In 1953, a group of male college students in the Zeta Kappa Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity at Bowling Green State University decided they needed another organization to help them with projects on campus and in the city of Bowling Green, Ohio. The original thought was to establish another service fraternity at the university; however, after a number of women expressed interest, plans were made to organize a women’s service sorority instead. Since the objectives of the two organizations were the same: service, leadership and friendship, a similar name was chosen: Omega Phi Alpha. Membership was initially only open to university women who had been Girl Scouts or Camp Fire Girls.
In 1958, a group of women at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti formed another Omega Phi Alpha chapter. In late 1962, a group of women at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut independently formed a third chapter. In the spring of 1966, the Bowling Green chapter registered the sorority as a national organization, and then asked the other chapters to affiliate. A national organizing convention was scheduled at Bowling Green in June 1967. At the convention, the three groups discussed ideas and agreed to the requirements and structure that formed Omega Phi Alpha National Service Sorority.
Since OPA’s founding in 1967, the sorority has expanded to 31 college campuses in 19 states.
Omega Phi Alpha presents many awards each year including service achievement awards for both individual and chapter achievement, leadership development awards, special alumnae honorary awards such as the Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award and OPA’s highest award, the Susan Terzian Award.
The Susan Terzian Award is named after OPA’s second national president and former Beta Chapter president at the University of Bridgeport (CT). In November 1968, while serving as national president, Susan passed away from injuries she sustained in an automobile accident while returning home from a service project.
The award recognizes a member, group or chapter that displays boundless dedication to service or a remarkable achievement. Omega Phi Alpha only grants this award when an achievement is considered to be extraordinary. Any active or alumnae member can nominate someone for the award to be considered and voted by the national executive board. Unanimous approval of the NEB is required to present this award.
Susan Terzian Award recipients:
|1978||Beta Chapter||increase in chapter membership|
|1980||Janice Schnack Sedory||her continuing dedication to the sorority|
|1982||Leslie J. Houston||outstanding leadership as national president|
|1984||Cynthia O. Viktorin||for the contribution of her talents to the sorority and her outstanding dedication and achievements for the sorority|
|1985||Victoria J. Cooper||for her years of undying devotion to and support of the principles and goals of Omega Phi Alpha|
|1989||Pamela M. McEwen||for her contribution and dedication to the sorority|
|1992||Sheila B. Bush Driller||for introducing the Cardinal Principles Workshop to OPA, her continued contribution to the sorority as chapter and NEB mentor, and her endless assistance with mailing the Chevron and maintaining the national office|
|1994||Ann D. DeMatteo||for her many years of service to the sorority|
|1998||Ginger McGarity||for the efforts she has put and continues to put toward the expansion of OPA|
|2001||Jan B. Titsworth||for her strategic direction and endless contributions|
|2009||Sarah VanDyke||for her tremendous work for the betterment and the progress of our sisterhood|
|2017||Andie Bowman Hixson||for her reliable, dedicated, passionate service not only to our national organization as a whole but to each individual OPA member|
|2017||Thea Moritz||for her dedication to our sisterhood, her extensive rebranding efforts, and her tremendous display of friendship|
Ann DeMatteo Alumnae Service Award recipients:
|2013||Perry Tretbar||Alpha Kappa|
|2014||Pamela M. McEwen||Epsilon|
|2015||Pamela Mudd Conlan||Delta|
|2017||Susie Pack Larson||Mu|