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Memory of lost sister lives on through sorority scholarship foundation

By Greta Morris
On April 15, 2014

The Ohio Zeta chapter of Pi Beta Phi (Pi Phi) sorority recently made a donation to the Julie Turnbull Scholarship Foundation to commemorate their sister's memory. This year, more than $8,000 was donated.

Turnbull was one of three Miami students to pass away in an off-campus housing fire on April 10, 2005. Turnbull was a senior at the time of the fire and an active member of the Pi Phi sorority, chapter president Alex Filotsos said. The Julie Turnbull Scholarship Foundation was created to help Turnbull's memory live on in the Miami community. The money donated to the foundation goes toward funding scholarships for Miami students in her honor.

"Julie Turnbull was a Pi Phi here at Miami, so this foundation is obviously close to our hearts," Filotsos said. "We have made an effort year after year to stay in contact with her family and friends with hopes of Julie's legacy living on through each one of us."

Pi Phi uses events during their Mom's and Dad's weekends to raise money to donate to the foundation. This year, a raffle was held during Dad's weekend in the fall and a silent auction and brunch occurred during Mom's Weekend in the spring, with the proceeds going to the foundation.

A balloon release is also held annually in Turnbull's honor near a bench dedicated to Turnbull in central quad. Notes to describe the purpose of the balloons and who to contact if the balloons are found are also attached. This year, people hundreds of miles away found balloons.

"We got a note from Mr. Turnbull the day after the balloon release saying that a couple found a balloon all the way in Pennsylvania the morning after the release," Filotsos said.

Philanthropy events and activities are frequently held in the Greek community play a large role in Greek life, according to Panhellenic Association President, Caitlin Duckworth.

"A lot of our chapters are really passionate about their philanthropy work," Duckworth said. "I think that when chapters start doing these events and they're very successful it brings a sense of value to our campus and the chapters know that the work they are putting in is making a difference in other people's lives."

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