Alpha Rho Memorial Foundation

History of the Foundation - 100th Anniversary of Alpha Rho

Article Index
History of the Foundation
The Early Years to 1978
100th Anniversary of Alpha Rho
The 1990's
Alpha Refounding to Today
All Pages

With the approach of the 100th Anniversary of Alpha Rho in 1979, the Alpha Rho Alumni Association launched a campaign to raise $100,000. The anniversary campaign was identified as the Century Fund with a Lodge renovation objective of $75,000 and a goal of $25,000 for an increase in the principal funds of the Foundation. When formal solicitation ceased on August 31, 1979, a total of $35,339 had been credited to the Foundation portion of the campaign – a very gratifying 141% of the objective.

At the annual meeting of the Foundation hold in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary banquet of Alpha Rho, the 200 alumni present unanimously approved a resolution proposed by the trustees of the Foundation which would allow the trustees to aid graduate as well as undergraduate members of Alpha Rho to complete their education. This forward looking action would become effective when justified by the income of the Foundation.

By 1979, the modest student aid program of 1933 had become an impressive vehicle for aiding and encouraging the undergraduate, and in the future the graduate members of Chi Psi at Rutgers University. While many alumni gave freely of their time and money to the Foundation and its successful record through 1979, two members were singled out for the part they played in the establishment of the Foundation. Henry G. Atwater, P 1904, a long time advocate for student aid, promised that once the mortgage on the Lodge was paid, funds would be set aside for student aid. His persistence resulted in the establishment of the Alpha Rho Memorial Foundation.

Elected secretary of the Alpha Rho Alumni Association during October 1925, Edwin Florance, P 1916, held the office almost continuously until the establishment of the Foundation and then he become Secretary Treasurer of the Foundation. His meticulous records, patience and dedication made the Foundation a model with tax exempt status. Brother Florance served the Alpha in many capacities until his death on March 23, 1972.

When the Foundation was incorporated in 1949, its capital totaled $5,901.84 in memorial funds previously held by the Alumni Association. The 1979 report issued by the Foundation for the year ending August 31, 1979, recorded a total of $54,250 in principal funds. Since the inception of the Student Aid and Scholarship Incentive programs through 1979, the Foundation had provided $10,341 for 68 grants in aid and $17,400 for 204 Scholarship Incentive Awards.

In the Spring of 1982, additional fund categories were established within the Foundation. These included a Memorial Fund in the name of G. E. Jenkins, P 1883, an endowment Fund honoring the Simms Brothers, Gene Simms, P 1958, Bob Simms, P 1960, Steve Simms, P 1962, and Dick Simms, P 1964, and a General Fund to act as a repository for those who wished to begin contributions for a future fund or who simply felt no specific attachment for any of the established funds. Also, in November of 1982, Farris S. Swackhamer, P1936, Secretary¬-Treasurer since 1972 and former Alumni Association President and active alumnus, passed away. His duties were assumed by J. F. Schwanhausser, P 1946 and his unexpired term as Trustee was filled by Roger B. Parsons, P 1960. When Bob Blunt resigned because of a transfer to Europe, William E. Newell, P 1965, became a Trustee and Chairman of the Investment Committee.

In 1984, the Foundation underwrote the expenses of the Chi Psi/Rutgers Academic Forum, a lecture/commentary program for the College community nurtured by Dr. Michael C. Illuzzi, P 1977, and designed to enhance and broaden the knowledge of undergraduates, especially Rho actives.

Bequests from wills resulted in establishment of the R. C. Roberson, P 1939 Fund in 1986 and the W. F. Davey, P 1933 Fund in 1988, the latter largely through the efforts of "Wa" Babcock, P 1933, an early beneficiary of the Alumni Association assistance program predating the Foundation.

Also during 1988, partly as a result in changes in the income tax law, several contributions of appreciated stock were made, resulting, after their sale, in over a 35% increase in Principal Funds. At the end of the 1988-1989 fiscal year (August 31, 1989) the total amount contributed over the years stood at $118,235. With these funds invested, increased income permitted adding two categories of Scholarship Awards, one to recognize the five most improved scholars, the other to reward the Alpha for improvement in its GPA as a whole. Incentive Award eligibility was also revised to benefit brothers living outside the Lodge who were unable, due to space limitations or other valid reasons, to live there, providing their activity in Fraternity affairs was exemplary.

After receipt of a $5,400 gift earmarked for the purpose, the Foundation added funds to complete a $10,000 payment to the Chi Psi Educational Trust to perpetually endow delivery to active Rho Brothers both the Alpha Management Retreat (to train active officer candidates) and the Program for Self Development (to promote individual growth). In recognition and appreciation for the first such funding by an Alpha Foundation, an award was presented during the 148th Convention at New Brunswick to T. Girard Wharton, P 1925, President of the Foundation since 1952.

By 1989, the Foundation had provided 166 Grants in Aid totaling $46,611 and 425 Awards totaling $39,200, which, added to the grant for AMR/PSD, totals $95,411 given for the benefit of the brotherhood.


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