Greekapalooza: Party for a Cause

OU Greeks come together to support The DRCC

Oglethorpe University’s chapter of Chi Phi fraternity raised more than $600 to benefit the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center at their annual charity event, Greekapalooza, on Friday, September 14.

Donations increased almost 100% over last year’s event, in part because Chi Phi offered a free benefit show played by local musicians, the Critty Upchurch Band, who played covers of popular songs at the Greek Row block party.

Edmund Smith, a sophomore brother of Chi Phi, says that donating to support the cause is important, but the bigger goal was to raise awareness for the DRCC. “Though we hope OU students never need it, we want people to know that there is a place they can go for help.”

OU Greeks watch the Critty Upchurch Band at Greekapalooza.

Not only did Greekapalooza raise money to help the victims of rape and sexual violence, it was also the first event of OU’s Fall 2012 Greek Recruitment/Rush. All of the Greek organizations at Oglethorpe attended to show support and to meet potential pledges.

“Greekapalooza is basically a great way for OU’s Greek organizations to come together, fraternize, and unite behind a great cause,” said Chelsea Reed ’13.  “It is the perfect kickoff for recruitment because it shows that Oglethorpe Greeks value community and philanthropy—both on campus and beyond.”

Photos by Robert Findley.

Oglethorpe University Ranked Among Top 50 U.S. Liberal Arts Colleges

Independent news magazine Washington Monthly has released its annual list of Top 100 Liberal Arts Colleges in the nation, and Oglethorpe University comes in at #49!

The magazine rates and ranks colleges in three different categories: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs) and service (encouraging students to give something back to their community). Within the service category, OU was ranked #9 for providing a high number of staff supporting community service, the number of academic courses that incorporate service, and for providing scholarships for community service.

Members of the incoming class sort and pack book donations at Books for Africa.

Oglethorpe provides numerous volunteer opportunities for its students throughout the year. Most recently, 350  freshman and first-year students participated in the annual Orientation Day of Service alongside faculty, staff and community volunteers. The group was spread out across Atlanta, volunteering with nine different nonprofit organizations. Five groups’ efforts went to environmental stewardship, lending a hand to Grant Park Conservacy, TREES Atlanta, Southwest Atlanta Growers Cooperative, Crop Mob Atlanta and Park Pride. Three groups volunteered at nonprofits that focus on homelessness and hunger issues: Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta, Senior Citizen Services of Atlanta and the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  And, one group of 80 students helped to sort and pack books at Books for Africa.

Oglethorpe freshmen assemble beds at the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta.

Earlier this month, Oglethorpe also was named to Forbes magazine’s list of top colleges in the nation, and for six consecutive years has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.

Oglethorpe’s First Lady Betty Londergan Tells Heifer International’s Story Through Travel Blog

Oglethorpe’s First Lady Betty Londergan was featured this morning on CBS Atlanta 46 for her volunteer efforts on behalf of the nonprofit Heifer International, which ”work(s) with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth.” 

She is traveling to 12 countries in 12 months to share the stories of Heifer’s good works around the world—all chronicled in her blog project called Heifer12x12.com. Currently seven months into her literal and virtual journey, she’s traveled to Guatemala, Haiti, Rwanda and Romania, to name a few.

Watch the CBS report here:

CBS Atlanta 46 

For her work, Londergan recently was named Volunteer of the Year from the Southern Region in the national CLASSY Awards. She is the author of several books and in 2010 embarked on a year-long project called What Gives 365, during which she gave away $100 every day for a year and blogged about it.

Londergan’s work also extends directly to the Oglethorpe campus. Oglethorpe will host Heifer International’s Heifer Sustainability Summit on October 12-13, 2012.  And, through Londergan’s efforts in collaboration with Oglethorpe’s Center for Civic Engagement, the campus will launch the OU Heifer Club in fall 2012—the first Heifer club on a college or university campus in the south.

The Coca-Cola Foundation Awards $1 Million to OU for Scholarships

The Coca-Cola Foundation LogoThe Coca-Cola Foundation — the global philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company – has awarded a $1 million grant to Oglethorpe University to establish the Coca-Cola Oglethorpe Scholars program.  The foundation recently announced grants to seventeen colleges and universities totaling $5 million as part of The Coca-Cola First Generation College Scholarship Program. Oglethorpe will award its first Coca-Cola scholarships during its annual competitive scholarship competition in January 2013.

“Oglethorpe has a longstanding tradition of providing a high-quality, hands-on liberal arts education to first-generation college students. In fact, nearly 35 percent of our students are first-generation, a rarity among the nation’s top liberal arts colleges,” said Dr. Lawrence Schall, president of Oglethorpe University.
“We are extremely grateful for Coca-Cola’s recognition of our service to these students and to the city of Atlanta through this very generous grant. Our new Coca-Cola Oglethorpe Scholars program will help 100 first-generation students learn to make a life, make a living, and make a difference.”
For nearly 100 years, the Coca-Cola Company and Oglethorpe University have shared strong ties to one another and to the city of Atlanta. The very first Coca-Cola bottler, John Thomas Lupton, was a great Oglethorpe benefactor for whom one of our signature buildings is named. Throughout the years, numerous Coca-Cola executives have served on Oglethorpe’s board of trustees, including current Oglethorpe board chairman Norm Findley, retired Executive Vice President for Coca-Cola Enterprises, and board member Ceree Eberly, Chief People Officer for the Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Oglethorpe in 2008.

Read the press release from the Coca-Cola Foundation

Download the OU press release (pdf)