Students, administrators take ice bucket challenge

Stephanie Jessie

It’s the challenge that’s sending chills throughout the nation. Thousands have participated and millions of dollars have been raised in the ALS ice bucket challenge. The rules are simple: once someone is nominated, they dump a bucket of ice water on their head and donate $10, or bypass the ice water and donate $100 to the ALS Association. 

They are then tasked to nominate others to take the chilling plunge.

The ALS Association (ALSA), a nonprofit organization established in 1985, is dedicated to fighting Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, and funding research for a cure. ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, affects the nerve and brain cells of its victims, causing them to slowly lose control of their muscles.

Although there is one Food and Drug Administration-approved drug that helps stall the effects, there is not a cure or treatment for the disease, according to

For the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, raising money to fund ALS research is not a new venture. The fraternity has been supporting the fight against ALS for years, as part of their philanthropy. 

Phi Delta Theta Philanthropy Chair Nathan Wilson said he’s thrilled with the attention that has been brought to the disease.

“I do wish that everyone that did it would donate, but ALS has received amazing amounts of money due to the challenge,” Wilson said. “It’s been amazing.”

The fraternity was nominated to the challenge by Matt Ingram, box office manager for the Bowling Green Hot Rods baseball team. The fraternity planned on completing the challenge at the Hot Rods stadium last Saturday night, with the goal of it being the largest completed challenge in the nation. Rain, however, postponed the ice until further notice. 

“We had planned on doing it anyway, but the Hot Rods challenged us,” Wilson said. 

Wilson said they are planning other events as well and all proceeds will go to find a cure for ALS.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 2, ALSA had received more than $106 million in donations credited to the ice bucket challenge. Celebrity challenge acceptors include Tom Cruise, Katy Perry and former President George W. Bush. Leonardo DiCaprio and David Spade are both recognized on the website’s page as giving between $100,000 to $200,000 to the effort.

Local celebrities who have taken on the challenge include President Gary Ransdell; Cheryl Stevens, dean of Ogden College of Science and Engineering; Howard Bailey, vice president for Student Affairs; Jeff Katz, dean of Gordon Ford College of Business; Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs and David Lee, dean of Potter College of Arts and Letters.

“Gordon (Emslie) challenged three deans, and in return, we challenged the other one,” Lee said.

Lee grew up fascinated by Lou Gehrig’s baseball talent and knew of the disease through his baseball idol. Physicist Stephen Hawking’s battle also inspired him to accept the challenge.

“I think it is also important to note that Stephen Hawking has this disease and has been living with it for an extremely long period of time,” Lee said. “One of the world’s most prominent intellects is another person who deals with ALS.”

For Katz, Ransdell’s own participation inspired him to partake in the challenge. Ransdell was also nominated by Ingram and the Hot Rods. 

“We have terrific leadership on this campus,” Katz said. “I was aware of what was going on, and it impacted me, knowing that it was a worthy cause.”

Katz was also impressed with the social media attention the challenge has gained.

“It certainly tells us a lot about social media and the impact social media has on connecting individuals for different kinds of causes,” Katz said. “In this case, the level of impact that the ice bucket challenge has had on the funding of the research is really amazing.”

To find more information on ALS and see other ways to help, visit To watch the video of President Gary Ransdell’s Ice Bucket Challenge, visit