For a growing number of our sisters, the collegiate experience includes a DPhiE house or chapter facility. Whether large or small, a meeting room or a chapter suite, these spaces share a common bond—they are homes to our sisters where fond memories are created that will last lifetimes.
One of the newest DPhiE-owned facilities is the house of Gamma Omicron Chapter at Georgia Southern University. Located in Statesboro, GA, the university enrolls almost 20,500 students. Some 12 percent of the students at GSU join are Greek.
Offering a housing experience was crucial to keeping the chapter competitive with the other sororities on campus, most of which offered houses. “It was important for Gamma Omicron to have a house because it represented a home away from home for women going through recruitment,” said Ellen Gourley, who served as chapter president during the house’s construction.
That competitive experience includes a comfortable, central place where the women can meet, plan sorority functions and study together. “Greek houses are used for many things other than chapter meetings,” said Nancy Hart-Esposito, the sorority’s assistant executive director overseeing housing. “They host philanthropy events and fundraisers, new member meetings, as well as provide safe, affordable housing for students. Living, meeting and event space is often limited on college campuses, so having a house helps the chapter and the campus.”
The sorority, through the National Development Corporation, purchased the land and designed and built the house from the ground up. “In many cases we have purchased an existing house or space and renovated,” said Hart-Esposito. “This was a great opportunity to design a house with our sisters’ needs in mind.”
And while the time spent together in chapter facilities helps members build the sororal bonds that endure long after the college, Gourley and her chapter sisters also know that the house alone does not make a sorority. “We were never under impression that this house would create sisterhood for us. Sisterhood has lived in Gamma Omicron since 2012 when we became a chapter, and being together under one roof just makes it stronger today.”
Learn more about the history of Delta Phi Epsilon housing in the upcoming spring Centennial TRIAD. You can learn more about the National Development Corporation here.