It is with a heavy heart that the Fraternity announces the passing of Past International President Ann McClanahan Gilchrist. Ann’s commitment to our sisterhood began in 1956 at Theta Chapter (DePauw University). Ann passed away on October 24, 2022 and leaves a significant legacy of service to AOII.
Ann served as a Regional Director, Regional Vice President, and on both the Executive Board and Foundation Board. She loved her work as AOII’s National Panhellenic Conference Third Alternate, a Foundation Ambassador, and on numerous International Committees, two of which she served as Chair, the Constitution Interpretation and Revision Committee and the Fraternity Development Committee. Ann served as AOII’s International President from 1995 to 1997. While International President, Ann led the Fraternity into our magnificent Centennial Celebration in 1997, a role she often said was an honor to hold. Her commitment to local service has been steadfast, too, and her sisters in the Indianapolis Alumnae Chapter will forever treasure her friendship.
Ann met her husband Keith on a successful blind date her junior year at DePauw. Her family members have grown up with a home décor full of roses, wheat, and pandas. Ann was the mother of 4 children, Kathleen (Richard), Kent (Susan), Stuart (Kim), Scott (Laurel), and 8 grandchildren whom she adored.
For years, the couple maintained many great fraternal friendships including three members of her AOII New Member class who married three of Keith’s Alpha Kappa Lambda brothers. Fraternal service would become part of their life’s work as Ann worked as Director of Chapter Services for Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity and Keith was the Fraternity’s Executive Director.
Following Ann’s Rose Banquet speech at the 1995 Convention, Keith was asked to share a few words from the podium, “She has been a major contributor to the success enjoyed by Alpha Kappa Lambda. She is a valued professional associate, a trusted counselor, my best friend, a beautiful person and one with whom I am very much in love. We live in a unique interfraternal world… We become the third husband/wife team to each serve as president of their respective Fraternities. [Now] is the first time a professional staff member of a men’s fraternity has become the International President of a women’s fraternity.” Together, Ann and Keith have made a lasting contribution to the Greek world.
Ann lived with simple devotion to AOII’s values. She demonstrated these to her sisters as well as to other women within the Greek community. As Stella stated in her letter to the Ohio Valley District Convention in 1936: “We wanted a society that should continue our companionship through life and extend the like joys to others.” The Fraternity honored Ann’s commitment to sisterhood and lifelong service with the Adele K. Hinton Award in 2007.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Ann’s term as International President, The Ann McClanahan Gilchrist Chapter President Scholarship was launched in 2022 to celebrate her life and legacy of leadership. This scholarship will be endowed through the AOII Foundation and awarded annually to a collegiate chapter president. To contribute to this worthy tribute, please click here.
The Gilchrist family is planning a celebration of Ann’s life to honor her commitment and impact to the organizations and people she cherished. The Fraternity will provide information in the near future regarding our formal draping of the badge for all members to honor her life and contributions to Alpha Omicron Pi.