When it came to undergraduate chapter operations,
National Counsellor Ruth Miller Winsor found a great deal about which to be optimistic
in 1937, reporting: “My heart lifts with high hope for the future progress and prosperity of Alpha Chi Omega.
There is renewed optimism and a great eagerness among our active girls to make Alpha Chi Omega a living
and vital force in universities and colleges where we are represented.”
Then, as the growing possibility of war loomed over the country,
Western National Counsellor Agnes Thumser Rutledge shared this observation in 1939:
In these trying times the necessity of training for citizenship and leadership in a democracy is glaringly important to everyone
…The chapters of Alpha Chi Omega have not reached the Utopian state, but with the undergraduates striving for individual growth and harmonious group living,
and with the continued guidance of these chapters by the alumnae advisers, the province presidents,
and the Council, the future is bright and challenging. Scholarship The war years found uneven scholastic achievement by undergraduate members.
While fewer opportunities for social activities may have offered more time for study,
some felt that the aura of looming uncertainty had a negative impact on academic motivation.
In an article in the April 1945 issue of The Lyre (interestingly titled
“Has Your Scholarship Gone to War?”), Chairman of Academic Standards Margaret Weldon Olson (Chi, Oregon State University)
implored chapters to remember that, “It is only through a high level of mental ability
that we as a nation shall be able to occupy and retain
the high place in the family of nations which we all know we rightly deserve.”
She also pointed out that, “rather than explaining a period of low scholarship in the house by saying that it was during the war,
you can point with pride to an outstanding record and say,
‘Yes, that record and all our war activities, too.’ After the war, however, scholarship trended upward.
A number of factors contributed to this: campuses now did not allow students with poor grades to remain in school, grades before pledging,
and alumnae advisors were placing greater emphasis on scholarship with chapters.
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