Collins, a screenwriting major and Virginia native, pledged just this month with Phi Alpha Tau, which Emerson director of student life Jason Meier described as a progressive, forward-thinking fraternity with many gay men. He said the fraternity is demonstrating values the school emphasizes for fraternities, including caring unconditionally for people and respecting human dignity.
"To see them living it ... it's giving a lot of worth and meaning to a lot of these traditional fraternity values that groups say they live by," he said.
Bergren-Aragon said Collins had only been a member of the fraternity for 11 days when they started the campaign, and they didn't tell him about it for a week. The campaign was motivated by two things, he said. First, "Donnie Collins is such a great person; he always puts other people before himself, and I couldn't think of another person who I'd want to raise this money for."
He added, "It was also a good opportunity for our organization to actually demonstrate what we stand for."