This Illini memory is dedicated to the late, great Marie Gerdsen — or “Mrs. G,” as she was known back then to future Chicago author and Stargo founder Sarah Vargo and her fellow sorority sisters.
“Some of my fondest memories are when I found the yellow house with green shutters across from the English building — 907 South Wright Street, Chi Omega,” says Vargo (BS '02, communication/media studies). “It was hot, August and I was too excited about the possibilities to mind the long days of rush.
“I missed my parents, although I was too cool then to admit it. I was finding my independence but I yearned to be recognized and belong somewhere. I needed a new ‘home.’
“After being accepted in the sorority and taking on many leadership roles, I had the privilege to work closely with our house mother, Marie Gerdsen, fondly known as ‘Mrs. G.’
“Mrs. G taught me responsibility, etiquette and sisterhood and gave me a sense of home away from home. When I was stung by a bee for the first and only time in my life, she healed my swollen bee sting.
“I always felt safe in the Chi Omega house and it was my refuge for all four years. It is the place I had so many emotional breakthroughs and realizations, new relationships, dates and fun parties and Mrs. G was always there to remind me I was not alone.”