University of Miami alumnus and member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Joshua Cohen, along with his wife Megan, recently made a $1 million planned gift to create The Cohen Family True Gentleman Endowed Scholarship Fund.
The full-tuition scholarship will recognize one female and one male student leader from a sorority and a fraternity, respectively.
Alluding to Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s motto, the fund aims to highlight not only the leadership and dedication of Greek leaders to their fraternities and sororities, but also the importance of Greek life in a person’s personal and professional development.
“It’s important for [students] to understand the impact being involved in a fraternity or a sorority has on their future,” Cohen said. “When you are in college, you do not see the value that being a part of Greek life has on both your personal and professional life.”
Cohen wanted his gift to benefit Greek life leaders and pay tribute to his own experiences as a UM student.
“I want to give back to thank [the University of Miami] for my experience,” he said.
As it stands, Cohen will have no say in the selection process. The fund will come into effect upon his passing, in which case the committee will take charge and select the recipients of the scholarships.
“Some of the details still have to be hammered out, but a committee will be designated at the appropriate time,” he said.
The gift comes at a time when Greek life is experiencing tremendous growth. More than 2,000 students are involved in one of the 36 national fraternities on campus. This number has nearly tripled in comparison to last year, according to UM press release.
Justin Goldsman, executive board member of Phi Delta Theta and co-chair of Greek Week’s executive board, sees this scholarship as debunking the stereotype of students involved in Greek life.
“Most people think people who are involved in Greek life are party animals,” he said. “They could not be farther from the truth. A lot of us are incredibly active in the community and hold very important positions throughout the university. It is very nice to have someone donate and recognize the work of many students who often go unnoticed.”
The only other full tuition scholarship designated to students in Greek life is the William P. McCoy Scholarship. Cohen’s gift is part of the Momentum 2 campaign that has raised more than $1 billion for research, scholarships and professorships.