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Thursday, Dec 2, 2021

Fraternity men catwalk for charity in Panhellenic Big Man on Campus pageant

Mercer Panhellenic held their annual Big Man on Campus event in Willingham Hall Wednesday with the proceeds going to the Circle of Sisterhood and the winning sorority's philanthropy.

The participants were Parker Hilliard, competing for Phi Mu, Reece Farrel, competing for Alpha Delta Pi, Satchel Sumner with Chi Omega and Tuvek Johnson with Alpha Gamma Delta.

The men were judged by Fernando Palacios, a professor in the Foreign Languages and Literatures department, Julie Petherbridge, the dean of Mercer’s Stetson-Hatcher School of Business and J’lan Day, a graduate assistant for Fraternity and Sorority Programs. 

The first half of the event consisted of a fashion show, a talent portion and a “catwalk,” where each contestant was challenged to walk across the stage in high heels.

The contestants put on various acts to win the judges’ favor, including a "Green Eggs and Ham" rap, a monologue from "Julius Caesar" and Johnson inviting a friend onstage to use him as a weight for a bench press.

The event then moved to a questions round, where contestants were asked what they thought was the most important issue their generation faces. Hilliard said that he thought his generation's overdependence on technology is an ongoing issue.

“It just puts a lot of pressure on developing kids, teens and college students,” Parker Hilliard said. “I think one thing to fix that is to limit the time on your phones, live in the moment.”

The contestants also discussed mental health and depression among young people in their generation.

The competition closed with a pick-up lines competition and a lip sync battle. Hilliard was crowned the winner of Big Man on Campus at the end of the event. 

Proceeds from the event went to the Circle of Sisterhood, which provides financial resources for organizations that remove barriers for girls’ education, and to the winning sorority’s philanthropy.

The mission of the Circle of Sisterhood, according to their website, is to leverage the collective influence of sorority women to raise financial resources for entities around the world that are moving educational barriers for girls and women facing poverty and oppression. Over 260 campus sorority communities across the United States are part of the Circle of Sisterhood, and 38 school buildings have been built with the money raised.

“Just know that what y’all are doing today is going to impact a lot of women’s lives,” Madison Mercer, one of the presenters of the event, told the contestants before the results were announced.  “We are so thankful for everything that you’ve done.”

Hilliard won the competition, and a portion of the proceeds was donated to Phi Mu's philanthropy, the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. The event raised a total of $1,124, according to Panhellenic's Director of Philanthropy Michelly Pereira.

“I think it went really well,” Pereira said after the event. “My goal this evening was to raise $500, that’s usually what we raise, and I doubled that tonight, so that’s really exciting.”


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