URI Greek Life recognized by YMCA of Greater Providence as a 2024 Y HERO

Posted on May 15, 2024

Nathan Goulart and Victoria Johnson, presidents of the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association, respectively, pose with YMCA CEO Karen Santilli and WPRI-TV anchor Mike Montecalvo as they collect the Y HEROES award for Greek Life. (Photo courtesy of GPYMCA)

KINGSTON, R.I. – May 15, 2024 – Christopher House on Lower College Road is the hub that connects the University of Rhode Island’s Greek Life community – 3,400 undergraduates from 18 fraternities and 12 sororities. It’s a gathering place, a place to hold meetings and informal events.

This week, Christopher House received a new decoration – a 2024 Y HEROES award from the YMCA of Greater Providence that was presented to URI Greek Life for its generous support. Victoria Johnson ’24 and Nathan Goulart ‘25, leaders of the Panhellenic and Interfraternal Council that oversees URI’s Greek Life community, accepted the award Tuesday, May 14, at the YMCA 2024 Heroes Celebration at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick. 

“The Greater Providence YMCA is incredibly grateful to URI Greek Life for their above-and-beyond generosity, particularly in the last two years, to provide summer camp scholarships and other programming opportunities to youth in the communities we serve,” said Karen Santilli, the YMCA’s chief economic officer.

URI Greek Life donations totaling approximately $122,000 during the 2022-23 academic year benefited the YMCA’s annual fund, which enables support of its mission to ensure that every child and family—regardless of income or background—has the opportunity to lead a healthy, confident, and connective life at the Y. The annual fund supports scholarships and financial aid for such programs as after-school childcare, summer camp, and swim lessons.

“Being recognized for important work is huge for Greek Life,” said Goulart. “Greek Life does so many good things that go unnoticed. Our community – from individual students to chapter houses to our membership as a whole – spends countless hours raising money for good causes and doing philanthropy work. It’s nice to have that recognized.”

“This award means a lot,” added Johnson, president of the Panhellenic Association. “Students join Greek Life to get involved and what a great way to make an impact.”

Service is one of the core values of URI’s Greek Life, and students take that seriously, Johnson said. Each academic year, Philanthropy Week in the fall and Greek Week in the spring raise hundreds of thousands of dollars that go to good causes. In 2022-23 alone, the community raised more than $300,000, with donations going to six benefactors, including such causes as sexual assault and domestic abuse awareness, along with the YMCA.