Books and baked goods sale


Jared Schultz, Staff Writer

Wayne State’s chapter of Pi Gamma Mu, the leading honor society in the social sciences, held its yearly book and bake sale last week in which an earnings record was set.

The book and bake sale has been going strong for numerous years and was taken over by faculty advisor Randy Bertolas near the turn of the century.

“I came here 22 years ago and I think I took over the book and bake sale in the late ‘90s,” Bertolas said. “Back then, the old advisors would throw the books out on a table in the lobby and put a tin can next to them and label it ‘donations.’ They’d come back in a week and see what they had, and they’d get $30.”

When Bertolas was placed in charge, he changed the donation system into a sale structure that would turn the event into something that could provide meaningful content to Wayne State.

“I took it over and said, ‘Look, this is for Pi Gamma Mu; we can do things with this money: we can support speakers, we can sponsor faculty vs. student bowling, social hours, we can pay for pizza at our meetings,’” Bertolas said. “Last year we even took some of our money and donated it to the Norfolk Rescue Mission.”

For a number of years, earnings were stagnant with little fluctuation. This year, the record for money earned was broken by over $200 with a net profit of $614.20, according to Bertolas.

“It went fantastic,” faculty advisor Lesli Rawlings said. “We met our usual goal. We usually make $400, and we made that the first day, roughly.”

All books and baked goods sold at the event were acquired through free will donation. One of the best sellers, caramel puffed corn, was donated by Bertolas’ wife, Maureen Kingston.

“Dr. Bertolas’ wife makes the caramel puffed corn and people were trying to buy it before the bake sale even started,” Rawlings said. “That was funny; we were like, ‘We have some back orders on this.’”

While it is formally called a “book sale,” Bertolas prefers to think of it as a “book recycling,” where a book can continually pass through the community and broaden horizons for students.

“You buy a book from us, you read it, donate it back and we’ll use it to raise money for our good causes,” Bertolas said. “I’m happy to see people get involved in something that’s intellectually stimulating.”