Alumni Financial Support Continues To Be Strong – And It Needs To Be!
Bill Beisswanger ’96
First, an important note: in case you missed it on the front page, due to the timing of this year’s Delta Dispatch, we are extending the 2011-12 Annual Giving year through July 31. With all the good news we’re reporting in this spring’s newsletter, I hope you will please consider giving (or increasing your gift) prior to that date!
In recent years, I’ve written to you about the importance and the necessity of substantial alumni financial support for ATΩ Delta in the coming years. Most notably and recently, your donations covered the $34,000 cost of the long-needed replacement of the metal roof at125 Chancellor in Fall 2010, and we hope we are continuing to earn credibility and trust as good stewards of the funds you all so generously contribute to ATΩ Delta. As you will read in Matt Terry’s article in this newsletter, we are facing substantial bills in the near, medium, and long term, particularly in light of what happened with the foyer floor near the end of the spring semester. And even beyond the needed repairs and improvements that the Board of Trustees has identified, as many of the more successful fraternities at UVa have done, we need to begin building a substantial nest egg, well into the six figures, so we will have the resources in the future to a) potentially expand 125 Chancellor Street, particularly to make the first floor more appropriate for fraternity events, and b) potentially fund the purchase of a better chapter house, should one become available. The transaction a couple of years ago in which Delta Upsilon sold their Rugby Road house back to Beta Theta Pi and built a brand new chapter house at 135 Madison Lane after buying and demolishing an old apartment building on that site (not to mention the substantial financial investment Beta made in then completely gutting the old DU house and rebuilding it from the inside), is an example of the type of effort I would like us to have the resources to fund in the future.
As I wrote last year, we are well aware that alums always want to know things like how big the Chapter is and how this year’s rush went, because they rightly want to know if they’ll be backing a winning horse with their financial support. We have hammered that message home to the Actives year after year, and continue to, and I’m happy to say that they continued to hold up their end of the bargain this past year – Delta is now 50 strong after initiating 13 new members during the just-ended academic year. And it’s quality, in addition to quantity – as Worthy Master Ross McSwain (‘13) lays out elsewhere in this newsletter, the Actives won the Chapter’s first True Merit Award from Nationals last summer (a significant milestone), started a successful new philanthropy this year called Taus For Paws, and Delta Brothers are very active in other groups on Grounds, among them The Cavalier Daily, Jefferson Society, University Judiciary Committee, and Madison House. I hope you will take all of their efforts into consideration when planning your giving to our capital efforts going forward.
We are nearing the recently-extended July 31, 2012 end of our fourth Annual Giving campaign with Alumni Hall, and it’s been another great year — one that will hopefully have an even better finish once you all read about the many positive things that have been going on at ATΩ Delta in the past year! Through May 30, we have raised $11,100 from 58 different donors (see list on page 8), compared with $15,000 from 55 donors through May 3, 2011, $8,730 from 51 donors through May 3, 2010, and $8,600 from 54 donors through April 15, 2009 (the cut-off date for the newsletter those three years – the full annual amounts ended up being $16,100 in 2010-2011, $12,800 in 2009-2010, and $10,920 in 2008-2009). Effectively all of these donations have come via the “Donate Online” link at our Web site, atodelta.com. As a reminder, the Web site allows us to accept credit card donations and enables you to set up recurring donations (i.e. automatically charge your credit card $25 each month), and all donations you make through this channel count toward your overall giving to U.Va. We have built our cash balance during the past year after having completely drained our account to pay for the roof in Fall 2010, and after paying our 2011-12 annual fee to Alumni Hall for their communications and fundraising assistance, we have built the balance back up to $15,100. This, along with any future donations, will be used this summer for some of the projects Matt laid out in his article.
There has been very little activity on a potential Capital Campaign over the past year, mostly because of “personnel constraints” – or, to put it differently, the alums who are currently involved with the Board of Trustees just don’t have any more time to give at this point, and a Capital Campaign would need to be led by a strong hand. We did have a recent indication of interest from a younger Delta alum in potentially spearheading such an effort, so there may be more on this front in the coming year.
As I look back on another year, I come to a similar conclusion as in past years: we’ve come a long way since I moved back to Charlottesville in 2000 as far as getting organized financially and starting to address our significant capital needs, but there is still a ton of work in front of us to secure ATΩ’s place at the University for decades to come. Why do I personally want ATΩ to be around 30 or 50 years from now? Sure, we all want a place to come back to and meet up with old friends at reunions. But that’s not enough — while realizing that I probably sound like a broken record at this point, for me, I want U.Va. men for decades to come to have the opportunity to find a place that will embrace them when they arrive on Grounds, the way the fraternity did for me when I arrived as a second-year transfer student. From the time I joined through today, ATΩ Delta has always been unique in its openness — it’s what you bring to the house during rush that matters, not where you went to school, who your parents are, or anything like that. I believe that is what ATΩ Delta stands for, and I want to see that live on at the University.
As always, look for more from us in the coming year, and check in on atodelta.com every so often for updates on the Chapter. We’re very close to the end of our Annual Giving year, so if you haven’t already (or if you have and want to do more!), please consider making a contribution to our Annual Giving campaign before July 31, either with a credit card at atodelta.com (Annual Giving link on the left), or by sending a check payable to “ATΩ Capital Fund” to:
Alpha Tau Omega
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400314
Charlottesville, VA 22904
I can be reached anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 434-975-4385 if you have any questions. As always, thanks for your support of our efforts!