C of I Greek chapters shine a light on philanthropy

College of Idaho students often organize events for the benefit of others. And one of the driving forces behind many such service projects is the active Greek life organizations on campus. April has been a particularly busy month for the seven C of I fraternities and sororities, many of which are holding their major annual philanthropy events.

Most recently, “Grilled Cheese with the G-Phi Bs,” hosted by the sisters of Gamma Phi Beta, raised funds for the local chapter of Girls on the Run, an after-school program that encourages self-esteem and healthy lifestyles for younger girls while training for a 5K race. Earlier in April, the brothers of the Sigma Chi fraternity hosted a series of events known as “Derby Days,” raising a chapter-record $3,223 for the benefit of the Huntsman Cancer Society in the process. “Derby Days” is a nationwide, philanthropic event among Sigma Chi chapters which host a variety of fundraisers. At the C of I, Sigma Chi brothers wear plastic derby hats as sorority sisters chase them around campus and try to capture the hats.

“Raising money for charity is something that can bring students together, regardless of Greek affiliation.” said Sigma Chi brother Chanse Ward. “It's all about connecting personally with students so they know their donation—be it time, money, or effort— is benefitting them in a way or making a legitimate impact.”

At the center of each fraternity or sorority is a strong commitment to philanthropy and community service. Throughout the year, Greek organizations plan and put on major fundraising events open to the campus and community. These fundraising events are well known and have become part of campus life through the years. Savala Smith, C of I director of student involvement, credits the Greeks as the largest group of students dedicated to philanthropy events throughout the school year.

“Each Greek organization has a national philanthropy that they sponsor,” Smith said. “However, first and foremost, the focus is on the community.”

Another example is the “Toast to C of I,” which recently was hosted by the gentlemen of Kappa Kappa Sigma. The event is a formal celebration of The College of Idaho, with all funds allocated toward funding scholarships for C of I students. In addition, the ladies of Kappa Alpha Theta will hold their annual male pageant, “Mr. CASAnova,” on April 22. “Mr. CASAnova” helps raise money for the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program in the Treasure Valley.

As a community-oriented institution, The College of Idaho places a special emphasis on service and philanthropy. Throughout the year, blood drives are held, leaves are raked on Caldwell lawns, and blankets are made for children in need. And Greek-led projects and fundraisers help ensure that service to the local community remains in the hearts and minds of all C of I students.

If you would like to get involved with Greek life or philanthropy events, be sure to check out “Greek Week,” happening April 20-24 on campus. Any of the current fraternity and sorority members will be happy to answer your questions and help you get involved.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. The C of I has a legacy of academic excellence, a winning athletics tradition and a history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. For more information, visit