The Greek Gift of Giving

By Nancy Sajdak Manning
Two smiling children appraise a large roasted turkey that will soon be part of their holiday meal at Central Michigan university’s (then known as Central Michigan College) 1955 Delta Sigma Phi-sponsored Christmas party in Mount Pleasant. That festive meal topped off the mid-December Wednesday afternoon when 35 underprivileged children from five Mount Pleasant elementary schools also enjoyed a visit from Santa complete with presents. A December 1966 Central Michigan Life article describes CMU’s nine Greek fraternities and nine sororities continuing Christmas service projects in the Mount Pleasant community. All 18 organizations then joined together to provide 83 underprivileged children from Mount Pleasant schools with a Christmas party that included visiting with Santa, games, refreshments and gifts. Some other service projects mentioned are distributing food baskets, inviting underprivileged children and senior citizens to special events at fraternity houses, visiting the State Home to sing Christmas carols to patients, making presents for patients in hospitals and convalescent homes, making bedside aprons and washcloth slippers for children in Central Michigan Community Hospital and sending packages to members of the military in Vietnam. Fraternities and sororities offer members many opportunities including meeting others with similar interests and values, working on common goals, forming lifelong friendships, mentorship and learning and life experiences. One CMU fraternity member quoted in a Dec. 16, 1955, Central Michigan Life article describes his membership providing a special sense of “belonging and the spirit of love and understanding.” He also notes being amazed by the cooperation and closeness among CMU’s Greek organizations. CMU’s first fraternity, Phi Delta Pi, started in 1901. Throughout the college’s history, 73 Greek organizations have had chapters there, with 15 fraternities and 14 sororities still on campus today. Photo courtesy of Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant.

By Nancy Sajdak Manning

Two smiling children appraise a large roasted turkey that will soon be part of their holiday meal at Central Michigan

university’s (then known as Central Michigan College) 1955 Delta Sigma Phi-sponsored Christmas party in Mount Pleasant. That festive meal topped off the mid-December Wednesday afternoon when 35 underprivileged children from five Mount Pleasant elementary schools also enjoyed a visit from Santa complete with presents.

A December 1966 Central Michigan Life article describes CMU’s nine Greek fraternities and nine sororities continuing Christmas service projects in the Mount Pleasant community. All 18 organizations then joined together to provide 83 underprivileged children from Mount Pleasant schools with a Christmas party that included visiting with Santa, games, refreshments and gifts. Some other service projects mentioned are distributing food baskets, inviting underprivileged children and senior citizens to special events at fraternity houses, visiting the State Home to sing Christmas carols to patients, making presents for patients in hospitals and convalescent homes, making bedside aprons and washcloth slippers for children in Central Michigan Community Hospital and sending packages to members of the military in Vietnam.

Fraternities and sororities offer members many opportunities including meeting others with similar interests and values, working on common goals, forming lifelong friendships, mentorship and learning and life experiences.

One CMU fraternity member quoted in a Dec. 16, 1955, Central Michigan Life article describes his membership providing a special sense of “belonging and the spirit of love and understanding.” He also notes being amazed by the cooperation and closeness among CMU’s Greek organizations.

CMU’s first fraternity, Phi Delta Pi, started in 1901. Throughout the college’s history, 73 Greek organizations have had chapters there, with 15 fraternities and 14 sororities still on campus today.

Photo courtesy of Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant.

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