Carbondale Connections and a Shout Out to the Amazing Lyn Harris

The Fraternity and Sorority Archivists have the opportunity of attending a biennial conference coordinated the Student Life and Culture Archives at the University of Illinois. One of the best parts of the conference is the opportunity to interact with kindred spirits – fellow fraternity and sorority members who love the history of their own organization and who are charged with protecting and preserving that history. It is through those conferences that I had the opportunity to meet the one and only Lyn Harris, Chi Omega’s Archivist. Recently, Lyn had a big-time mention in an Odyssey on-line feature article Things That Only Chi Omegas Understand. The title is a bit misleading as this Pi Phi understands #5 completely. I’ve seen the owl shoes and I love all that she does to make Chi Omega’s history come alive to its members.

Post from Odessey

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Recently, Lyn has been in a myth busters campaign of her own.

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Late Sunday evening, July 31, 2016, a member of the Carbondale Police Department was shot in the line of duty. The officer, 26-year-old Trey Harris, was on the force a little more than three years. After the shooting, he was transported to a St. Louis hospital for treatment.  Officer Harris was initiated into Phi Kappa Tau at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. According to the Carbondale Police Department, anyone wishing to donate monetarily to Officer Harris can send checks to: City of Carbondale Police Department, “CPD Injured Officers Fund,” 501 South Washington Street, Carbondale, Illinois 62901.


Last night as I was in the middle of  a scanning project, I was reading the twitter feed. I saw that the opening of the Alpha Tau Omega Congress was being covered live. I tuned in just as the chapter at Southern Illinois University was being honored with a Storm Strap Award. The award honors a chapter or individual who have been able to withstand and prevail over severe chapter operational difficulties.

SIU Chapter President Nolan McConnell accepting the Storm Strap Award from Wynn Smiley, ATO's CEO

SIU Chapter President Nolan McConnell accepting the Storm Strap Award from Wynn Smiley, ATO’s CEO.

The spring semester was a very trying one for the chapter. It was accused of releasing a racist video. Congratulations Nolan on the award! Your leadership helped the chapter get through a very difficult episode.



© Fran Becque,, 2016. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest

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