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Side by Side
“What is/was your favorite song and why?”
What do Chi Omegas think? How different are our collegiate and alumnae experiences? Where do we go and what do we do? To satisfy our curiosity and as a bridge across generations and miles, this column features our members’ perspectives on various subjects.
“What is/was your favorite song and why?” is the Side By
Side topic we’re exploring in this issue of The Eleusis.
When responses began to arrive, we quickly noticed
that alumnae and collegians replied from very different
perspectives: Alumnae overwhelmingly (88%) wrote
about songs that brought back memories of fun times
during college, especially with their Chi Omega Sisters;
on the other hand, slightly more than half (53%)
of our collegians mentioned their Sisters in their reply
and none recounted specific memories of great group
activities or events. (Initiation years are listed with our
respondents’ chapters and schools.)
Karen Vannoy Smittle, 1963 Theta/West Virginia U
Any song by The Lettermen, such as The Way You Look
Tonight. My senior year, they came to West Virginia U for
a concert. We sat on the front row and sang along. After
the concert, we went back to the house and played all their
albums (33⅓ rpms!) in to the wee hours of the night.
Susan O'Neil Fredette, 1966, Lambda Beta/U of Rhode Island
“Groovin” by the Rascals was a big favorite among my circle of friends. We would pile into the Chevy Impala on a Sunday afternoon and drive to Giro's for burgers and fries, while singing that song all the way! Seems like yesterday!
Melinda Keeley, 1968, Epsilon Alpha/U of Oklahoma
"Try a Little Tenderness" was the finale at any party on campus. We still sing it and listen to it when we get together. Otis Reding's version is the best!
Marilyn Klucher Schmid, 1970 Lambda Delta/Kent State U
Every night after dinner we’d go upstairs and dance the
“Chi-O Twine” to Sugar Pie Honey Bunch by The Four
Tops. Such fun and great memories!
Linda Rayburn-Walters, 1970, Rho
"Breaking Up is Hard to
Do." We used in competitions. We are going back to 1972. Great memories.
Patricia Sansone Driver, 1971, Rho
"Breaking Up Is Hard To
Do" by Neil Sedaka. We sang that during Greek week sing, usually a very
reverent event. Hee Hee!
Susan Perry DeCoursey, 1973, Iota Alpha/Southern Methodist U
“Good Feeling to Know,” by Poco.
Memories! Parties, friendship, and all-round great times! Not to mention a
darling guy that got me hooked on Poco!!
Crook Whitman, 1974, Psi
Epsilon/Arizona State U
"Shades." Today (May 31,
2010) is my 35th wedding anniversary. My Sisters sang "Shades" to me
at my wedding reception and at the end we were all in tears. At that age, it
seemed that I was leaving Chi Omega to be a bride, a mother, an executive, and
live a life not associated with my college years and my Sisters. And . . . for
a time that was true. We were busy building lives and raising children with
little time for Sisterhood (or sleep, for that matter). We came back
together in our 50s after the kids were grown and our careers had changed. Now
our Sisterhood is strong again and these women are still my best friends . . .
and we didn't leave Chi Omega far behind us.
Susan Ausley Lett, 1974, Delta Alpha/U of Tennessee–Chattanooga
“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” by
Bachman Turner Overdrive and “Walk Away” by The James Gang. Great memories
dancing to all of these!!!!
Buffy Cereske, 1974, Psi Alpha/U of Oregon
by Boz Skaggs. Also, just about anything by Earth, Wind and Fire: “Sun
Goddess,” “September,” “That's the Way of the World.”
Nancy Lieser Giese, 1974, Rho
Kappa/Illinois State U
"China Grove" by the
Doobie Brothers. It was a favorite for dancing. Do you remember the song???
Julia Fonde Davis, 1975, Eta/U of Michigan
“California Dreamin” by the Mommas and the
Pappas. Every Saturday morning during football season we would blast it on the
stereo in the living room and do a line dance. Always hoping for a bid to the
Rose Bowl! Great memories.
Stacey Smith Guerin, 1978, Xi Beta/U of Maine
Put on the Bee Gees and I'm 19
years old again and dancing the night away with my pledge formal sweetheart and
now husband of 29 years, Joey.
Margaret Bizzell Damm, 1979, Psi Gamma/Mercer U
Sister Sledge, "We Are
Family." It must have been written just for Chi Omega! We even used it in our recruitment.
Kathy Burke Jelsma, 1980, Gamma Beta/U of California–Los Angeles
It has to be "Jessie's
Girl" by Rick Springfield. We'd plan our schedule around "General Hospital" just to watch him. He's
Clare Whitney Kent, 1980 Mu Beta/U of Georgia
Was there ever a party where they didn’t play We Are
Family by Sister Sledge? Any self-respecting Chi O would
jump to her feet and sing with all her Sisters! We thought
the song was written just for us!
Cynthia Pike-Fuentes, 1980, Omicron/U of Illinois
"Celebrate" by Kool and
the Gang. The entire house would break into a dance every time we played it!
Nancy Brown Sparrow, 1980, Pi /U of Tennessee–Knoxville
“Our Lips are Sealed” by the Go
Gos. Junior year I went to Fort
Lauderdale with a group of Chi Os and the band at one
of the hotels played it over and over for us. We went wild.
Linda Morrisey Collins, 1980, Psi Beta/U of Iowa
"We are family...I got all my
sisters in me." Every time I hear the song I picture us together in the
great room, singing, smiling, and creating memories.
Lyn Harris, 1980, Psi Gamma/U of North
I remember dancing to the Gap
Band's "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" at the Kappa Sigma house. They had
a disco ball and it was one fraternity that had guys who would actually ask you
Elaine Thompson Baker, 1981, Pi/U of Tennessee–Knoxville
The early eighties brought MTV into
my college apartment and once it was turned on, I don’t think it was ever
turned off. I lived with four pledge
sisters and MTV 24 x7. The most played
video was Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” We never tired of it. It was not our
favorite song, but the video brought us together several times a day. It was
upbeat. It was fun. It always made us smile - a memory maker for me! Love the eighties and my Chi Omega
Donna Dilley Neyman, 1981, Sigma Gamma/Oglethorpe College
When "Piano Man" by Billy
Joel played at any party no matter what we were doing or who we were with, we
all went to the center of the room, formed a circle, and swayed back and forth
with arms around each other. Of course we all sang along.
Weston McCollum Lewey, 1982, Psi/U of Arkansas–Fayetteville
"Celebrate" by Kool &
The Gang. It was played in the dining room right after we got our bids and we
changed the words to "Celebrate Good Times, CHI O!" Good times they
most definitely were!
Jamie Davis Donaldson, 1983, Epsilon Theta/Morehead State U
Cathy Harrell Shook, 1983 Rho Delta/U of Texas–El Paso
All through the 80's we played "We are Family” by Sister Sledge. That song was written for all Chi-Os. Of course, we loved anything by Prince. We were fortunate to have some of the best music ever produced throughout the 80's.
Girls Just Want To Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. Our
whole chapter would take over the dance floor when that
song was played.
Angela Caldwell Carter, 1986, Omicron Zeta/Arkansas State U
My little sis and roommate, Mekelle
Crotts Stanley, would sing and dance to Cool Jay“I Need Love.” It was a song
that we enjoyed whether we were happy or upset. We ran into each other several
months ago and shared this with our husbands and children! Chi Omega Sisters
are forever special!!!
Beth Spears Gundersen, 1986, Zeta Kappa/U of North Carolina–Greensboro
Loved to dance to "Black
Coffee in Bed" by Squeeze. We went to the beach a couple of weeks ago for
our 24th annual trip and enjoyed singing it to the sunbathers on the beach.
Always a crowd pleaser!
Rachelle Alexander Westlake, 1987, Iota Zeta/U of Nebraska–Kearney
We would blast “Red Red Wine” by
UB40 and dance around the house, singing at the top of our lungs!!! I can't
hear that song without thinking of all the good times we shared!!
Cheryl Blankenship Kupras, 1987, Omicron Kappa/ U of California–Davis
It had been a particularly long day during fall recruitment
in the late ’80s at the U of California–Davis. Membership
selection was going well into the late evening. At about
1 a.m., when we really needed a break, we flipped on
the stereo. AC/DC’s Shook Me All Night Long came on.
My Sisters and I can never hear that song again without
recalling that moment!
Prest, 1987, Psi Theta/Old Dominion U
"Blister in the Sun" by
Violent Femmes. Great times in downtown Norfolk
then we were lucky enough to be able to spend our summers at Virginia Beach!!
Miller, 1987, Psi Theta/Old Dominion U
Definitely "Blister in the
Sun" by the Violent Femmes!! I hear that song it just takes me back to
late 80's living in Norfolk/VA Beach. I spent many a late night with my Chi-O
Sisters dancing to this song at the beach, 4400 Campus Club, Last Call, or at a
fraternity social. Good times!
Lisa Picone Bellito, 1988, Lambda Delta/Kent State UMichelle Akers Berg, 1990 Mu Zeta/Adrian College
“Blister in the Sun” by the Violent
Any song with a good beat would bring all of the Sisters
out into the hall carrying their desk chairs, which we’d
dance on. What a great study break and time with my
Sisters! Long live chair dancing!
Julie Odle Parrish, 1990, Zeta Gamma/College of CharlestonElizabeth (Buff) Wiecher Pierce, 1990, Sigma Alpha/Miami U
"Melt With You" by Modern
English. It was a favorite at all of our crush parties.
"Dancing Queen" by ABBA!! It is full of joy, fun, and empowerment. You can dance . . . having the time of your life!
Amy Darnell, 1991, Epsilon Theta/Morehead State U
Next to wonderful Epsilon Theta Sisters Laura Bevins, Jill Taylor, Amy Wentz, Amy Olds, and Crystal Brunner, I fell in love with Carl Orff's“Carmina Burana” when the Moorehead State Concert Choir performed it in the spring of 1991!
Tamra Davenport Scheiblhofer, 1991, Eta Kappa/ Missouri U of Science & Tech.
I have always loved Shades. When my daughter was an
infant I was at a loss for a soothing lullaby to sing to her
and found myself singing Shades. She’s 5 now and it’s one
of her favorites and often requested. Hopefully someday it
will mean as much to her as it does to me.
Kathy Petefish Coomes, 1992, Chi Epsilon/U of Evansville
“Grease” -- the entire movie soundtrack. It continues to be our theme party and if you are a Sister at Chi Epsilon you know it forward and backwards and can hand jive like a pro.
Kristin Gividen McElveen, 1992, Eta Delta/U of Florida
“Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot. We loved to recite the "Becky, look at her . . . " opening to the song and it played every Thursday at TJ's without fail.
Jennifer Darcy Taddeo, 1993, Eta Lambda/American U
"These Are Days" by 10,000 Maniacs was a recruitment song during second-round parties, and we would blast it into the quad. It was popular at formals then, and has been heard at a lot of Eta Lambda weddings! I've already taught my 6-year-old legacy the Chi O words.
Michelle Dennis Carter, 1994, Gamma Zeta/U of Arkansas–Little Rock
I remember very well being at fraternity parties and all us running to the dance floor when Salt n Pepper's "What a Man" or "Shoop" was played. We loved to dance.
Joyce Varela Gandy, 1994 Zeta Theta/Middle Tenn. St. U
A Whole New World from the movie Aladdin. Zeta Theta
Sister Kelly Campbell Valente sang it during recruitment
and her rendition was absolutely beautiful. I still tear up
every time I hear it.
Laura Palkoner, 1995, Gamma Kappa/Western Illinois U
My favorite song would be our chapter song -- the love theme from St. Elmo's Fire (“For Just a Moment”). Whenever we were all together this song would be there and I still listen to the song when I need to have my sisters close to me when having a horrible day bringing me the memories I need at times
Dawn Doup, 1995 Upsilon Lambda/Hanover Col. Sara Lowery Geaslin, 1995, Xi Zeta/U of Tennessee–Martin
Copacabana by Barry Manilow—sung Chi O style! It
was what we would sing when serenading the residence
halls, fraternities, and other sororities to invite them to
our beginning-of-the-year party, Chi Oahu. It was sung
from the early years in our chapter’s history (Upsilon
Lambda was established in 1987) and the collegians still
sing it today.
Wow to pick just one is difficult!! Lots of Ace of Base, John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crowe and especially Alanis Morrissette. However, as a pledge, we won the lip synch contest (between all sororities on campus) with "We Are Family"!!!!
Shannon Higgins Durden, 1996 Gamma Zeta/U of Arkansas– Little Rock
My favorite song is I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack.
I love the song’s message and it always makes me think
about my mom. She was an initiate of Epsilon Alpha/U
of Oklahoma and is now enrolled in Omega Chapter. She
was a lifelong dancer and I know Mom would want me to
live life to the fullest!
Leigh Fleming, 1996, Xi Zeta/U of Tennessee–Martin
Dixie Chicks "Wide Open Spaces," because that was exactly what I needed. The lyrics say it all. "Who doesn't know what I'm talking about, who's never left home, who's never struck out, to find a dream and a life of their own . . . many precede and many will follow, a young girls dreams no longer hollow . . . what it holds for her she hasn't guessed yet."
Amanda MacSwords Stucker, 1997, Gamma Theta/Eastern Kentucky U
We just talked about this today. When I joined everyone danced to “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by Meatloaf. I don't know when it started, but we would literally act the whole song out. To this day, it still makes me dance if I hear it!
Megan Puckett Pomfret, 1998, Omicron Beta/College of William and Mary
“Sweet Home Alabama” with the lyrics changed to Sweet Home Chi Omega. It's our song!
Ellen Trappey, 1999, Chi Delta/Millsaps College
For some reason my pledge class loved the "Smooth Criminal" cover on the radio at the time. When all together and the song came on, we'd stop the car, get out, and dance (no matter where). At our last formal as collegians the band couldn't play it. We entertained everyone by singing it a cappella!
Heather Bates-DeBord, 1999 Kappa Delta/Bowling Green State U
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cindy Lauper. My college
memories are filled with images of my Chi O Sisters
laughing, helping others, and building long-lasting
friendships. This song describes the best four years of
my life (well, I’m only 29!). I had fun no matter what I
was doing as long as I had Chi Os around me. College
academics were challenging; it was nice to belong to a
sorority that provided a variety of activities so we could let
loose and be ourselves! I’m still proud to wear my letters.
Kelly Laird Ducey, 1999, Psi Beta/U of Iowa
"We are family - I got all my Ssisters with me". Now every time I hear that song, I have to sing the Chi-O version!
Traci Pizzi, 2000 Theta Lambda/Wingate U
Our Sisters had a unique dance to Boogie Shoes by KC
and the Sunshine Band. I remember at every major
function, especially at Formal, we would make sure that
the disc jockey would have it with him. As soon as the
music started playing, we all went nuts and every Sister
got up to do our dance to Boogie Shoes. I still do it to this
day every time I hear the song.
Leah Clemenzi Sweat, 2001, Gamma/Florida State U
“Sweet Home Alabama” (every once in a while substituted with . . . sweet home Chi Omega!!).
Pamela McCall, 2001, Psi Mu/University of Central Florida
My favorite song is “Keep on Loving You” by REO Speedwagon, because true love knows no ending, no condition or qualification, and it is the most treasured gift we can give.
Laura Yales Steckling, 2001, Pi Zeta/Western Michigan University
“Super Sonic” by JJ Fad it was part of our recruitment skit for all four years. Every time I hear it makes me smile and remember all the great times in the Chi-O house!
LeAnn Spencer, 2002, Lambda Beta/U of Rhode Island
When I hear the song "Hey Ya" by Outkast I will always think of my little Sister and I choreographing our Greek Week lip sync competition. I heard it the other day on the beach and it brought back many of awesome memories from that Greek Week!
Katie Garrett, 2005 Zeta Kappa/U of North Carolina–Greensboro
Home by Bonnie Raitt was a song we always sang at
formals, semi-formals, and weddings. It represented
how Chi Omega and our Sisters made us feel and always
brought on lots of happy tears! We also loved to sing a
Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler—loudly!
Magali Ferare, 2007 Nu Alpha/Stanford U
City by Sara Bareilles. I appreciate music that touches me,
that can put me in a place, a time, and a mood when I
hear it. When I studied in Paris and had a few homesick
moments of longing for my Sisters, my family, my school,
that song resonated with my fears and my dreams, and I
felt less alone. Now when I listen to it, it takes me back to
Paris and some of the best moments of my life in college.
Terah Phillips, 2008 Lambda Kappa/ Huntingdon College
One Day You Will by Lady Antebellum. With billions of
songs to choose from, it’s hard to choose just one. I have
a new favorite song each week but One Day You Will is
one of my all-time favorites. It makes me look ahead and
get excited about what the future will hold, because even
though millions of things that happen now do not make
sense—one day they will.
Lily Parkinson, 2008 Eta Delta /U of Florida
For Good, from the musical Wicked, because of its
lyrics “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”
Last week, when my Chi O Sister and best friend at the
university, Megan Iseman, and I were talking about how
our friendship has made us better people, she started
singing those lyrics.
Alicia Hoes, 2008, Epsilon Zeta/Stephen F. Austin State U
"Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. A classic song with a great message, it's the perfect song to belt out in the car when you are having a bad day or hanging out with your Sisters.
Lindsey Wilson, 2008 Rho Epsilon/Texas Christian U
Lay ’Em Down by Need To Breathe. I love the beat and
rhythm but also the lyrics, which relate to people of all
Kelly Moss, 2009 Chi Lambda/Winthrop U
When I’m With You by Best Coast. It’s a fun song that
reminds me of my favorite Sisters, and it’s a great song to
get ready to.
Emily Jameson, 2009 Zeta Theta/Middle Tennessee State U
The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert. The artist
has a unique, beautiful voice and the lyrics touch my
heart, bringing back memories of my childhood.
Kayla Schubert, 2009 Rho Mu/DePaul U
Meaning by Gavin DeGraw. Aside from the song’s very
sweet melody, this is my favorite song at the moment
because of what I believe the song is saying. When I hear
it, I am reminded that in this life we will make mistakes
and question the paths we have taken, but one thing will
always remain stable and true: We are surrounded by
people who love us no matter what. For me, those people
are my Sisters in Chi Omega, and whenever I hear this
song I can’t help but think of them.
Sara Cicchinelli, 2009 Xi Delta/U of Toledo
Settlin’ by Sugarland. This song encourages me in my
personal and academic life to strive for everything
imaginable and to leave nothing behind. “I ain’t settlin’ for
anything less than everything!”
Claire Edge, 2009, Alpha Beta/Auburn U
"Don't Stop Believing" by Journey is my favorite song. Anytime I hear it, I want to belt it out with hundreds of people singing along with me. Hearing it reminds me of nights hanging out with friends. We hear this song and immediately begin to dance and sing. It's a powerful song that makes me feel young and full of life.
Ally Schwartzhoff, 2009, Beta Lambda/Carthage College
"It Happens" by Sugarland. It's very meaningful. To me it's a reminder that if things come up unexpectedly you will learn to handle them with support of your friends and family and make the best out of every situation!
Stephanie Farr, 2009 Lambda Delta/Kent State U
Not The Same by Ben Folds. The reason I picked this song
is because Ben Folds is an amazing artist, songwriter, and
musician. He is a fabulous pianist and I am really inspired
by his music!
Lauren Williams, 2009 Chi Delta/Millsaps College
Change Your Mind by Sister Hazel. When they performed
at Millsaps College, a group of Chi Os attended together
and had so much fun. This song in particular is upbeat
and catchy and I love its variety of harmonies. Most of
all, I love the message: Be yourself and live each day to
Megan Wilson, 2010 Epsilon Gamma/U of Tulsa
Haven’t Met You Yet by Michael Bublé. I usually have a
ton of favorite songs and they change as I hear new ones.
But right now I love this song. It’s so cute, encouraging,
and fun! Not to mention his voice is phenomenal!
Leah Schmidt, 2010 Mu Gamma/ Culver-Stockton College
Free by the Zac Brown Band. I love the song because of its
great messages about love and life: You don’t need a lot of
things to make you happy; in fact, the simple things and
being free is what makes life meaningful.