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Campus creates new symbol of philanthropy

By Jasmine Tate
On September 10, 2013

  • Freshmen Jimmy McGovern and Stephanie Davis greet Phil the Pig on their way to class. The two students expressed their support of the student giving campaign. Jasmine Tate

Students, faculty and staff saw several new faces and changes to campus as the semester began. Among fresh faces was that of Phil the Green Pig.
Phil was welcomed to Southeastern by the Annual Fund, who collaborated with First Guaranty Bank in effort to spread awareness of the importance of giving back, promoting pride and the essence of philanthropy by students.
"Overall we wanted to focus and foster the idea of philanthropy at Southeastern, and one of our ideas was Phil the Pig; his name came from philanthropy," said Tasha Cooper, assistant director of annual giving for the Southeastern Foundation. "First Guarantee Bank is our official sponsor of Phil the program. Everything that we've spent for Phil right now has been through First Guarantee bank. They've been gracious. They understand the idea and the concept of philanthropy. They support it, and we're really glad to have them on board as our sponsor."
The program will launch on September 17, as Phil makes an appearance in Cayman Café to provide students with "Little Phil's," which are miniature green piggy banks adorned with the signature Southeastern green "S".  Students will be asked to fill Phil with donations throughout the year to aid in the development of signature programs, scholarships and events.  
"Starting the week of Sept. 16 we're going to start handing out our green piggy banks," added Cooper. Phil will actually be in Cayman Café Sept. 17 and 18 from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Students can drop off change throughout the year. We may partner with other groups and organizations depending on what things are going on throughout the year. We want to get Phil out as much as possible."
The program was created from student giving campaigns that saw success at other universities. Plans are being made to collect student information at drop off dates in order to track students' donations and provide incentives in addition to programs and events that result from collected donations by the student body.
All money donated will be used for student programs including scholarships, events and organizational donations.
I think it's a good idea, said Zachary Theriot. "The school definitely needs as much money as they can get especially with budget cuts."
Cooper explains that the goal of the program in its first year is to raise awareness and distribute as many pigs as possible.  
"For this year, especially this semester the awareness of Phil is our number one goal. We just want to see people coming and picking up the pigs and educate our students, faculty and staff about who Phil is and why this program is important.  Money raised for students will go to student programs. Hopefully [students] they'll love the idea of Phil and be able to see some results through their giving of change. Pennies a day can really go a long way if all the students at Southeastern ban together and support this program. I hope that everybody that sees one takes one and gets started. I think this semester will allow students to get excited, involved and want to be a part of the program and have their own Phil in their dorm room or at home. "
For more information on the campaign and Phil the Pig, visit or find Phil on on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Editor's Note: This story has been edited to reflect the correct spelling of First Guaranty Bank.

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