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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

“There is nothing more precious to your parents than your lives”

On Apr. 28, 300 Wofford students and Spartanburg community members joined together to raise awareness for mental health.

The event was held in memory of Cameron Pappas, who died by suicide in 2015. Pappas, then a rising senior at Wofford, struggled with binge drinking alcoholism and had persistent mental health issues. Nevertheless, Pappas made a sustained effort to ask for help. 

He had been regularly seeing Dean, then counselor, Beth Wallace for counseling. 

The event raised over $7,000 for the Spartanburg chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the new Cameron Pappas Mental Health Fund, which would aid in expanding mental health resources for students on campus.

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Lily Reihs, a Psychology major and Wofford Kappa Delta’s Vice President Inclusion, had a strong passion for mental health advocacy and has worked to promote the cause at Wofford and within Wofford Kappa Delta. 

“One hundred percent of the proceeds will stay in the county,” said Lily Reihs ‘25.

70% of the proceeds will be directed toward starting the Cameron Pappas Mental Health Fund, which will be completely focused on expanding the mental health resources on campus. Specifically, these funds could be used to expand Create or bring therapy dogs to campus more often. 

The remaining 30% of the fundraised total will be directed towards the Spartanburg affiliate of the National Alliance for Mental Health. 

Lisa Pappas, Cameron’s mother, spoke about the family’s history with loss and mental illness, stating that losing his sister, Brooke, in 2010 and grandmother later in 2015 affected Cameron significantly. According to Lisa, Cameron never fully recovered from the death of his sister, who died in a head on collision while he was in high school. 

As Lisa detailed the events of the day of Cameron’s death, a solemn stillness covered Leonard Auditorium, where the opening ceremony took place. Lisa had left the house for two hours to run errands. When she returned, Cameron was dead, with a note in his pocket stating that he just wanted to be with his sister. 

At the end of sharing her story, Lisa wanted students to remember how loved they are. 

“There is nothing more precious to your parents than your lives,” said Lisa.  

In Oct. 2023, Spartanburg NAMI hosted an Out of Darkness walk at Duncan Park. The walk was intended to spread awareness and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. Reihs was inspired by the cause and got a group of her Kappa Delta sisters together to participate in the walk. 

It was there that Reihs met Lisa Pappas and learned about Cameron’s story. 

Reihs heard about the 5K that had been done in Cameron’s memory in 2017 and 2018 and was inspired by Lisa’s story of resilience and advocacy, inspired by loss. 

She immediately knew she wanted to restart the 5K and host it in Cameron’s memory. 

Working with Sigma Alpha Epsilon and their president Luke Thomas ‘25, Reihs began planning the 5K event with Lisa back in the fall semester.

Although the Greek life community was heavily involved in organizing the event, Reihs wanted to make sure that everyone on campus felt welcome to attend the walk. 

Reihs worked with Wofford Women of Color, Morgan’s Message and the Psychology Society and invited them to participate. These groups also had tables at the cookout that took place after the walk. 

Campus Wellness Center staff were also present, sharing the resources that were available to students. Kellie Buckner and Tye Tindal, both members of the counseling staff at Wofford, reminded students of the counseling options for students, Create events, the Terrier Care support line and solution sessions. 

Tindal shared the newest addition to counseling services: mental health first aid training. Students can learn how to assist others in crises. 

Buckner and Tindal reminded students that they do not need to be in crises to seek support. 

The Cam’s Club 5K Walk provided students a chance to honor a late student, brought together the college community and provided resources for mental health support. Most of all, the event inspired hope and reminded students the support they have both on and off-campus. 


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Katie Kirk
Katie Kirk, Managing Editor
Government Major from Greenville, SC
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