Alumna spotlight: Emmie Henderson Howard

Emmie Henderson Howard shows off some of her clothing line’s signature bowties

She’s southern. And proper. And so much more. While her demeanor has been described as “soft and simple as the cotton she helped harvest during her childhood,” Emilie Claire Henderson Howard (WC’01), known simply as “Emmie” to her Alpha Chi Omega sisters, is also a ball of energy and a saavy entrepreneur.

It was at Brenau and through Alpha Chi Omega that Emmie met her friend, sister and future business partner, Reagan Hardy Howell. Together, drawing upon their southern heritage and love for the preppy look, these two women founded Southern Proper, a unique line of clothing and accessories that combines classic haberdashery and southern-inspired style. Their signature products are neckties and bowties for men, which can be found at traditional men’s clothing stores throughout the South, up and down the East Coast, and beyond. During football season, Emmie and Reagan can be found at tailgate parties and trunk shows on college campuses, as their ties, sweet tees, prep belts, frat hats and other proper products are popular among students and alumni alike.

Howard (right) and business partner Reagan Hardy Howell show off their wares

A business major at Brenau, Emmie was a recipient of the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award and named both Student Volunteer of the Year and Greek Woman of the Year. She was a member of the H.G.H. Senior Honor Society and served as chair justice of Honor Court, president of the Brenau Recreation Association, and president of her sophomore, junior and senior classes. She also served as vice present/fraternity relations, vice president/chapter relations and standards, and vp/pranking for Alpha Chi Omega (although you won’t find that last position in the Bylaws). Her true claim to college fame may be winning $10,000 in a MTV lipsync contest. (We hear she split the prize money with her back up dancers, also members of Tau chapter.)

Emmie has a special knack not only for dressing her favorite beau, but for getting things done. That’s why she chairs the Brenau University Board of Advisors and is a founder of the Brenau Heritage Society. She also knows how to throw a proper southern party, which is just one of many reasons she serves as Tau chapter’s Centennial advisor. Emmie, along with Centennial chair Shelby Bright, promise a full day of fun and classy festivities for Tau’s 100th anniversary celebration!

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