Alpha Chi Omega



Keenan, Hannah

Hannah Keenan (Alpha, DePauw University) was practically born an Alpha Chi. Hannah's parents were Alpha Chi Omega Founder Bessie Grooms Keenan and Luther Keenan. She was born in LeRoy, Illinois on December 17, 1899. Following in her mother's footsteps, Hannah was initiated into the Alpha chapter in February 1918. When asked about joining, Hannah said, "They had to take me!" 

Following her time at DePauw, Hannah became involved in Alpha Chi Omega at the national level. In September 1929, Hannah was hired at the central office, known today as headquarters, as the assistant to the national executive secretary and National Council member Miildred Blacklidge (Alpha, DePauw University and Kappa, University of Wisconsin). Hannah transitioned into her role as the director of central office in 1937, a position she would hold for the next 29 years. During her tenture as director, Hannah worked tirelessly to support Fraternity operations while taking a personal interest in every Alpha Chi Omega she met.

When Hannah began working for central office in 1929, Alpha Chi Omega had 48 collegiate chapters and 68 alumnae chapters. By 1961, the organization had grown to 96 collegiate chapters and 234 alumnae chapters. She also oversaw growth of the central office itself. In 1937, Hannah was essentially the business office, but by 1964 she was leading a team of 11 staff members. Staff handled everything from updating records to providing financial services to chapters and producing The Lyre

Upon retiring as central office director in 1966, Hannah transitioned into her role as Alpha Chi Omega archivist. To honor her years of service as director, the Undergraduate Scholarship Fund was renamed the Hannah Keenan Scholarship Fund at the 1966 National Convention. At the 1983 National Convention, Hannah issued a "Call to Celebrate" the Fraternity's Centennial, a vision which was realized at the 1985 National Convention in Indianapolis.

Hannah's "Call to Celebrate"embodied her life's work and dedication to Alpha Chi Omega. She shared, "Many sisters have gone before us to make great contributions to our Fraternity, and many sisters will come after us to carry on our traditions and build upon them. However, the happy duty falls to us to celebrate the Centennial of Alpha Chi Omega ... the cornerstone of our Second Century ... Together we will usher in a second century greater than the first. Together we will reach the heights."

Hannah Keenan undoubtedly left her special mark on Alpha Chi Omega and its members, far beyond being the daughter of one of the Fraternity's Founders. She passed away on July 8, 1999, at the age of 99. 

  • First Name
  • Hannah
  • Last Name
  • Keenan
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