Then and Now: Indianapolis Conventions

Then and Now: Indianapolis Conventions

By Emily Floyd (Theta Upsilon, University of South Carolina), events manager 

Did you know Indianapolis has hosted the Alpha Chi Omega national convention two times before this – in 1985 and 2000? 

1985The official 1985 National Convention photo  The 1985 convention celebrated 100 years of excellence for Alpha Chi Omega. With a record-setting number of attendees, more than 1,700 Alpha Chi Omegas and their guests gathered in Indiana’s capital. Prior to the official start of convention, attendees toured the national headquarters building and the Alpha Chi chapter house at Butler University. In 2024, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the new headquarters building, dedicated in 2022, and the Alpha (DePauw University) chapter as add-on excursions.   

1985’s Reunion Night Dinner included a processional of 149 banners from every chapter ever established (and at this year’s convention, we’ll see the addition of one new chapter banner for Lambda Pi at the University of Mississippi, for a total of 197). The colorful banners decorated the chapter room and convention center. American Olympic gymnast Bart Connor addressed Alpha Chis with an engaging talk on success with intermediate goals. 

During the State of the Fraternity Address, National President D’Alice Coburn Cochran (Alpha Mu, Indiana University) noted that Alpha Chi Omega had increased the number of collegiate chapters throughout campuses and increased alumnae support across the nation. The 1985 convention was also the birthplace of the Centennial Sash Ceremony, presenting sashes to representatives of chapters celebrating 100 or more years. The ceremony is still conducted to this day, and this year eight chapters will receive this honor! 

2000 Lyre CoverThe cover of the fall 2000 Lyre with a convention recap inside  The 2000 convention brought more than 700 Alpha Chi Omegas back to Indianapolis to celebrate the theme, “Our Heritage, Our Future.” The event opened with a delegates meeting, a “Back Home Again in Indiana” dinner and a dessert reception. Alpha Chi’s State of the Fraternity address highlighted the new National Council structure of five national vice presidents, a structure that is still used today. The election of these leaders, among others, will take place at this year’s convention. The 2000 convention held a walk to support victims of domestic violence along the canal on the banks of the White River, and attendees listened to keynote speaker Dr. Condoleezza Rice (Gamma Delta, University of Denver). Alpha Chi Omega also showcased its newly updated website, which was quite exciting for the turn of the century! 

Star Booth also made an appearance at the 2000 convention and raised $17,000 from sisters honoring one another with a star! This year’s Star Booth, supporting the Real. Strong. Women. Fund, will help our current campaign, Common Bond. Uncommon Impact., by providing funding to expand and improve programs, sustain collegiate chapter success, support individual members, and continue to advocate for domestic violence awareness and prevention. 

Many traditions we will see at the 2024 convention have been enjoyed by sisters for years. Whether we are joining together to vote on the business of the Fraternity, enjoying time with each other in Indianapolis, or learning how to grow and prosper as sisters, there is something for everyone. 

We can’t wait to make lifelong memories again in Indianapolis at our 62nd National Convention this summer! Be on the lookout for registration opening in February and start preparing for the fun! 

This article was originally published in the winter 2023 Lyre. Learn more about convention in the magazine and on the event website.