The life of a college student is usually defined by a mix of exams, internships, group projects and part time jobs. Gathering an array of resume-worthy experiences before walking across the stage becomes top priority. But perhaps it is the opportunities we least expect that have the greatest impact, as Missouri Epsilon (Missouri State) Matt George discovered.
The summer going into Matt’s first semester at Missouri State, he was introduced to his Fraternity, Phi Delta Theta. “As a young man in a new place, it was Phi Delt that guided me to become a successful college student,” he explained. “Through pledging, I learned time management, dedication and focus.” Little did he know, joining Phi Delta Theta would also provide him with the opportunity to save someone’s life.
It was during a regular Sunday meeting when a nurse came to ask Matt’s fraternity to be put on the national registry to donate their bone marrow. “With the chances of finding a match being somewhere around 1/500, I didn’t think much of it,” Matt explained. “But sure enough, two years after being on the registry, I received an email saying they had found a match for me.” She was a 48-year-old woman with leukemia. “Fifteen needles and two trips to Washington, D.C. later, I had successfully donated my bone marrow,” said Matt.
While Matt stepped up earlier, donating bone marrow really hits home for the Missouri State campus now, as the campus community has rallied around fellow Bear and student athlete, Allie Alvstad. She was diagnosed in September with acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. Since being diagnosed, Allie has undergone a bone marrow transplant and recently passed the 60-day post-transplant mark with no signs of cancer in a biopsy. #AllieStrong! You can follow her story at @AllieStrong48 on Twitter. As for Matt’s bone marrow recipient, he is still waiting to hear if the transplant was successful.
On the classroom front, Matt has found his passion as a double major in Logistics & Supply Chain Management and Sales. “My favorite thing about the Marketing Department is the real world experiences I get in class. For instance, my Advanced Selling class brings in companies that train us on how to sell their products, and then we give a sales pitch to determine how we did. I think methods like this really show if students understand a concept much better than any test would or could,” said Matt.
As a supervisor and student caller for RuffaloCody, the company that is contracted to call MSU alumni and bring in donations, Matt uses what he learns in class to benefit Missouri State University. “I’ve raised more than $65,000 for various funds here at Missouri State. That is something I am very proud of. It has been a key experience in not only encouraging me to pursue sales, but also developing my skills.”