“Unity comes when each person has something unique to contribute,” said Pensacola Christian College President Troy Shoemaker in chapel, opening Greek Week. “In a campus of 5,000, it can be easy to get lost, so we break it down into collegians.” He challenged students to “get to know those you’re near, strengthen and support those you’re with, and allow them to strengthen and support you.”
During PCC’s first-ever Greek Week, the Panhellenic Council arranged events and surprises, highlighting the Four Pillars of Greek life. The student body experienced Greek life like never before. Each day, students could dress in a specific theme, from classification colors to styles from a chosen decade. And after chapel, students discovered new surprises, including horse-drawn carriage rides, puppies, a Greek food truck, and more. And collegians actively participated in daily events, competing to earn the most points. The top men’s and women’s collegians would each win an extra, exclusive Member’s-Only Outing—and bragging rights.
Each semester, collegians unite for meetings and off-campus outings, generating a space for lifelong memories and friendships. On Monday, the first-ever Greek Sing represented the Unity Pillar. After hours of practice, ensembles competed, performing a variety of sacred, Disney, patriotic, or barbershop numbers for a small platform of judges.
While preparing for Greek Sing, Chorister Anna Overton (So., OH) learned a lot about her girls and about how much they love the Sigma Beta Bobcats. “I was very pleased and excited about their willingness to participate!” she said. “We prayed, laughed, got frustrated, and definitely grew closer as a sisterhood.”
Throughout the school year, students volunteer for Service Projects, including Outreach Projects like Adopt-a-Highway, Safe Harbor Pregnancy Medical Center, among others. They also attend Christian Service, ministering to children, the elderly, and those who have special needs. On Tuesday, the biannual on-campus Blood Drive coincided with Greek Week, highlighting the Service Pillar. Students flooded in to donate; one blood unit could save up to three lives.
During the Chariot Race, also under the Service Pillar, six teams at a time competed for the fastest men’s and women’s times. Each team raced the length of Eagle Field—with 2 members pulling and 1 riding a custom-made chariot. “I love the spirit and hearts of [the Hurricanes] and enjoyed watching them come together to cheer on our girls during the chariot race,” said Katelyn Stimac (So., KS), president of the Omega Delta Hurricanes. “My collegian overall was very full of spirit. They were super pumped and excited at every event! Greek Week has been such a great experience. I think it’s such a great dynamic for collegians of any size to get involved.”
Students earn points toward the Academic Pillar when they tutor their peers, create study groups, and make the dean’s or president’s list by maintaining a high GPA. For Thursday evening’s Brain Bowl, anyone could participate in the game-show-themed trivia competition and answer questions about history, science, PCC-related, and other random facts. As a judge, Dr. James Ridgley bellowed out the questions from under a grey wig and black cloak. And hosts Palmer Casteel (Sr., GA) and Autumn Ware (Sr., TN), dressed in sequins, kept the audience entertained between rounds.
“My friends and I participated in the Brain Bowl, and while we didn’t win, it was really fun trying to see what we remembered from all our school years,” said Katelyn Francisco (Jr., FL) of the Alpha Theta Rockets. “Brain Bowl was exciting, nerve-wracking, but extremely fun. I enjoyed the awesome unity and teamwork required for the event. It was fun working with my team to come up with the best answer for the questions.”
As students take ownership of and direct projects and events as appointed or elected leaders, they practice valuable skills. Greek Week concluded with Friday’s focus on the Leadership Pillar with collegian basketball championships. The women’s Zeta Nu Gators and the men’s Iota Chi Stingrays each won their championship games.
After hearing the special chapel led by Coach Mark Goetsch, students took away the importance of growing as leaders in order to support others. “As a graduating senior and president of [the Theta Kappa Lions], my main goal is to make other leaders,” said Paula Gaspi (Sr., WA). “After an amazing year of having great unity, I want this legacy to continue throughout the years by preparing them. Leaders make other leaders. If you view your collegian as a ministry, it changes your outlook. I wanted to create a group of girls who can know each other on more than just an acquainted level. I wanted my girls to make lifelong friends.”
Energy remained high throughout Greek Week as the student body rallied to participate in as many activities as possible. And by Friday night, the Delta Gamma Bears and Delta Pi Kings claimed the most points, earning them that extra outing!
Greek Week brought the student body together to compete and reinforce the four pillars of Greek life. And despite the variety among members, collegians produce a unique camaraderie. “While there’s diversity within the student body, at the same time, commonalities exist,” said Cody Green (Jr., OH), Kappa Psi Scorpion chaplain. “I love the brotherhood type of spirit that the Scorpions exhibit. There definitely is unity among the guys in my collegian, and I’ve had a lot of fun with them since freshman year.”
From freshman year to graduation day, collegians provide students a space to get involved, unite around common interests, and bond with a group of people that, for many, become friends for life.