Lincoln University Alumni Sigmas, Zetas Help Students Still Stranded by COVID-19

Lincoln University Alumni Sigmas, Zetas Help Students Still Stranded by COVID-19Mike Wilcox, Marlene Lewis, jennelle derrickson (CQ), Kyle Carey (seated) Verlonda Johnson-Baxter, Ameenah Muhammad and Yasmeain Hill.
Alumni members of Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta donate funds to sustain 3 current students over the summer

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA — Three Lincoln University students who have had to remain living on campus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, received financial help from fraternity and sorority members who are also LU alumni.

Members of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and Zeta Phi Beta sorority who are alumni of their respective chapters on campus donated $1,200 worth of gift cards for food and toiletries to Verlonda Johnson-Baxter, Ameenah Muhammad and Yasmeain Hill. The young women are among 11 LU students in total who were unable to return home when the pandemic struck, and the semester was halted early.

Some of the students have since been housed in area homes, said Rev. Dr. Frederick Faison, university chaplain and associate vice president of Student Health & Wellness. The Sigmas and Zetas learned of the plight of the three remaining students and contacted Faison. Though there are no summer classes and minimal business activity on campus, the university has continued to provide shelter for the three students, allowing them to remain living in one of the residence halls on campus. Faison recommended the amount the students needed to sustain themselves over the summer.

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'Blue and white family' helps LU students stranded by pandemic
Still practicing physical distancing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lincoln University alumni who are members of Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta visited with current LU students who remain on campus. (Micheal Wilcox of Phi Beta Sigma hands gift bag to Verlonda Johnson-Baxter.)

Sigmas members Kyle Carey and Michael Wilcox and Zeta members Marlene Lewis and Janelle Derrickson (CQ) drove to the campus outside Oxford, PA on May 26 to deliver the gifts and encourage the students. The young women were visibly moved, saying the visit reinforced their belief in LU’s reputation as a “family that looks out for each other.” The Sigmas and Zetas offered to continue mentoring the young women and pledged to help with additional funding if needed.

Phi Beta Sigma (founded in 1914) and Zeta Phi Beta (founded in 1920) are official brother and sister organizations formed specifically to be inclusive of others. They emphasize reaching out beyond themselves to serve the broader the community. This year the Zetas are celebrating their 50th anniversary on Lincoln’s campus, represented by their Delta Delta Chapter. In 2022, the Sigmas will celebrate 100 years on the campus, represented by their Mu Chapter. To honor their centennial, the LU alumni Sigmas recently formed the Mu Chapter Alumni Board (MAB) to establish an endowment to raise funds for the university.

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