*Note: Eva Wozniak contributed to this article.
On Wednesday afternoon, students and supporters gathered on the Lycoming Lawn to raise money in memory of a fellow student who died in February. The main event? Pie.
Business students and friends organized a “Pie a Professor” event on campus from 1 to 5 p.m. yesterday, April 13. All were invited to come out and either pie a professor (or another volunteer) or throw water balloons. There were also wristbands and bakery items for sale. All of the money raised was donated to the Greg Anstine Scholarship at Bloomsburg University.
Greg Anstine was a sophomore supply chain management major and a brother of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity, Alpha Gamma chapter. He prided himself in his education and always strived to do the best he could in his classes, as evidenced by his approximately 3.9 GPA. An initial GoFundMe campaign organized by two of Greg’s friends described him as “loving, caring, intelligent, and simply a great guy to be around.”
Unfortunately, Anstine fell to his death in a hiking accident on Feb. 4. His girlfriend, Kyra DeStefano, another BU student, tried to catch him but also fell before a tree broke her fall, letting her call 911.
Greg’s Pi Lambda Phi chapter posted in his memory: “It’s hard to put into words how much he really meant to us and everyone around him.”
Now, the fraternity is focusing efforts on the Greg Anstine Scholarship fund. The scholarship will go to “a student in the Zeigler College of Business with a minimum 3.5 GPA who epitomizes the values that made Greg so special.” Business students have been planning and executing numerous fundraisers in the past few months.
Dr. Steve Welch, a professor of management in the Zeigler College of Business, is teaching a leadership class where the idea for the scholarship was born. In his classes, students are required to do daily acts of kindness. He described Greg as “a very bright light” and said “he made each class better.”
“But once we heard about Greg’s passing, I immediately got emails from students in every one of my classes, a few were housemates with Greg others were close friends, others were Pi Lam brothers. That next week, in each of my classes we talked about Greg, trying to process the grief, and out of that the students wanted to do something, something that would not let Greg’s memory die, so out of that the idea for an endowed scholarship emerged,” explained Dr. Welch.
Dr. Welch continued, “…the amazing thing is, only a hand full of kids in each class knew Greg, but from their emotions and processing their feelings, everyone in the class got behind this idea.”
Before the “Pie a Professor” event, a scholar-athlete in one of Dr. Welch’s classes, Shayna Warfel, organized a fundraiser with Fourth Taco on Main Street. The owner, Tanner Dilg, offered to donate a portion of sales over two consecutive weekends to the scholarship fund.
Dr. Welch said “the students told all their friends and that first Saturday night Fourth Taco had to close early because we bought them out of food. These kids are amazing.”
Then, a student named Sam suggested throwing pies at professors, said Dr. Welch.
“Each student was requested to contact all their professors and see if any would be willing to take a pie for Greg. We had a bunch of the faculty show up and gladly take one for the team,” said Dr. Welch. “But almost every student sat in the chairs willingly taking a pie to the face to raise money for the scholarship. Many sat there all afternoon taking dozens and dozens of pies to the face.”
Sam, the student who had the idea, kept a count of how many times she was pied. At the end of the event, she had been pied 25 times. She told the crowd she couldn’t end on an odd number, recruiting her 26th pie.
Dr. Welch recalled, “With 26 pies she had single-handedly raised over $100 for the fund.”
Shane O’Rourke, one of Greg’s fraternity brothers and a junior in the Zeigler College of Business said they are “asking people to donate to the fund so we as a community can create a scholarship for a someone who was not just a student at Bloomsburg but also an amazing human.”
Hundreds of people turned out to the “Pie a Professor” event. Pi Lambda Phi reported the fundraiser garnered nearly $2,500 for the scholarship.
People can donate to the Greg Anstine Scholarship Fund through this link.