November 6, 2015 - Alumni, undergraduates, family members, and supporters of California Epsilon (UCLA) had reason to celebrate on October 24, 2015. For nine years, the alumni have endeavored to update the outdated fraternity house. After overcoming many obstacles (including the chapter closing in 2011), the goal has been realized with the completion of the house dedication ceremony. Alumni of all ages journeyed to campus to participate in the ceremony, including a number of alumni initiated as early as the 1940s. House Corporation President Robert Wallan (UCLA '81) said, "The dedication served as a great occasion to salute our financial and moral supporters."
Alumni weren't the only ones with reason to celebrate. After the full group of attendees heard from influential donors such as Jerry Nelson (UCLA '48), Bob Rayburn (UCLA '92) and Dave Wehrly (UCLA '82), Brother SWVGP Jim Boyle (Washington '88) announced the UCLA colony petition has been approved by the Executive Council. The UCLA charter will be re-installed on January 30, 2016. Chapter President-elect Andrew Avila stated, "When Brother Boyle announced that our petition for charter was approved, the happiness that pervaded the room was incredible."The 64 members of the UCLA colony have been thriving. 21 of those new members are the result of a successful fall 2015 recruitment. The new house, which is one of the most up-to-date Phi Psi houses in the country, has become a place for alumni and undergraduates to connect and perpetuate the goals of the Fraternity.
However, the house is not entirely paid off. A more than two million dollar mortgage still exists on the property. "It was great to honor the alumni that have dedicated their time and money, but we still have a mortgage towards the house to pay," said Brother Nelson, Phi Kappa Psi Foundation Trustee. "I encourage you to give what you can. Remember, you make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give." It's important to note that all of this wouldn't have been possible without the Phi Kappa Psi Foundation collecting tax deductible gifts from alumni, which allowed for grants to be made to the House Corporation.
Be on the lookout in the coming months for more information in regards to the chartering ceremony for UCLA. If you would like to donate to the California Epsilon Housing Campaign, please contact Ben Nicol or Lee Fuller of the Foundation.
Story by Adam Dunworth (Ball State '12), Membership Development Consultant
Photos by Aysen Tan (UCLA '14)