BMOC shatters previous record for Vera Bradley Foundation

February 20, 2024

By Ian Hoffman
Communication '26

BMOC
Contestants in the annual Big Man On Campus (BMOC) competition at Trine University celebrate more than $50,000 raised for breast cancer research with Kennedy Outwater, BMOC chair. Sigma Phi Epsilon representative Joe Keefe, a criminal justice major and Trine football player, was named the 2024 Big Man on Campus. (Photo by Parker Pelletier)
To say the 2024 Big Man On Campus (BMOC) event was a success would be an understatement.

The annual event, organized by the Trine University chapter of the Theta Phi Alpha sorority with all proceeds being donated to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, raised $52,037.69, more than doubling the previous record of $25,700.30 set in 2023.

The fundraiser consists of multiple parts, including Pink Week in the fall; BMOC shirt sales the week leading up to the pageant; Penny Wars; War Night, where contestants play games to score points; and the pageant itself, held on Feb. 16.

The pageant had silent auction items, raffle prizes and general donations, as well as opportunities for the contestants to share why they chose to participate, flash their fashion sense, show off a talent and share about one of the heroes from their life who inspires them.

There were nine contestants, one each from seven of Trine’s fraternities, the Christian Campus House (CCH) and Trine Student Government.

BMOC chair Kennedy Outwater was incredibly happy about how the event turned out, saying, “The contestants contributed so much in raising $52,000. Their donation pages alone raised $28,000 of that and that has never happened before.”

Sigma Phi Epsilon representative Joe Keefe, a criminal justice major and Trine football player, was named the 2024 Big Man on Campus. While he had been a spectator for BMOC in previous years, he didn’t realize the scale of the event.

“I wasn’t aware of how much of an impact this has on not only Trine but the community. So, once we started and things went along it became very clear to be that this event is bigger than all of us,” he said. “It’s an amazing thing to be a part of something so special.”

BMOC
Sigma Phi Epsilon representative Joe Keefe, a criminal justice major and Trine football player, was named the 2024 Big Man on Campus. (Photo by Parker Pelletier)
Gage Ornduff was awarded “Mr. Pink Ribbon,” which goes to the contestant chosen by his competitors as having the most sportsmanship and enthusiasm during the week leading up to BMOC. Along with the money he raised, Gage set a personal goal to reach an individual dollar amount donated. Since he hit this goal, he donated much of his hair to make wigs for those who have cancer.

He said, “BMOC was a great way to help others who are in need while having fun in the process. To give back to my supporters for surpassing my personal fundraising goal, I donated 11 inches of my hair to Children with Hair Loss in Rockwood, Michigan.”

Since 2000, Theta Phi Alpha has raised over $200,000 for the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.

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