“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” I think this quote perfectly describes what Jilliann Hill has done. As the President of our Chi Omega chapter, she has always led our sisterhood with great enthusiasm and unwavering dedication. I am so happy to have her share her experience with all of you as she prepares to pass on the torch in just about a week. Thank you for a year of selfless service Jill; you are leaving a wonderful legacy for our chapter.
1. You are just about to complete your term as the President of Chi Omega sorority at the Gamma Beta Chapter at UCLA. How has your presidency affected your happiness?
Being the President of Chi Omega has made me a much happier individual. I’d even go so far as to say it’s even made me ooze with happiness. I consider myself lucky to be the leader of such an extraordinary group of women who each day inspire me to become a better person. I find myself constantly counting my blessings and feeling so thankful and fortunate for the life I have been able to live by not only being a member but a leader of an organization made up of women who are all fun, friendly, smart, beautiful, and selfless. From smiles in the hallway, to playing hot seat in the living room, to spontaneous dancing sessions in the bathroom, to movie nights with surprise double features and Marcel the Shell, to times when we dress up as dinosaurs and frolic around, to snake lines that become my own personal catwalk, to even the times we all cram into the Pit for an all-nighter before an exam, there has not been a moment when I am with my sisters where the positives haven’t ultimately outweighed the negatives. These girls, even when they make fun of how dangly and awkward I am when dancing, have allowed my happiness to grow exponentially just by being their selves.
2. What has been your happiest memory as President?
WOW! I don’t think I can name just one happiest moment. Each time I see our sisterhood flourish in one another is a happy moment for me. Hearing other people tell me how great our chapter is and recognize what a wonderful group of sisters we are and the purposes that we embody always brings a smile to my face. My typical response to their compliments are “ya, I know” because you don’t have to tell me twice, these girls are my source of happiness every day. However, I guess if I had to define a single moment within my term that could be my “happiest memory.” It was at Chi Omega Convention 2010 in Orlando Florida when I was lined up against the wall with all of the other 172 Chi Omega Chapter Presidents from across the nation about to embark on the “Parade of Chapters” or what I like to fondly refer to it as the “Chi Omega Catwalk.” It was while I was standing there against the wall when I realized I was not at all nervous about what “point of pride” would be read aloud in front of an audience of 1,000+ other Chi Omegas but rather I was overcome with love and admiration for all my sisters thinking of the plethora of options they could choose to say about our chapter. From our Panhellenic achievements to our high GPA, campus involvement, philanthropic efforts, career aspirations and most importantly love for one another it hit me right then that I couldn’t be happier than to be part of a sisterhood that is renowned for our hearts, passion, and commitment to bettering ourselves and others.
3. What has been the most challenging aspect of your presidency?
Like all parts of life being the president of a sorority has its ups and its downs. Fortunately for me, like I mentioned before, the ups have always outweighed the downs. The ultimate biggest challenge in taking on this position has been time management. I didn’t want this to be “just another obligation” but rather something that I did because I loved it. Yet in order to make that happen I had to delve in and really devote myself to my sisters. It took me a while to get used to being available to people 24/7 and spending countless hours a day responding to emails and phone calls while still managing classes, work, and have a personal life; but once I got the hang of it I loved it! Now, when I’m not busy doing one thing or another I find that I am always on the lookout for something to do or someone to talk to as I’m sure my sisters can all testify to since they’ve heard me shout down the hall numerous times the phrase: “Come here! Tell me a story!”
4. You recently attended Convention in Florida to represent your chapter. How did this experience affect your happiness?
Convention was an amazing experience being surrounded by over 1,000 women who are all Chi Omegas. While it wasn’t that big of a sample considering the over 300,000 women that are Chi Omegas it was still impressive to look into a sea of faces who all share the same core values that you do. It really gave me a sense of Chi Omega’s mission as an “intergenerational women’s organization” especially as I walked around on Cardinal and Straw day and was surrounded by a sea of faces young and old all looking their best in their red and gold. It contributed to my happiness in a way in which I found myself humbled by how incredible the women were who surrounded me. I was star struck when I found myself alone in the elevator with none other than Leticia Fulkerson, our National President and leader who volunteers her time. I was inspired when I sat beside our keynote speaker, Ann Bastianelli, at dinner after hearing about her distinguished career in marketing and consulting. And I was amazed sitting in the ballroom surrounded by everyone in all white on the night of initiation when our sisters from Mississippi put on an absolutely stunning performance. It only went to show more that Chi Omega doesn’t end, it lasts forever.
5. You are interning for the Make-A-Wish Foundation which is the Chi Omega philanthropy partnership. How has Chi Omega opened new doors for you?
Interning at the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles is a truly uplifting experience. Every day I am there I feel like I am making a valuable impact on the community around me and really have a hands-on experience of bringing hope, strength and joy into the life of a child. My happiest experience working at MAW so far has been when I found out Chi Omega would be sponsoring the wish of a child. We chose 5 year old Jaden who I have absolutely fallen in love with even though I have yet to meet him. His wish to have a dinosaur themed play set and his infatuation with everything dinosaur even inspired my Halloween costume! As far as Chi Omega opening other doors for me, there are so many opportunities available through Chi Omega. From every babysitting job or nanny position I have held, to attending game shows and even being on TV, to getting to meet celebrities, and hold amazing intern positions to even attending career fairs and networking for job interviews post-graduation. There are so many things I never would have been able to accomplish and so many people I never would have met had it not been for the connections I found in Chi Omega.
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook