by Rene Fitzgerald, Pi Kappa (University of Texas at Austin), Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee
Who: Alpha Omicron Pi
What: International Convention during a Pandemic
When: June 23-26, 2021
Where: Wherever you are
How does AOII have a biennial Convention when it’s not in person? How can a virtual Convention be as engaging, enjoyable, productive, and inspirational as our “usual” conventions?
The simplest answer: We pivot!
So, get your computer ready.
During Alpha Omicron Pi’s first ever virtual International Convention in June we’ll miss those in-person hugs, but we’ll still see old friends and make new ones. Among many factors helping make this biennial Convention extra special will be the innovations required to produce it, our beginning to celebrate 125 years of sisterhood, and sharing fraternity and love collectively with delegates and probably more non-delegates than usually attend. That’s primarily because travel and hotel expenses will not be required. What a great opportunity for non-delegates to participate!
The Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) especially is looking forward to sharing two very special traditions of convention with a larger than usual audience: the Candle Lighting Service and Memorial Ritual.
The Candle Lighting Service honors our Founders and all of our collegiate chapters. Because it’s a Service, it’s OK for non-AOIIs to see it. At some conventions we’ve held this service outdoors and non-AOIIs have enjoyed watching it from hotel balconies.
With this 2021 virtual convention, the “usual” large-scale logistical considerations and plans involved with producing the Candle Lighting Service on-site pivoted to extensive innovation and coordination by RT&J and the International Headquarters staff for a virtual version. As usual, each chapter will be represented individually by a sister lighting a candle and stating the chapter’s name, college or university, and submotto. Those and additional components will be presented as a result of 215 individual videos being knitted together to create one of the most memorable and meaningful Convention events.
Our beautiful Memorial Ritual (attended only by initiated members) is held at the end of Convention. It honors members who died since our last biennial Convention. This moving Ritual allows us to remember our departed sisters with peace and love.
Also at this Convention we’ll retire the Panhellenic Commemorative Emerald Badge created in honor of Past International President Carole Jones when she began her term as National Panhellenic chairman. The badge may be purchased through June 30.
Another commemorative limited-edition badge has recently been introduced to celebrate our 125thanniversary. This gorgeous all-ruby badge may be ordered now from Herff Jones.
RT&J is honored and proud to have collaborated with the Executive Board to create these inaugural commemorative badges.
Thanks to the dedication, creativity, and skills of volunteers and staff, our 2021 Convention will be ground-breaking, pivotal (!), and especially exciting because it will provide opportunities to far more AOIIs to share the invigorating convention experiences than ever before.
Hope to see you there!
You may contact the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) about anything Ritual-related at RT&J@alphaomicronpi.org.