Submitted by Clemson University Media Relations
An Easley girl, helping an Easley girl.
Maura Keane of Easley was part of a group of Clemson University sorority members who came together to create a Clemson-themed bedroom makeover for 12-year-old girl who has a brain tumor.
Keane, a sophomore undeclared-AAH major and member of Sigma Kappa sorority, helped make over Julia Dandeneau's room to reflect her enthusiastic support of Clemson.
Ernie Dandeneau, Julia's grandfather, contacted Clemson University Vice President for Student Affairs Gail DiSabatino to see if students could help turn Julia's wish of having a room dedicated to her love of Clemson into a reality.
When Fraternity and Sorority Life received word of her wish, student Julieann Prettyman, vice president of finance and philanthropy for the Panhellenic Council, resolved to spearhead this project.
Prettyman and adviser Christina Wellhouser, assistant director for fraternity and sorority life, drove to Greenville Memorial Hospital to meet and visit with Julia.
"She was all smiles, with her little dog, Pumpkin, in her lap," said Prettyman. "Honestly, visiting with her that day made my day better. Her upbeat character was definitely contagious."
In the following weeks Prettyman stayed in touch with the Dandeneau family and formed a committee of sorority women to gather volunteers for the project. The Panhellenic Council sponsored the room makeover and garnered donations of donated decorations .
"Once I started reaching out to people around me for help, I quickly realized that I had the support of the Clemson community and was definitely not doing this on my own," said Prettyman.
Twenty-eight students representing all 12 Clemson Panhellenic sorority chapters and one National Pan-Hellenic Council sorority assisted in the 10-hour makeover.
The entire room was painted purple and orange with a large white Tiger paw on one wall. They brought in new bedding, curtains, a rug, a Clemson flag and even a painting signed by the Clemson football, baseball and basketball teams and head football coach Dabo Swinney.
The room makeover was revealed to Julia on the following day along with 80 cards of well-wishes and positive thoughts from Clemson sorority women.
"She was so happy, excited and grateful that someone had taken the time to redo her room for her. In fact, the most touching part to me was that she individually went around the room and hugged and thanked every person who was there who had worked on her room," said Prettyman.
"There's no words to express how grateful we are for the great job [this group] did on Julia's bedroom," said Ernie Dandeneau.
Prettyman is grateful for the opportunity to be part of this project through her leadership role in the Fraternity and Sorority Life.
"It is truly projects like this that make me so proud to be part of the Greek community at Clemson. If I had not been on the Panhellenic Council, I am not sure if I would have ever had the opportunity to be a leader on this project," she said.
Ranked No. 25 among national public universities, Clemson University is a major, land-grant, science- and engineering-oriented research university that maintains a strong commitment to teaching and student success. Clemson is an inclusive, student-centered community characterized by high academic standards, a culture of collaboration, school spirit, and a competitive drive to excel.