By Mariah Rodriguez
Civil Engineering '21
The 18th annual Big Man on Campus (BMOC), sponsored by Trine’s Theta Phi Alpha sorority, raised
$12,755 for the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.
This year’s total is the highest amount ever raised through BMOC, and was achieved
through two weeks of activities that ended with a pageant on Feb. 16. The event was
extended a week after the original Pageant Night on Feb. 9 was postponed due to weather.
“BMOC 2018 could not have gone better. The support and generosity we received in the
week leading up to and at the event was truly humbling,” said Brittani Smith, a biomedical
engineering major from Indianapolis who serves as vice president of Theta Phi Alpha
and chair of BMOC. “I could not have pulled this off without the help of all 44 of
my sisters. This is one event that we all rally behind and are extremely passionate
about. We love seeing the impact we can make, even in small-town Angola.”
Eight male students competed in this year’s BMOC event. Tylor Willms, a senior sport
and recreation major from Fremont, Indiana, came in first; Ben Moricz, a senior mechanical
engineering major from Valparaiso, Indiana, came in second; and Tyler Wang, a junior
exercise science major from Kentland, Indiana, came in third. Moricz also was named
Mr. Pink Ribbon, which recognizes the contestant chosen by the other competitors for
showing the most enthusiasm and sportsmanship.
The other contestants included Drew Clark, a sophomore chemical engineering major
from Urbana, Indiana; Trent Culler, a sophomore design engineering technology major
from Elkhart, Indiana; Brady Elliot, a junior mechanical engineering major from New
Palestine, Indiana; Blake Powell, a junior management major from Grabill, Indiana;
and Travis Riddle, a junior computer engineering major from LaGrange, Indiana.
The contestants’ total scores were compiled from three separate categories; Penny
Wars, War Night, and the pageant.
Penny Wars made up 20 percent of contestants’ overall scores and took place during
the two weeks leading up the pageant. For this event, each contestant decorated a
jug and tried to get it filled with as much money as possible. This year, Penny Wars
raised a total of $3,270 toward the total.
War Night, which took place on Feb. 16, also counted for 20 percent of the final score.
This event required contestants to gather four friends and participate in a series
of games and obstacles, including an obstacle course, a dizzy bat race, a three-legged
race, team jump rope and tug of war.
Pageant Night made up the final 60 percent of the scores. This event included talent,
What BMOC Means to Me, pick-up line, dress like your hero, and Q&A.
At the beginning of the pageant, Lynda Houk, executive director of the Vera Bradley
Foundation, gave a short speech, sharing where money donated to the foundation goes.
The foundation supports a current project at the Melvin and Bren IU Simon Cancer Center
to create a targeted treatment using a monogram medicine that looks at the DNA of
the cancer and patient.
“This was her first year at the event, and we were so happy to have her,” stated Smith,
“She helped bring focus to the impact we are truly making with this event.”
Throughout the week, Theta Phi Alpha sold BMOC T-shirts. The sorority also received
door prizes and monetary donations from Angola-area businesses.
Top photo: From left, BMOC contestants Travis Riddle, Tylor Willms, Drew Clark, Trent Culler,
Ben Moricz, Tyler Wang and Brady Elliott perform a dance routine during the pageant.