January 2021 Collegiate Chapter of the Month: Rho Theta, Elmhurst University

This month, we head to the Chicago suburbs to feature the Rho Theta Chapter at Elmhurst University. Read more about how these women are staying connected during the pandemic and giving back to their campus and community.  

Rho Theta members enjoyed Elmhurst University’s 2020 Homecoming festivities.

Chapter Name: Rho Theta

School Name: Elmhurst University

Location: Elmhurst, Illinois

Date Chapter Founded: April 25, 2009

Number of Members: 47

Chapter GPA: 3.75

Chapter Philanthropy Event/Monies Raised for CMN Hospitals

  • In 2020, our chapter raised a total of $1,800 for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, with $900 raised through virtual events over Zoom and different social media platforms. Our Philanthropy Chairwoman, Kristina Talia, hosted one of our favorite events, Phi Mu Bingo, in a virtual format. This gave our members, their families and alumnae the opportunity to connect, and most importantly, have fun while raising money for CMN Hospitals.
  • Additionally, our chapter supported the The Loveland Foundation and Lurie’s Amazon Wishlist. The Loveland Foundation supports communities of color, with a particular focus on Black women and girls.
Rho Theta members on Bid Day 2019.

Fun Chapter Facts

  • Rho Theta is partnered with our local Adopt-A-Park program. This great opportunity for members to give back to our community and help keep a local park clean and safe.
  • In November of 2020, we donated to Phi Mu’s Miracle Market and MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital in Charleston, S.C., to deliver a teddy bear to each patient and provide festive holiday decorations for the Oncology and Blood Disorders Unit.
  • We have a Rho Theta music playlist which is made up of members’ favorite songs, so we are all able to jam out together even when we are apart.

Points of Pride

  • In spring 2020, Rho Theta achieved the highest GPA among all fraternity and sorority chapters at Elmhurst University.
  • Rho Theta Chapter won Chapter of Excellence at Elmhurst University for the second academic year in a row in the spring of 2020.
  • Chapter member Laura Rusk was recognized by the Fraternity as the Outstanding Phi Mu Collegiate Member for Service to Phi Mu for the 2018-2020 biennium.

Interesting Facts about Our Members

  • Our members are involved in more than 40 clubs, athletics and honor societies across campus. Many of our members are leaders within these organizations.
  • In our chapter, members are studying a range of 25 different majors and minors. Some examples are communication sciences and disorders, education, intercultural studies, political sciences and many more!
  • One of our members, Cassie Ibarra, was elected as our University’s Panhellenic President for 2021.
Rho Theta members take a break during fall recruitment.

Staying Connected During COVID-19

  • At Elmhurst University, most classes and activities remain virtual, so our Rho Theta events have been in a virtual format to keep our members safe while staying connected.
  • Vice President of Chapter Development Dominique Terry hosted engaging and educational meetings for our members. Some topics covered were Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Service; and Mental Health.
  • Laura Rush, Sisterhood Chairwoman, hosted fun and unique sisterhood events which allowed members to bond. We painted together and had a game night all in virtual formats.
  • Our Membership Director, Michelle Buttita, planned and hosted a virtual recruitment. Zoom recruitment may have looked different, but Rho Theta made connections with Potential New Members, bonded as a chapter and gained 15 amazing Phis! Such success wouldn’t have happened without Michelle, who also had great support from Chapter President Holland Kosiek, Membership Assistant Jill Bliss, Reference Chairwoman Morgan Gerhardt and Chapter Adviser Katy Campbell. The entire chapter embraced the virtual format.
  • Our Social Chairwoman, Abby Lavelle, hosted virtual social events and formals for our members. During these events we gave out chapter awards/superlatives, learned how to do special effects makeup and painted ornaments together.
  • We are so thankful our members are able to stay connected while we can’t all be together in person. Phi Mu has given our members a positive place to call home during these unprecedented times!