Sunday, January 29, 2023

Alpha Omicron Pi Endows Scholarship in Late Sister’s Memory

Members of AOII are joined with Sears’ mother and sister at Premiere Lanes on April 6. Photo by Belle Hankey
Members of AOII are joined with Sears’ mother and sister at Premiere Lanes on April 6. Photo by Belle Hankey

Yesterday, April 20, the sisters of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority announced they have raised and surpassed their goal of $25,000 needed to create a memorial scholarship in memory of their late sister, Carli Sears.

Three months after the passing of junior Carli Sears, the Nu Beta chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority held a memorial bowling tournament on Wednesday, April 6, to raise money for the Carli E. Sears Memorial Scholarship.

Sears was killed in a hit and run incident in Morgantown, West Virginia over the winter break. The scholarship created in her name will be awarded to a member of Alpha Omicron Pi who is a hospitality major like Sears was.

Carli’s mother and sister flew in from West Virginia and Colorado for the bowling event. Both were honored at the service with a memorial quilt and photo album of “Dear Carli” posts her friends have written her since her passing.

“It was one of the most heartwarming things in my life,” said Sears’ mother, Julia Sears. “It was great to see the (crowds) of young men and ladies come out to support my ‘Carli Bear’ that we all loved so much.”

Alpha Omicron Pi national philanthropy chair, Emily Harral, was in charge of planning the event, which included the logistics of the bowling tournament, getting sponsors from local business, and recruiting bowlers to actually play in the tournament.

Harral said, “Carli was such a light to our chapter. This scholarship has showed us just how bright Carli’s light really is.”

Harral went on to explain that all 20 lanes at the bowling alley were completely filled with students and families for over four hours during the event.

Sears’ roommates are also members of Alpha Omicron Pi and were humbled by the love and support they have received since Carli’s passing, especially at the bowling event.

One roommate, Mackenzie Quick, wrote on Instagram that this scholarship endowment has truly reminded her why she joined Alpha Omicron Pi and that she “(has) the strongest support system of 400 girls, and (she) could not be more thankful.”

Sears’ other roommate, Olivia Wilson, said, “My heart is so full and so happy. I love the support that has been shown towards one of the greatest people I have had the privilege of knowing.”

Alpha Omicron Pi will continue raising money for the scholarship fund with the annual Strike Out Arthritis Bowling event.


Taylor Cos is a senior journalism major at Meek School of Journalism and New Media at University of Mississippi. She can be reached at tcos@go.olemiss.edu.

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