When the men of the Sigma Chi chapter at Utah State University feel inclined to serve their community, they don’t have to look far—for an opportunity, or an example.
Their chapter, of course, was where Significant Sig, Order of Constantine Sig and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Merlin Olsen, 1969, was initiated into the Fraternity. This month, on Sept. 15, Sigma Chi will observe its fourth-annual Merlin Olsen Day of Service. In honor of the philanthropic efforts that Olsen engaged in during his life, the Fraternity encourages its alumni and undergraduate members to serve their communities beyond simply donating money to a good cause. In prior years, members of the Utah State chapter have volunteered to clean up the nearby Merlin Olsen Central Park in Logan, Utah, pictured above.
In addition to being a member of the famed Los Angeles Rams’ defensive line, nicknamed “the fearsome foursome,” Olsen was a noted philanthropist who worked with organizations like Children’s Miracle Network (now called Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals) to ease the suffering of children with medical problems, and to inspire men and women to take part in volunteer service.
Sigma Chi’s mission for the Merlin Olsen Day of Service is simple: The Fraternity hopes to inspire its members to spend one day giving back to their communities. Grab a rake and clean up a nearby park; volunteer at a soup kitchen; sign up to tutor local youths—the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
David Nelson, UTAH STATE 1965, remembers Olsen fondly for his contributions to the chapter and the community. “Merlin was just Merlin,” says Nelson of the former football star. “He was just one of the guys, except for being the 800 lb. gorilla. He was outstanding at everything he did in life, and he never ceased to amaze me with his success.”
Please send photos and a short write-up of your service outings to honormerlin@sigmachi.org. Submissions may be highlighted in The Magazine of Sigma Chi, or on the Fraternity’s social media websites.