Within the past two weeks, the Southern Miss Gamma chapter of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, known as Sig Ep, has not only donated over $9,000 to local charity Extra Table, but has also won a third consecutive Excelsior Cup.
To win the Excelsior Cup, a national award for Sig Ep chapters, three years in a row is an impressive and rare feat.
This year’s Excelsior Cup was awarded for excellence, in standards and accountability and in “supporting a culture where all members live in accordance with the values and expectations of the fraternity and their university,” according to the official press release.
Greek Life officials at Southern Miss praised the fraternity.
“Sig Ep is consistently one of the leaders in our Interfraternity Council,” said Southern Miss Director of Greek Life Charles Childress.
“Their continued recognition through their National Office proves they are a leader regionally amongst their peer chapters. We in Greek Life are proud of their past and current accomplishments and what the future holds.”
Members of Sig Ep were also proud of the accomplishment.
“It feels great to win this prestigious award three years in a row,” said Dylan Copeland, a Sig Ep member and junior construction engineering major. “Every year we try to improve in every aspect, and it is very encouraging to see our hard work pay off.”
Additionally, the men of Sig Ep were able to raise over $9,000 at their annual Chili Cook-Off last semester for their philanthropy, Extra Table.
Extra Table is a non-profit with a goal of ending hunger and malnourishment in the region by providing food pantries and soup kitchens with new and healthy food. This is Sig Ep’s first year working with Extra Table.
Brandon Dunnam, a junior sports management major who also serves as the chapter chaplain, explained why they chose Extra Table as the fraternity’s philanthropy.
“We made the switch to Extra Table because we felt like we could make more of an impact (locally) and generate significant support for them and what they are trying to accomplish because they help many people who are hungry or malnourished here (in) the Pine Belt.”
All of the money donated to Extra Table goes directly toward food purchases.
Across the nation fraternities and sororities engage in philanthropies that have more of an impact both locally and globally than the uninitiated observer might realize at first glance. In fact, according to James Madison University, fraternities and sororities raise over $7 million for charities every year, as well as totaling over 850,000 hours of community service annually.