I’m supporting the Chi Phi Changing Lives Campaign via a charitable remainder trust because the Chi Phi Chapter at Penn State had such a positive impact on my life. I’d like other new college students to enjoy the same benefit.
First, as a freshman, not knowing anyone at Penn State when I got there, I met some Chi Phi Brothers, started rushing, and quickly had 40 friends.
When I moved in, I learned how an organization works. Being part of it gave me some early experience on working with a group to meet objectives. I remember: building floats, developing a Spring Week play, being in Fraternity Sings, serenading Brothers’ sweethearts when they got pinned, hosting the Kingston Trio, playing interfraternity sports, getting help studying for exams, and enjoying the camaraderie at evening dinners, and of course, parties. One of the Brothers even taught me to play the guitar which helped me provide a little background for the singing at parties. I learned to be humble as a pledge and to be a leader as an officer.
But the biggest benefit was becoming friends with 40 guys. Of all the friends I’ve made throughout my life, it’s the guys in the Fraternity that have really remained close friends; lifelong friends. We get together throughout the year and often have reunions with wives in the summer. They are more important to me than any other friends I’ve made in my life. What’s the price tag on that?
Outside of family, friends make life special and fun. I’d like to hope at least other young men each year experience the same things I did. I think that’s a pretty good reason to give back. I hope others will come to the same conclusion.