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AOII Recruitment Advisor Serves as Role Model for Ole Miss’ Nu Beta Chapter

By Ashton Brooks Logan
Hottytoddy.com intern

In the spring, AOII’s brick house is dotted with pink roses and, atop the wooden french doors, gold greek letters spell the sorority’s namesake. Upon entering, individuals are welcomed with warm walls and women as unique as the jacqueminot rose that represents them. Among the grandeur is AOII favorite, Kitty Walker Herndon.

Herndon stands on the front porch of the Nu Beta chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi on University of Mississippi’s campus on Thursday, April 23. Photo by Ashton Brooks Logan.

In the back hall of the house lies a quaint bedroom that is seldom unoccupied by Herndon, a recruitment advisor to all, and a mother away from their own to many. 

Standing around 5-foot-6, Herndon is a petite woman with short brown hair that has a way of always looking effortlessly flawless. Her hazel eyes and pink-lined smile are a window straight to her caring soul. Her wit and cheerful composure turn 544 Rebel Drive’s collection of rooms into a place of peace, comfort and love.

Originally from Ripley, Tennessee, young Walker was initiated on a beautiful spring day in 1971, or as she likes to refer to it, “a far, far away galaxy.” 

After graduation from the University of Mississippi, Herndon went to work for Delta Airlines and started a family. She became a mother to three boys and truly thought that her time with the Nu Beta chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi was a distant thought of the past. 

“It wasn’t until my son went through fraternity recruitment that an alum invited me to get involved with the chapter, and I did,” Herndon said. “Through that, I got the opportunity to be their recruitment advisor and I knew nothing. So I told them I would do it for one year, but I fell in love with this chapter and the Nu Beta women.” 

Being a mother and a grandmother, an international flight stewardess, and an advisor, Herndon juggles various commitments. As she travels to the bright lights of Shanghai, the ancient Roman Colosseum or magnificent St. Mark’s Square of Venice, she keeps AOII close to her heart through constant communication. 

“I get a message from someone in the chapter at least once a day,” Herndon said. “The beauty of AOII and the beauty of my work is that both of them sit in a certain slot so I know in advance how much time I have to give AOII and I budget for it.” 

In the fall, Herndon packs her bags and readies herself for the week that she has spent countless hours preparing herself, the 400 active members, and various alumnae for the entire year — The University of Mississippi’s formal Panhellenic Recruitment. 

Her quaint back bedroom, occupied with two blue framed twin beds becomes a sanctuary dedicated to worshiping resumes and recommendation letters. 

Herndon with Nu Beta’s vice president of recruitment, Raksha Chatakondi (right) and vice president of recruitment elect, Meghan Foley (left) on Thursday, April 23. Photo by Ashton Brooks Logan.

Raksha Chatakondi is a junior and active member of Nu Beta where she serves beside Herndon as the organization’s vice president of recruitment. 

“Recruitment at an SEC school is a completely different ball game and Mrs. Kitty knows how to play,” Chatakondi said. “Her dedication to our chapter goes beyond the hundreds of hours she serves as a recruitment advisor. It extends to support chapter members in philanthropic efforts, individual members in their personal goals and achievements, and events at the university level.” 

After a very long week of jumping, screaming, and endless conversation, Sunday comes and the top of Rebel Drive is full of jitters, glitter and patience as the women await the arrival of their new sisters. 

“To sit back and watch the fruits of their labor, their hard work and to see how excited they are to welcome a new group of sisters into their organization, those are my favorite memories,” Herndon said. 

At the very core of AOII, the most basic value is charity and serving those who surround you in a kind manner. Herndon is a true, walking representation of what it takes to inspire ambition.

“The group of women here at Nu Beta are extraordinary women, and I expect them to live up to the standards that I have for them because I know they can,” Herndon said. “I encourage them to be the best version of themselves.” 

This year marks the 17th year that Herndon has served as recruitment advisor for Nu Beta. She is an everlasting light of inspiration, encouragement and love that shines brightly through not only the Alpha Omicron Pi organization at The University of Mississippi, but also her community and anyone who meets her. 

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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