Jessica Hickam Roffe and Liz Hickam are not only identical twins, they are also Chi Omega Sisters, initiated in 2000 by Pi Epsilon Chapter at Roanoke College in Virginia. This year marks another parallel, as Jessica took on the role of president of the New York City Alumnae Chapter and Liz began her second year as president of the San Diego Alumnae Chapter. Jessica lives with her husband, Peter, in Manhattan and works as a space planner for Victoria’s Secret. Liz lives in San Diego, where she is a project coordinator for West Wireless Health; she is engaged and is planning an August wedding this year in the twin’s hometown of Galax, Virginia.
I am a Chi Omega
Jessica Hickam Roffe, with Liz Hickam, Pi Epsilon/Roanoke College
I Am a Chi Omega... And So Am I!
As identical twins we’re often asked, “Do you do everything together?” Our immediate
answer is always “no,” because my twin, Liz, and I were raised to be individuals and feel
as though we have very distinct lives from one another. However, we do have the same
DNA (yep, we’re clones) so we can’t help but be drawn to the same interests. At one point
we were both living in San Diego, both working in commercial real estate, and both driving
Swedish convertibles! In fact, when I left San Diego, Liz took my job. Did I mention
we both went to Roanoke College, majored in business administration, and joined the
But, we promise we don’t do everything together.
Since graduating in 2003, Chi Omega has taken on a whole new meaning in our lives.
After college, we moved 2,400 miles from home to San Diego. Neither of us had even been
to California and we only knew one person in the whole city.
We both started our careers, but struggled making new, quality friends like we had in our
college sorority days. At first, we were hesitant to join the Chi Omega alumnae organization
because we didn’t know what the women would be like and we were reluctant to go
to an event at an unfamiliar place where we did not know anyone. Like a lot of Sisters,
we were initially worried that members might already have their cliques and not be open
to newcomers. However, we couldn’t have been more wrong. Everyone was very friendly
and welcoming and the alumnae group offered a wide variety of activities for all ages and
I quickly became active and joined the San Diego Alumnae Chapter Board as vice president.
It was not long before I convinced Liz to join the Board with me as treasurer. And
now, five years later, Liz serves as president. The main benefit of the alumnae group that
we enjoyed most is the friendships. A large number of the ladies are not just acquaintances
we see at Chi O events, but true friends we hang out with daily.
We love meeting new Chi Omega alumnae because we feel like all of the hard work in
making new friends is out of the way. These friends have been carefully selected for us.
We know that these women are kind, lovable, and loyal, and that we share a unique bond.
We have even met several Sisters who were close to moving back to their hometowns, but
remained in the area after finding a new home in the alumnae group.
In November 2009, I had to leave Liz and all of my Chi Omega friends behind to start a
new life in New York City. My “retirement” from Chi Omega leadership did not last long,
and I soon became vice president of the New York City Alumnae Chapter. A year later,
I was president and Liz and I were representing on each coast. While it was fun serving
together on the San Diego Board, we continue to help each other and our alumnae groups
from across the country by sharing ideas and advice.
We cannot imagine what our lives would be like today if we had left Chi Omega behind us
when we graduated. How many friendships we would have missed out on . . . how many
adventures . . . and how many opportunities! There are more than 300,000 Chi Omegas
and while in college we had the chance to meet only 250 of them. I am so glad that, nearly
a decade ago, I took a minute to look up the San Diego Chi Omega Alumnae website,
email the chapter, and attend one event. Had I not taken each of those steps, our lives
would be a much emptier version of what they are today.
It’s funny how confused outside friends get when we introduce them to a Chi Omega and
explain that they are a sorority Sister, but that we did not go to the same college. I guess
for so many others, Greek life ends with graduation. But not for us; we ARE Chi Omegas
and it truly is for a lifetime. And, for some of us, it’s even in our DNA!
If you are an alumna in the
New York City or San Diego
area, Jessica and Liz would
love to hear from you! Just
email Jessica at nychio@
yahoo.com or contact Liz at