Inaugural Service Immersion Trips program recognized with Laurel Wreath Award

Indianapolis (May 31, 2019) – Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity and Foundation are pleased to announce that the inaugural Service Immersion Trips program has been honored with a Laurel Wreath Award from the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC). Laurel Wreath Awards are given to individuals or groups in recognition of their unique programs, community outreach, or influence within the fraternal world. This is the third year in a row that Phi Kappa Psi has been recognized with this prestigious award, with previous recognition for the ELEVATE Health and Wellness program in 2017, and the Professional Development Conference in 2018.

Introduced in spring 2019, the Service Immersion Trips gave 26 undergraduate Phi Psis the opportunity to do something different with their spring or summer break by participating in Phi Psi’s first ever week-long service experience. Two trips took place: March 24-30, 2019 in Denver, CO & May 12-18, 2019 in Twin Cities, MN. During each trip, student attendees worked with local nonprofits who focus on providing daily relief for the impoverished as well as creating long-term sustainable solutions to break the cycle of poverty. In addition to participating in these hands-on service projects, the students also heard from a variety of speakers, engaged with local alumni, and explored the city and its culture.

“The whole purpose of the trip was to truly understand poverty and learn what we can do to prevent it. I’ve learned that poverty can be broken down into three main components; lack of food, lack of shelter, and lack of education,” said Denver attendee Troy Barnes (Oregon State ’17). “Each of the nonprofits that we worked with emphasized a different component of poverty. By the end of the week we were able to experience all three phases of what it takes to fight poverty at the community level.”

The Service Immersion Trips were made possible through generous donations to the Phi Kappa Psi Foundation, whose grant of $29,220 funded much of the program cost. Lead donor Charlie Maxwell (Iowa ’83) shared why he was inspired to help the next generation of Phi Psi brothers live up to our motto of The Great Joy of Serving Others. “I have spent much of my adult life giving back to my community. If I can help instill this in our young men and am fortunate enough financially to be able to give back, then I feel as though we will plant more seeds in many communities where our young brothers live and serve,” he said.

To learn more about the Service Immersion Trips and the nonprofits it supported, visit this webpage.


Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity is a 501 (c)(7) association of men of integrity who strive to develop the individual in his intellect, involvement in the community and faith. The Fraternity was founded Feb. 19, 1852 at Jefferson College by William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore. The Fraternity currently has more than 100 chapters across the United States, over 6,500 undergraduate members and 80,000-plus living alumni.

The charitable arm of Phi Kappa Psi, the Phi Kappa Psi Foundation was established in 1914 to foster the development of leaders and promote academic excellence in higher education. Today, through contributions from generous donors, these priorities remain with the Foundation funding grants in three key areas benefiting the lives of Phi Psis across the nation: leadership, scholarship and housing.

The NIC is the trade association that represents a diverse range of inter/national men’s fraternities. NIC’s 66 member organizations boast more than 6,100 chapters located on more than 800 campuses, with 385,000 undergraduate members and 4.2 million alumni.