Carnegie Mellon University

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March 13, 2013

Faculty, Staff Get in the Act With Greek Sing

By Abby Simmons

Carnegie Mellon's Greek community is full of philanthropists rich in talent and creativity.

In 2010, the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association - the governing bodies of most campus fraternities and sororities - established a four-year goal to raise $150,000 for the Children's Institute of Pittsburgh through its annual Greek Sing competition.

Greek Sing 2013 co-chairs Caroline Flowers (DC'14) and Molly Shanley (DC'15) of Delta Delta Delta and Kappa Kappa Gamma, respectively, said the Greek community raised more than $40,000 in 2011 and $50,000 in 2012. They hope to raise $60,000 this year to surpass their long-term goal a year ahead of schedule.

In addition to the 19 fraternities and sororities involved in Greek sing, faculty and staff also volunteer to make the event a success.

Students nominate six faculty and staff members annually to serve as judges. This year's panel will evaluate performances such as "Legally Blonde," "Rock of Ages" and "Aladdin" on criteria such as music, choreography, set design, costumes and showmanship.

Angie Lusk served as a judge for the first time last year. As a coordinator of Student Life, she is involved in leadership development initiatives and sees Greek Sing as a primary example of the impact students can have on the Pittsburgh region.

"We recognize Carnegie Mellon as a community made up of individual student leaders, but when our students put that amount of time and collective effort into a project, the result is spectacular," she said.

Fellow 2012 judge and School of Computer Science faculty member David Kosbie also supports Greek Sing because he is impressed by the Greek community's shared mission.

"Yes, they [the students] all want to have fun, put on and see great shows, and win. But they all clearly want to help, do good and raise money to help the Children's Institute," Kosbie said.

With headquarters in Squirrel Hill, the Children's Institute delivers services through its hospital, day school and Project STAR, an adoption, foster care and intensive family support program. The children and families the nonprofit organization serves are challenged by complex and severe disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy and/or neurological impairments.

Numerous colleges and departments buy program ads to provide the operational support for the production, which attracted a sold-out crowd of more than 2,300 last year.

A portion of funds raised comes directly from ticket sales, which are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Greek Sing tickets are sold at tables in the University Center's Wean Commons during the week leading up to the show, which kicks off at 6 p.m., Saturday, March 23 at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall.

Fraternities and sororities work throughout the year to raise money for the Children's Institute in addition to their national organizations' designated philanthropies. Flowers said students send donation request letters to local businesses, approach family and friends for support, and sell items such as baked goods and jewelry on campus.