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Panhellenic president honored

College life is sure to change everyone in some way, but for one student at the University, her involvement with the Greek community has molded her into an entirely different person.

Now a member of Chi Omega, junior Fay Coleman no longer considers herself the quiet and shy girl she was known as in high school.

“I came in not knowing what I was going to do or how I was going to make friends,” Coleman said. “I went through recruitment my first semester and it changed who I am. I couldn’t imagine getting up in front of a group of 50 people three years ago.”

It’s with this change in character that Coleman has come to be the President of the BGSU Panhellenic Council.

The Panhellenic Council is a student run governing board of the 14 National Panhellenic Council sororities on campus. It is the largest women’s organization on campus, with approximately 1,000 members.

Through her active involvement on campus she has been selected this year as one of five regional scholarship recipients from the National Panhellenic Conference Foundation.

Coleman was shocked to hear she won the $1,000 scholarship. She received a phone call from the NPC Foundation notifying her as a winner.

“I’ve never really won any scholarship or anything in my life so it was kind of shocking when I got the phone call,” she said. “I pretty much started crying on the phone because I was so excited when she told me about it.”

Coleman was formally announced as a scholarship winner at the Mid-American Greek Council Association conference, held Feb. 18 in Chicago.

“I remember when I was walking up there I heard all these BG people screaming and it was a really good feeling to know they all support me,” she said. “It’s probably one of the biggest honors I’ve ever had. Just receiving that out of all the people in our region and knowing that my work with the Greek community here has been recognized in other places is a great honor.”

Receiving this scholarship is not only an honor for herself, but for the University as well.

“It is a great tribute to Fay as it honors a sorority woman for leadership, scholarship and service achievements,” said Ed Whipple, vice-president of Student Affairs. “Only one recipient is selected in the Midwest; thus, it is a wonderful honor. It reflects well on Fay, her sorority and our Greek community and University.”

Kate Freedman, vice-president for recruitment for the Panhellenic Council, was not surprised to hear that Coleman won the scholarship.

“She’s an asset to our community. She’s an amazing person and she does a lot for our community and takes on a lot of responsibilities in helping to build it to better things everyday,” she said.

Coleman was awarded the scholarship not only because of her involvement with BGSU and its Greek community, but also because of her post-graduation plans and leadership qualities.

Coleman is looking to go to medical school and obtain a MD and Ph.D at the same time. She then plans on doing research in the field of psychology.

In addition to her position as president of the council, Coleman is a member of Order of Omega (honorary for the top 10 percent of Greeks), secretary for Gamma Sigma Alpha (honorary for the top three percent of Greeks), Psi Chi (a national honorary society in psychology) and the Golden Key National Honor Society, among others.

As president of the council, Coleman is in charge of overseeing the executive board, running the council weekly meetings, attending monthly ex-officio meetings and serving as head delegate at the MGCA conference.

Coleman excels both academically and as a leader, said Dean Harwood, advisor for the Panhellenic Council. He has been working with Coleman for about a year and a half.

“She’s wonderful, totally organized and has a lot of great ideas. She has done a lot of great things with the Panhellenic Council,” he said. “I thought she had a really good shot at winning the scholarship and it was very exciting to hear she won. She’s totally dedicated to what she does and does a great job as president.”

Coleman possessed all the characteristics the council was looking for in an applicant, said Marny Gilluly, president of the NPC Foundation.

“She was chosen based on her scholastic achievements, academic record, extracurricular activities, actions in her sorority and the philanthropic things she does,” she said.

Greek life and her involvement with campus organizations has been rewarding for Coleman.

“I love it. I’ve met so many great people and have had so many great experiences working with all different types of people,” she said. “It’s just been a great experience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Founded in 1902, The National Panhellenic Conference oversees 26 international women’s fraternities and sororities. Members come from 620 college and university campuses in the United States and Canada and from over 4,600 alumni associations.

The NPC Foundation scholarship is awarded to women from each Greek conference region each year. The foundation was established in 1995 and works to promote educational and charitable programs to address issues women face in today’s society.

Editor’s Note: information from the NPC Web site, was used in this article.

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