A quintessential Southern Gentleman, James P. “Jim” Soderquist, Alpha 1967, has dedicated a significant part of his life to Chi Phi. Thanks to his generosity and vision for the future, he’ll provide support in perpetuity to the fraternity.
The Grand Alpha recently announced his decision to make a $100,000 cash gift to provide unrestricted support to the Chi Phi Educational Trust, a 501(c)(3) educational foundation. He also reconfirmed that Chi Phi is the beneficiary of a $100,000 life insurance policy which will provide support long after his death.
A pillar in the Chi Phi community, Soderquist has remained active with the fraternity since he pledged the Alpha Chapter at the University of Virginia in 1965. “I arrived at UVA with high hopes as a freshman,” said Soderquist. Classes were rigorous. Chi Phi provided the outlet and support structure I needed. It’s been a significant part of my life ever since.”
In addition to building a successful career as an orthodontist, Soderquist has held various formal and informal roles with Chi Phi at the chapter and national level.
At the chapter level, he serves as Chapter Advisor, president of the Alpha Home Association and a director of the Alpha Alumni Association. He recently stepped down after nine years as chairman of the national fraternity’s educational trust. At the 2008 Congress in New Orleans the fraternity elected him to serve as Grand Alpha beginning in 2009. He was re-elected Grand Alpha at the 145th Congress in Boston.
“I’ve seen the difference private support makes to a national fraternity like Chi Phi,” explained Soderquist about why he chose to make his gift. “Chi Phi has so many wonderful programs and committed students. Priorities and needs change from one year to the next. I want my gift to provide the support that is needed at the time. That’s why I’ve designated my gift to be used where the need is greatest.”
Soderquist intends to fulfill his $100,000 cash pledge over the next five years. He also reconfirmed a commitment he made more than 20 years ago through an insurance policy.
“There was an effort in the early 80s, I think, to encourage brothers to make Chi Phi the beneficiary of an insurance policy,” said Soderquist. “Well, I still have that policy, and it’s paid in full. I hope it’s a long way off, but it’s encouraging to know that I can continue to have an impact and benefit Chi Phi long after I’m gone.”
“For nine years, we were blessed to have Jim provide leadership to the Trust,” said former trust chairman Dan Dozer, Iota ’65 “His leadership and grace have helped us out in some difficult situations. He’s dedicated more time to the fraternity than almost anyone else. His immediate and long-term financial commitment is extraordinary and a true test to his commitment and vision for Chi Phi. His is a legacy of greatness that will sustain us for generations.”