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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

The good works of Greek life

Photo by Anna Lee Hoffman
Zeta Tau Alpha’s Chocolate Covered Strawberry Sale. Many Greek life organizations host philanthropic events like these.
Photo by Anna Lee Hoffman Zeta Tau Alpha’s Chocolate Covered Strawberry Sale. Many Greek life organizations host philanthropic events like these.

The movie Animal House may not be the full story behind the Greek Life culture found at Wofford and many of its peer institutions. For many, there has been a stigma around Greek culture on American college campuses since the beginning of their foundations. However, these brotherhoods and sisterhoods provide more for a college community than mixers and functions. 

Greek life organizations understand that life goes on outside “The Row” at Wofford College. Each house has a story, and with those stories come service projects. From a range of nationally focused to locally supported projects, each organization here in Wofford Greek Life makes a difference. Some of these are even driven by and founded in honor of members here among us Wofford Terriers. 

“Our philanthropy is Childhood Cancer Awareness, and our partnership is with St. Jude. Tri Delta is the largest sponsor for St. Jude,” said Brianna Nicole Basigner, former president of Delta Delta Delta. “Tri Delta’s national philanthropy since 1974 has been childhood cancer and in 1999 Tri Delta partnered with St. Jude research hospital. Since the beginning of our partnership, Tri Delta has raised over $60 million dollars. Some of Wofford Tri Delta events include (Delta House of Pancakes), Bids for Kids, and Backyard Bash.” 

“Our national philanthropy is Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA) and our local branch of this is the Hope Center. We also spend time with the Girl Scouts but do not donate any money to them,” Kappa Delta President Rebecca McCoy said. “Our two main events every year are Shamrock and Shuck, in the fall, and Shamrock and Run, in the spring.” 

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80% of the funds go to the Hope Center and 20% to PCAA. About 13% of the Hope Center’s budget comes from KD, who was  able to deliver a check of around $26,000 to the Hope Center this fall semester, for which they were named the volunteer group of the year. KD also offers community service events throughout the semester that sisters can attend.

While every fraternity and sorority has a nationally based philanthropy, each chapter puts its own take on those events and how to go about their service. From chocolate strawberry sales to low country boil fundraisers to formal balls, every organization has its own personality in the work they do.

“We typically have events in both the Spring and Fall semesters to raise awareness and money for CASA/GAL, the philanthropy we support,” Kappa Alpha Theta President Anna Claire Rhyne said. “Last fall, we had our first CASA Week, which was a whole week of events dedicated to donations and education.” 

Rhyne added that throughout CASA week, the sisters of Kappa Alpha Theta helped organize a series of events including a movie night, Flowers for Foster Care, Kites and Queso, Cupcakes for CASA and a drop-in event to paint bags for foster care children. 

Flowers for Foster Care is Theta’s annual flower market where students and members of the community can make their own bouquet or buy a premade bouquet for a loved one. In doing so, they are able to support CASA and give a gift to someone in their life.  

There are even partnerships among the Greek organizations. Sororities and Fraternities are known to work together on service efforts. At the CASA bake sale, Zeta Tau Alpha sisters and Kappa Alpha Theta sisters worked side by side selling lemonade and baked goods for their national philanthropy causes. 

In February, Zeta Tau Alpha and Kappa Sigma worked together on a local can food drive for a shelter in Spartanburg. 

In the Stephen Alonzo Jackson Weekend for the founders of Kappa Sigma, the organization has an annual weekly race to see which chapter can raise the most money for the Kappa Sigma National Philanthropy. 

All of the service efforts that the Greek Organizations support are great, but some hit closer to the Terrier family. Sigma Alpha Epsilon supports four organizations nationally: Movember, Children of Miracle, Sleep in Heavenly Peace and Be The Match. However, on Mar. 9, SAE did something special for one particular member of the Wofford community. 

“Our first philanthropy event of the year was to raise money for Adrenal Carcinoma Cancer, which one of our brother’s mothers passed away from this December,” SAE President Truett Watson said. “This is to honor her and her family, and do something to help future families not have to go through the pain he went through.” 

Brothers and sisters are welcome to do their own work too. 

“We also have brothers that individually do (work) on the Northside for these schools,” Watson said. “I myself have gone and taught the kids how to play gaga ball, which was a lot of fun.” 

For all that Greek life is known for, maybe there’s a bit more there than kegs, red solos and crazy parties. It’s not just about being a tight brotherhood and sisterhood, but taking that brotherhood and sisterhood out into the world. 

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