First, I hope everyone had a good summer. In this edition of Xi Lights you will find information about:
- our annual homecomings tailgate event,
- the finances of our alumni corporation,
- our annual giving program designed to enhance our financial position,
- the maintenance of our physical facility,
- current chapter activities in a report by the 2014 chapter president Casey Cooke and
- the announcement of our annual meeting of the alumni corporation.
We are a 501 (c) (7) not-for-profit corporation incorporated in Virginia. As owners of the fraternity house at 600 Preston Place, our primary purpose is to serve as the landlord to the Chapter. Our second purpose is to serve as an alumni association for the nearly 800 living graduates of the Xi Chapter of OX. In an effort to be efficient in our use of resources this and all future Xi Lights editions will be in electronic format only, saving us approximately $1,500 per year.
Our annual meeting will be held on Sunday October 26, the day after Homecomings, at 11AM in the Willie Alexander room at the Chapter house. The officers of the corporation will give brief reports of our prior year accomplishments and our goals for the coming year and we will elect a new member to our Board of Directors to replace Jim Johnston. Jim’s efforts during the capital campaign, the construction period and afterwards have been greatly appreciated. We expect that Jim will remain an active and hands-on supporter of the Chapter. We will miss his incredible energy and tremendous impact as a member of the Board.
The University’s Homecomings football game is on October 25 and we are looking forward to a great day of tailgating and football. We will not know the kick-off time until two weeks before game day as the television networks control the timing. We have reserved a sizeable block of tickets through the University of Virginia Alumni Association. As always we make no guarantees of performance by the University’s football team.
Our annual tailgate will commence four hours before game time. The cost of the tailgate is $25 (children under 17 are free). The menu will include pork barbeque, fried chicken and of course other normal cookout menu items, adult beverages and soft drinks. Jackie Morris has agreed to provide his barbequed venison which has become an annual tradition and a fan favorite. Last year we had over 350 tailgate attendees at our Centennial Celebration. Of course we can’t hope to match that level of participation, but I am hoping we have another great turnout. Let me assure you that if you have not seen the house since the construction project you will be amazed by our expanded and remodeled chapter house. We have a beautiful facility that has been frequently described as the best fraternity house at UVA.
During the Spring of 2014 we converted our construction loan into a permanent first mortgage loan of $430,000. Billy DuVal’s Treasurer’s report also refrences the second mortgage which was provided by certain generous alumni who also made large capital contributions. Our budget for calendar year 2014 plans for a modest operating surplus which we will use to continue to pay down our second mortgage balance and to continue modest improvements of the garage. We are dependent on the continued generosity of the Xi Chapter Alumni brothers to our Annual Giving Program to maintain the facility so please see Mark Chinn’s article below and if you have not done so already, please consider a gift.
We are proud that the undergraduate brotherhood is thriving. You can read more about their plans in Casey Cooke’s Undergraduate Report below. We have a very good relationship with the undergraduates and both parties are working toward mutual success.
On June 7 , 2014, we hosted a cook-out at the fraternity house for the University’s Reunions Weekend. We had over 70 attendees and our informal poll revealed that our cookout was one of the larger fraternity sponsored events that weekend. Troy Knowlton (92) and Mark Chinn (91) smoked two pork shoulders that were the highlight of the event. I want to thank the two of them for their incredible dedication including sleeping on the couches at 600 Preston Place to make certain the pork barbeque would be ready for our NOON start. We believe that our good turnout is at least partially due to the efforts that the Alumni Board has put forth over the past five years to energize our alumni and create events that enable us to reconnect with our Xi brothers. We hope to make the Reunions function an annual event, giving us two signature alumni events each year.
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call, 703-217-8575 or 703-251-8620, if you have any questions or if I can help you in any way. I look forward to seeing many of you on October 25 for Homecomings
2013-2014 was a successful year from a financial viewpoint. Our capital campaign was completed and we converted our construction into a first mortgage loan of $430,000 during the Spring. We also paid down our second mortgage loan to $32,000 and we maintain a cash balance of approximately $15,000.
We maintain this cash reserve to be available for emergency repairs. The fraternity house was assessed at $1.4 million by the City of Charlottesville. Our loan to value ratio is less than 40%.
The rent we collect from the chapter of $63,000 is sufficient to cover the operating costs, insurance costs, real estate taxes and debt service on our first mortgage loan. As you will note in the House Report below there are some long-term maintenance items we will need to address in the next several years. Annual giving support we receive from our alumni brothers helps us accelerate the retirement of the second mortgage loan and to protect our investment made in the Centennial Plan, giving the Xi Chapter the financial strength and flexibility to meet the challenges sure to come during its second hundred years.
Billy Duval (08)
The chapter is off to a great start this semester and we’re excited about everything we have scheduled. Our first major event will be our 2nd annual Parents Formal which is an enhancement to our Family Football Weekend with a catered dinner at First Colony Winery. This year, we’re looking to build upon this event and ensure Parents Formal becomes a lasting tradition.
Mid-semester we have planned our 3rd annual Battle of the Bands hosted at Boylan Heights. This philanthropy event has helped raise thousands of dollars each year benefitting Comfort Zone Camp, a bereavement camp for children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver.
Casey Cook (15)
To read more, click here.
The 2014 Annual Fund continues its impressive progress and kicks into high gear as we approach the end of the year. Launched earlier this year, the Annual Fund’s purpose is to protect and preserve our renovated chapter house and thriving brotherhood as we begin our second 100 years on Grounds. Specific fund uses include:
- Addressing planned expenses outside the scope of the Capital Campaign (such as in-line gutter replacement and repairs to the garage).
- Ensuring our ability to service the $460,000 debt from the renovation (prior to the Capital Campaign the chapter carried no debt).
- Re-building our reserve fund to maintain the house in good condition.
Our Annual Fund goal is to raise $40,000 per year over the next 5 years. As this is a fraction of our Capital Campaign initiative, our focus is to maximize giving participation and to exceed the 400 brothers who supported the Capital Campaign. Consistent with our multiyear goal, we are asking brothers to pledge over a 5-year period, although a pledge or donation over any period is much appreciated.
Our results to date have been gratifying. We’ve received over $108,000 in pledges including nearly $23,000 for 2014, with over 80% of participating brothers making a 5-year pledge. 100 brothers across 7 decades have already pledged their support to the campaign, including current brothers from the class of 2014. We appreciate the support as many brothers continue to demonstrate that the “helping hand” is alive and well across so many of our Xi Chapter generations.
Although we have passed the halfway point, there’s still much to accomplish. Answer our calls! Our volunteers across multiple decades are investing their time and energy to contact alumni to talk about the Fund and ask for your support.
Mark Chinn (91)
Gregg Johnson (75)
Jackie Morris (82)
As the academic year begins, we are happy to report that the house is ready for incoming residents. In the Chapter Room, a new custom built library cabinet contains numerous items of historic significance. Above it, a new digital display rotates through a selection of Xi Chapter composites dating back to the 1960’s, providing endless entertainment for the casual viewer.
Work has progressed in the garage as well. New wall heaters have been installed, providing a much safer (and warmer) environment for residents. In the coming months, we will be developing a comprehensive plan for additional improvements, so that living standards in the garage will match the rest of the house.
Will Teass (97) Vice-President of the Board
Jim Johnston (66)
Spence Phillips (85) Secretary of the Board
To find out more about the House Report, click