The past few years has been a period of transition for Phi Kappa Psi at the University of Texas. The men of Texas Alpha have been in a stage of limbo when it came to their property and future. Recently, however, the generosity and love for their Fraternity has brought alumni back to contribute in ways nobody ever imagined.
A recent campaign generated over $1 million in donations to renovate an old sorority house and bring much-needed changes to the home of Phi Kappa Psi in Austin. But the support didn't stop there. The original campaign provided just enough to construct a fundamental house, but a lack of funds left the property without the look and feel of a welcoming property.
Thanks to the perseverance of several new volunteers, and the generous matching of a lead donor, the chapter and house corporations recently raised over $40,000 to provide landscaping and beautification for the house. As some alumni call it, Texas Alpha went from "worst to first" on campus in terms of curb appeal!
The story, for the alumni, does not stop there. For it wasn't the amount raised that has left the volunteers appreciative, but the numbers that have come together for support.
"The number of alumni who gave was staggering," Kelly Fish Texas '77 said. "There was a need for alumni involvement and people came together."
The actual renovation of the property forced the closure of the chapter house for a full school year. In that time, the numbers for Texas Alpha dropped from a chapter of over 100 men, to one of merely 60, low historically for Phi Psi's third-largest chapter in total initiates. Compounding the issues was the fact that most of the active members who returned after the renovation were underclassmen lacking experience in chapter management.
"The alumni who came back not only gave, but took a hands-on approach to teach the young members how to run a chapter," Fish added. Stories range from alumni in the food-service industry mapping out plans for a kitchen, to alumni joining undergraduates to make recruitment calls to prospective students.
What started as a project to fix up a house has turned into a campaign of more than just money. While the yard and property looks better than it ever did, the future stability of Phi Kappa Psi at Texas is now assured because of the alumni who saw fit to get involved in all areas.
For more information on how you can make a difference as an alumnus within your own chapter, contact the Director of Alumni Services.