On December 3, 2022, Omega Phi Alpha welcomed Alpha Upsilon as an active chapter. Located on the gorgeous campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, alumni and active members arrived to celebrate the achievements of this remarkable group. 

This was the third chapter to be inducted in the Fall 2022 semester, part of an ambitious plan to increase active chapters across the country.

Members arrived on Friday night to begin a weekend filled with service, leadership, and sisterhood. Those who made it in time were able to join the founding members for tie-dyeing white shirts. What a great way to start off an already-exciting weekend!

Saturday started off with a welcome from the new chapter and a slideshow presentation on their journey during the expansions process. 13 founding members shared their favorite service projects and the moment they fell in love with the organization. Many of their members shared that attending their chapter retreat was their most exciting experience since that was their first time meeting together in person.

After the welcome, everyone participated in a Smokey Scavenger Hunt. You bet everyone got their steps in that morning. For those who may not know, Smokey is the name of the University of Tennessee mascot, and they’ve had 10 dogs serve as Smokey over the years. Every time a Smokey is retired, he gets his own statue on campus. Members were broken up in groups and took pictures with each Smokey statue.

After the sisterhood event, attendees got in a big circle and participated in a group share. Alumni and Epsilon Chapter active members shared ideas for the new chapter that could help them bloom and grow for generations to come.

After lunch, the group made cards for the local children’s hospital in Knoxville. Members enjoyed making different designs to spread holiday cheer to the kids. All members were expected to bring in toys/games/other items to donate to the local children’s hospital. There was a table filled with gifts that the chapter donated.

Later that evening, all participated in the special ceremony that welcomed Alpha Upsilon into the sisterhood of Omega Phi Alpha. After the ceremony, the group enjoyed a dinner of tacos, then gathered in the main room to watch officer installation (their first!), and for superlatives to be given out.

Congratulations to the new lifetime members of Omega Phi Alpha and founders of Alpha Upsilon Chapter at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville:

  • Kayla Batson

  • Brianna Bloss

  • Allie Burysek

  • Kylie Delany

  • Kathryn Ehrhard

  • Frannie Pawlowski
  • Kevin Pham
  • Taylor Posey
  • Ans Samples
  • Lexy Tharpe
  • Xan Torgerson
  • Salem Whittington
  • Sydney Williams

Sunday was a bit bittersweet, as many of the alums and actives had to head back home. Those who had not quite left town headed to the Lady Volunteers basketball game against Virginia Tech. Special thank you to Frannie Pawlowski (Founding Chapter President) for getting tickets for all members!

Already, Alpha Upsilon is off to a great start. The Monday after induction, they welcomed the Alpha membership class to active status and now have 25 active members. The chapter is looking forward to recruitment in the Spring 2023 semester.

Want to get in contact with the newly established chapter? Email Chapter President Allie Burysek at alpha.upsilon.president@omegaphialpha.org.


Written by Catherine Ferrell (Alpha Gamma)