This story was originally featured on our partner magazine site,  West Virginia Executive

On a chilly Saturday morning in April, when most college students were still fast asleep, a group of West Virginia University (WVU) students gathered on the Mountainlair plaza, where they were separated into subgroups. The groups filed onto buses and rode away from campus in opposite directions, off to meet community members and organizations across town to perform service in a big way.

This year marked the second WVU fraternity and sorority community’s Big Greek Day of Service project as a kickoff to Greek Week, a weeklong celebration held in early April. While each national fraternity and sorority is founded on its own set of values and ideals, the collective values boil down to four: sisterhood/brotherhood, scholarship, leadership and service. Greek Week at WVU is a time when the students involved in the 31 fraternities and sororities on campus celebrate these ideals with programs centered on philanthropy, service and fun. What better way to begin this celebration than with a day full of service around the community these students call home?



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“This annual project is so important because it brings together all of our fraternities and sororities at West Virginia University for a day of productive, meaningful community service,” says Blake Humphrey, a WVU senior who created the event last year. While the event began as a class project, this partnership between the WVU Center for Service and Learning and the Greek community has brought to fruition a meaningful new tradition.

“Not only does this event build stronger relations within the Greek community, but it also helps improve relations with the greater Morgantown community,” says Humphrey.

With nearly 800 students participating each year and 21 sites and organizations around Monongalia and Preston counties served, the students have the opportunity to be introduced to new organizations and learn more about the community where they will be spending the next few years.

“Even doing something simple like planting flowers and cleaning up at the elementary school made a meaningful impact,” says Jordyn Mulholland, WVU senior and the Panhellenic Council president. “In the interactions I had with the principal and others who work at North Elementary, I really felt that we as WVU students are truly viewed as a part of the Morgantown community.”

WVU’s Greek life is integral to the college experience of many students, and being a part of something bigger creates a lasting connection to Morgantown.

“Our town and community have given us so much,” says Humphrey. “We felt it was time for the Greek community to give back to them in a positive way.”

About the Author

Jessica Li is a Morgantown native and two-time graduate of West Virginia University. She currently serves as the student program advisor in the Office of Greek Life at WVU.