The Jordan Standard. The Sigma Chi Creed. To some they are just words. To others they are something to be memorized, regurgitated at pledge meetings and written on pledge tests to be forgotten later in life. To others, those words seeped into our subconscious to either guide our lives as undergrads or resurface decades later. Either way, after reviewing these documents, these words give us guidance as we begin this capital campaign and renovation of the chapter house.
With Ambitious Purposes …
The house corporation (defined as all alumni, but currently composed of the nine signatories below) has agreed to go forward with the capital campaign/renovation project of the Chapter House. This project started with a simple email in October of last year. (link to said email). The response and resonance from this one simple act has been tremendous. Because of that response, we have decided to proceed on this ambitious project on our own, as a pure volunteer effort, without the hiring of a professional fund raiser. This decision was not made lightly as the burden of this work will fall on us nine. However, we decided that we need every dollar raised to go directly to the upkeep and renovation of the house. As many know, the house has not been updated since the renovation project of 1995. Since that time, campus life has changed. The campus is now 63% female and most of the dorms are like sorority houses. In order to retain our competitive edge, the house must be revived and refreshed so that Sigma Chi can remain a competitive alternative on campus.
Deep Sense of Personal Responsibility …
The initial response to our email has been overwhelming. Two brothers anonymously pledged and donated $100,000.00 each. Other donations have come in and the amount received has been most encouraging. However, our needs are significant. The basement has substantial water damage and drainage problems thereby reducing the usable space by one-third. The
HVAC unit needs to be replaced being greater than 20 years old. Bathrooms, showers, fire doors, stairs, kitchen and windows all need replacing and updating. Water damage in other parts of the house needs to be fixed. Overall plans have been drawn up by an architect to reconfigure the kitchen into the basement, creating a place for the brothers to eat together, while simultaneously modifying the first floor with livable and usable permanent space. All of these additions and changes make the house more livable, functional and attractive to new members, as well as the current brothers and returning alumni.
The Bond of our Fellowship is Reciprocal …
Aside from the ritual, the house is the glue that all of us have in common. Every one of us receiving this note has some memory of the house or an event arising out of or held at the Chapter House. Our obligation is to ensure that future generations can say the same thing. Someone in the 1920s donated money to build this house. Through the years, men have contributed. The campaign of 1995 has served us well. However, now it is our time to build/rebuild for the future.
I Will Try to Make My College, the Sigma Chi Fraternity and My Own Chapter More Honored by All Men and Women and More Beloved and Honestly Respected by Our Own Brothers …
This is where we need you. As stated, we are not using professionals because, honestly, they want too much money, a luxury we cannot afford. Further, the Code of Ethics for professional fund raisers does not allow them to raise money on a contingency basis. As such, a professional fund raiser requires significant fixed costs as well as on-going monthly fees that are too costly. We value your dollars too much to waste them in such a capacity. As such, we are currently working arm and arm with the undergrads, who have done a tremendous amount of heavy lifting, including the fact that you are now receiving this email because of their work obtaining, updating and locating contacts. Further, last summer the undergrads, with the help of a couple of their dads, raised over $30,000.00 to make cosmetic changes to the house. Some of those have been captured in pictures that were forwarded previously to your attention. However, much more is needed. Our complete goal to refurbish the house in its entirety, making functional use of the basement, fixing the water problems, reconfiguring the kitchen, and adding livable and better usable space is close to $1.2 million. This is a significant amount but one that will alter Alpha Tau’s trajectory for the next quarter of the century.
We need your help now more than ever. This is the first of a series of updates you will receive from the house corporation and the undergraduate chapter. Attached hereto is a link to what we have described as our “wedding registry” of items that need immediately/critical attention. It is our belief that we can address these items while making the house functional but still maintaining our capital campaign to hopefully complete the entire renovation. We have attached photos of recent improvements and an honest assessment of where the house stands and its current needs.
As this “Campaign” progresses, we ask that you mark your calendar for Saturday, April 22, 2017. This is our kick-off event for the house known as The Lowdown.
If you have already contributed, the brotherhood thanks you. Your leadership has been tremendous. If you have contacted us about contributing or about getting involved, we thank you as well. Part of the most interesting aspect of this project to date, by not using professional fundraisers, is allowing multi-generations to connect and work together for a common goal. We look very much forward to meeting and working with you and hearing your stories of your time at Alpha Tau.
If you want to donate, there are two ways:
(1) By check. The mailing address is as follows:
Alpha Tau Sigma Chi House Corporation
603 Aberdeen Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
(2) By this link on our website here.
Should you have any questions concerning this matter or need any more additional information, please contact either Zach Hamm (firstname.lastname@example.org) or John Ruocchio (JohnRuocchio@lewis-roberts.com).
We realize that not everyone is in a position to give monetarily. At church, the saying goes “time, talent and treasure.” We will welcome your involvement in any way, no matter how small or how large.
In closing, we would like to re-quote the great John Wayne:
Men join fraternities, leaders of men join Sigma Chi.
Brothers, we thank you for your leadership to date and your future participation in securing the future of Sigma Chi at UNC.
John H. Ruocchio ’87
Zach Hamm ’88
Matthew Davis ’98
Chuck Osborne ’87
Johnny Sparrow ’65
Ken Benson ’88
Roy Ailley ’96
Mike Hourigan ’13