Kappa Alpha Theta crowns Mr. University
On April 9, the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority hosted their 14th annual Mr. University pageant in Shiley Theater at the University of San Diego.
According to the chapter’s website, Mr. University is the largest philanthropy event on campus. It includes USD Greek and non-Greek students, faculty, and members of the San Diego community. The pageant raises money for the Theta Foundation and the Thetas philanthropy, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
Thetas mission was to find the next Mr. University by meeting ten male participants representing various students organizations. Each organization represented planets that the audiences got to travel to through the performances.
The contestants launched the night with an alien group performance to Katy Perry’s pop song “E.T.” before showcasing their planet’s talent through original dance and song routines.
USD junior Ashley Escobar attended the event for the second time and shows her support for the contestants.
“My favorite thing about Mr. U is the fact that these men were willing to put themselves out there and just give it their all,” Escobar said. “It was amazing how dedicated the men were.”
All the men worked to raise money for the charities and work alongside their Theta coaches for the talent section of the competition.
After an intense questions and answers round and improvisational performance of Frank Sinatra’s “L.o.v.e.,” the results were tallied. Mr. Fiji, Shane McKeighan was named the 2015 Mr. Congeniality. Mr. Associated Students, Crash Ketcham named Runner-up and Mr. Beta Theta Pi, Ryan Safar named the 2015 Mr. University.
This is the second year in a row Mr. Beta Theta Pi has won Mr. University and first time for senior, Ryan Safar. Safar said this was his first time ever performing in front of a crowd and participating in the pageant.
“My freshmen year someone asked me to become a contestant and I kept saying no, said no, and there’s no next year, so I faced my fears of stage fight, and it’s great,” Safar said. “I had a lot of people supporting me through this event.”
Georgia Rust, a senior member of Kappa Alpha Theta, was one of the hosts for the night. She explained what it was like to host her last Theta event.
“It was a whirlwind,” Rust said. “The contestants were amazing and really easy to work with. It was easy but crazy which made it a lot of fun.”
In the weeks leading up to the event, the contestants sold over 50 tickets each for the event, fundraised for the charities, and participated in coin wars to collect loose change for the foundations.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from Mr. University goes to the Theta Foundation and Theta’s philanthropy, CASA.
The Theta Foundation supports Theta members all over the nation with scholarships, grants, and educational and leadership programs.
CASA is a network of 951 community-based programs that help abused and neglected children find a loving permanent home. California has 100,000 foster children – more than any other state in the nation. Each child moves an average of 10 times and attends five to six different high schools. Last fall, Thetas hosted their first Foster Faces event to raise awareness of CASA.
Rust highlighted the importance of the proceeds going to the two organizations.
“Our chapter, we definitely pride ourselves on the amount of money that we raise every year,” Rust said. “It means a lot that we can say we donate $30,000 to CASA and the Theta Foundation because that is one of the reasons why many of the women join our chapter, to give back to these causes. It is really satisfying and fulfilling.”
At Grand Convention last year, the chapter was nationally recognized for Mr. University as “Top in Giving to CASA” and “Runner Up for Top in Overall Giving.”
Mr. University has already raised $10,000 from the event and will continue to be collecting donations until the end of the year on www.gofundme.com/usdmru.