In 2014, the Sigs at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga dedicated their Sept. 15 to cleaning up the grounds of the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, a kindergarten-through-12th-grade magnet institution. They did so in observance of the Merlin Olsen Day of Service, which the Fraternity will mark for the sixth time in 2015.


“The school is near our chapter house and has always been very generous in allowing us to use their grounds,” says Nick Powers, TENNESSEE-CHATTANOOGA 2016. “Assisting them during the Merlin Olsen Day of service felt like a great was to return that favor.”


Though their project is still in the planning stages, Powers says that the chapter hopes to participate in a similar project for this year’s Merlin Olsen Day of Service.


Last year, the Tennessee-Chattanooga Sigs sent a contingent of 16 brothers to the school, where they spent several hours performing such services as clearing brush from an unkempt and overgrown driveway and picking up litter that had scattered about the school’s athletic fields. Afterward, the school’s principal offered use of the fields to the chapter’s intramural sports teams, a development that Powers called a two-sided victory for all around.


“Our brothers who participated in the Merlin Olsen Day of service came away from the experience knowing that the day is about making an impact on the community,” says Powers. “It’s about doing something for the sake of making a difference, not for the recognition of having done it.”


The Fraternity created the Merlin Olsen Day of Service in 2010. Named in honor of Order of Constantine Sig, Significant Sig and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Merlin Olsen, UTAH STATE 1962, the day pays tribute to Olsen’s example of sacrifice and service that he displayed throughout his life by volunteering with organizations such as Children’s Miracle Network, now known as Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.


Other projects that Sigs have undertaken in previous years to observe the Merlin Olsen Day of service include donating blood, picking up litter at local parks, adopting highways, and renovating local churches. For more information, or to submit your photos and stories, send an email to honor.merlin@sigmachi.org.