Ivy Leaf - Spring 2007
Bedford, Pennsylvania native John Blackburn wasn't interested in fraternity life when he first came to Penn State Altoona. But when he met a brother from Sigma Pi, that all changed. Blackburn ended up making one of the best decisions of his life.
"[Joining a fraternity] is so different than I thought it would be; it has changed me so much and opened my eyes to so many things. I never would have in my entire life been so involved with so many things," Blackburn notes.
Instead of going to class, going to his room, and going home on the weekends—the lifestyle that Blackburn says he lived before becoming a member of Sigma Pi—he serves as president of the fraternity and is active in countless other campus organizations. Although he is very busy, he says he "loves it."
The senior marketing and management major is involved with Greek life overall in addition to his fraternity; he currently serves as president of the college's Inter-fraternity Council, which is the governing body of all fraternities on campus. He sees his involvement in the organization as a way to make a difference at Penn State Altoona.
"It was a very proud moment when I was elected, to be looked up at from all the other members from all the fraternities and be able to lead them in a direction as I did my fraternity. It's a way that I can hopefully make the Greek life community as a whole more beneficial and a better place to be."
Blackburn also helps make a difference on campus and in the community through his involvement with Sigma Pi. For example, the fraternity spearheads an event each year called the Ace Project, a clean-up in which members walk through the creek on campus properly disposing of litter. The members also work with the Masons in the Lilly, Pennsylvania, area to help them with fundraising activities, and they serve community breakfasts every month through the Fireman's Breakfast program. Sigma Pi also is active in campus-wide service activities such as Make a Difference Day, Safe Trick or Treat, and Bounce Marathon.
Outside of his fraternity, Blackburn serves as a member of the Student Government Association, an Orientation Leader, Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, and Habitat for Humanity, in which he helped build six houses last spring in Fort Lauderdale, Florida—a task he especially enjoyed and which reflects his true spirit.
States Blackburn, "It made me feel good. I enjoy doing things for other people."