because there are an additional 350 ornaments ordered that we should have in stock by the end of March.  This will be the last shipment ordered, so plan accordingly.  You can go to the HCB website here and pre-order for the next shipment.

A VERY special thank you to the women who made extra donations to the HCB with their ornaments.  Thanks to their generosity, we were able to raise an additional $1700!!

If you haven’t been to our Omega Alum Facebook page in a while, there were some great pics of the ornaments in action.  (Plus one photo to serve as a reminder to make sure you use a heavy duty ornament hook).  We sure appreciate everyone sharing their photos.

More of this kind of memory sharing will be coming your way soon so stay tuned to our Facebook page and to our photo sharing site for the Centennial via this link.  If you haven’t asked to join our Facebook group–it’s a closed group so you have to ask to join–please visit the page now and get in on the fun and sisterhood.

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