1999 Perry Award

The Perry Award is the HIGHEST distinction given to a collegiate member of Alpha Omicron Pi. Stella George Stern Perry was not only the first president of Alpha Omicron Pi, but the first president of Alpha Chapter, as well. It is, therefore, appropriate that the award to honor her and carry her name go each year to the one collegiate president who by outstanding service to her chapter, exceptional inspiration to its members and recognition by the administration and/or fellow students of her college or university, typifies the Alpha Omcrion Pi so beloved by Stella.

This year*s recipient has been a role model for all who know her. She has the uncanny ability to make others smile and feel special when in her presence. Displaying an undying passion for excellence, she lives the AOII philosophy each and every day.* Chapter members say of her , "through her inspiration, our chapter has come together in so many different and beautiful ways". and "The light that she carries within touches every person that she meets."

A creative and inspirational leader who has used her talents for the benefit of the entire chapter and each of its members, this young woman created visibly higher chapter morale by always having a positive approach to any conflicts, and keeping the chapter "up" with her enthusiasm and energy. Through her constructive leadership, the chapter has come to understand that its strength lies in its ability to recognize areas for improvement and the utilization of everyone's opinions in forming and reaching their goals.

Chapter and personal goals were a focal point of her year as president. She united LC and the chapter by constantly making the chapter aware of the LC discussions; she initiated Open Discussion Meetings which have allowed all chapter members to feel that their voice matters; she organized the chapter's first LC and Cabinet retreat which not only had clear objectives, but was fun and meaningful for each participant. And throughout all her endeavors she has been more than an honorable leader, she has been a friend to all. Each chapter member is important to her.

When this president realized that Ritual was losing some of its effect because the chapter was cramped into a small room, she researched and found a room on campus which could accommodate all the members of this large chapter for more meaningful Ritual.

She has had a positive motivating impact on her sisters not only to get more involved but to Stay involved with the chapter; she created the first Senior Chair position which has become a position to motivate seniors to stay involved within the chapter and also to look toward alumnae involvement; she conducted a chapter survey and then compiled the results into a booklet so members could view their opinions and ideas; she pushed the chapter to accept the point system suggested by the CC and today the chapter can feel the positive affect on their attendance; she implemented an LC member of the Week award; and under her guidance the chapter had their first ever AOII Back to School Picnic in the Fall, the first AOII Run for the Roses which involved not only the campus but also the whole community.

Singlehandedly, she designed a sisterhood event which helped the chapter members develop their own Chapter Mission Statement. And at the time of and after the tragic death of a chapter sister, this inspiring leader worked with the parents of the sister not only on the Memorial Service but on a permanent memorial on their campus.

Improved relations with other collegians and chapters on campus, with the Panhellenic, and with their advisors is but one of her legacies which is still felt by the chapter.

She was a member of AOII's Collegiate Advisory Board, on the Dean's list for 3 semesters (carried a 3.9 CUM while in office), is a member of Mortar Board and several honor societies, on the University Urban Leadership Program, a member of Choraliers, and worked on the Task Force for Child Assault Prevention and several other programs at her local home level, and after having finished her term as Chapter President, was elected by the Greeks on this large campus to be Panhellenic President.

Her Chapter Advisor says "She is truly an inspiration to all who have come to know her"

Alpha Omicron Pi is proud to present the 1999 Perry Award to MELISSA PARSONS of Omega Chapter, Miami University, Ohio.