Investing in Chi Phi Leadership

By News

By Bill Frezza
Beta Chapter 1976

Let’s face it; fraternities are on the wrong side of history. At best, we are viewed as an exclusionary bastion of social privilege. At worst, as incubators of alcoholism, hazing, and date rape. Across the media, the bad behavior of the few is magnified to besmirch the reputation of the many, part of a coordinated campaign to put an end to the Greek System.

And yet the caricatures of fraternities and sororities regularly trotted out by the press bear little resemblance to the positive values of leadership, supportiveness, and the forging of lifelong bonds of brotherhood that characterize our own personal experience.  So, what is a responsible fraternity to do?

We must celebrate our values. We must honor the accomplishments of the best among us. And we must support our young scholars as they continue their education and prepare to move into leadership roles across business, government, and society.

That is the true mission of the Chi Phi Educational Trust. We can only overcome negative media stereotypes that undermine a tradition we hold dear by identifying, rewarding, and supporting exemplary performance, instilling pride in those who live our values, and tirelessly letting the world know that fraternity life is a renewable source of positive experiences that build good citizens.

As you read these words ask yourself, what can I do to help preserve a system that helped make me the man that I am? Yes, we can write checks to support the Educational Trust. Yes, we can maintain the bonds of friendship that keep us close to our Chi Phi Brothers. Yes, we can stay involved in our chapter house corporations and alumni boards. But these inwardly-focused activities are not enough. We must also make our voices heard in our communities, across social media, and in our state houses, to explain, protect, and defend the positive values of fraternity life. Which brings us to our scholarship winners.

This year we are blessed with an outstanding group of scholarship recipients. Each met the highest standards of academic performance, chapter leadership and involvement, community service, and higher education or professional aspirations. This year’s undergraduate scholarship winners averaged a GPA in excess of 3.7 (on a scale of 4.0). Brothers majoring in the sciences, pre-med, engineering, economics, finance, and business were heavily represented. Nearly half were double majors and nearly all served as house officers, including seven Alphas. Our graduate winners will use their scholarships to pursue law degrees, MBAs, medical degrees, and Ph.D.s in a variety of fields, expanding the ranks of our successful Alumni.

We should be proud of all our winners, but let me call out a few.

Jeffery Chidester is a graduate of the University of Virginia, a member of Chi Phi’s Alpha Chapter. After completion of a double major in biology and religious studies, he has chosen to pursue a medical degree at UVA. While an undergraduate Chidester served as both Chapter Beta as well as chair of a program designed to liaise with parents. By focusing on demonstrating the positive values of fraternity life in general and Chi Phi in particular, Chidester helped ensure that this important but sometimes skeptical constituency emerged from their experience as Chi Phi parents as ambassadors and advocates for fraternity life.

No stranger to volunteer work, our future doctor used the leadership skills he learned at Chi Phi to serve as Program Director for UVA’s Madison House, a community service organization that directs the efforts of student volunteers at the local hospital emergency room. With his acceptance into UVA’s medical school we can expect this relationship to endure, nurturing the next generation of prospective physicians and healthcare industry leaders. Despite his demanding studies, Chidester has remained active in his chapter, helping coach his undergraduate Brothers through their own pre-med studies and medical school application process.

Robbie Cusmano, a former Alpha from the University of Florida Theta Delta Chapter, exemplifies Chi Phi’s tradition of leadership both on campus and on a national level. As one of our graduate scholarship winners, he is pursuing a joint JD/MBA at UF that will help prepare him to enter the top ranks of corporate law. As Alumni Chapter Advisor and secretary of his house corporation board, he is already giving back to an institution whose history goes back nearly 200 years. Holding down two part time jobs to help pay for his graduate education leaves no doubt that Cusmano can perform under pressure.

Finally, we honor Kris Yingling hailing from the University of Texas Nu Chapter, now a second year law student at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. A summa cum laude graduate of UT, Yingling not only held multiple leadership positions in his Chapter but served on the Inter-Fraternity Council and student government. His passion for justice has already led him to do pro bono work expunging the criminal records of exonerated individuals, helping asylum seekers obtain legal status, and assuring that black lung victims’ widows receive the support they are due.

To Yingling’s leadership skills we can add ambition, spending this summer doing not one but two internships one at the US Federal District Court in Houston and the other at the Texas Supreme Court in Austin. Watch this space as we follow Yingling’s career, and that of our other hard working alums.

Congratulations to all of this year?s scholarship winners. Make us proud!

  • Congress Elects Three Governors

    By News

    At the 149th Congress, in addition to electing a Grand Alpha, delegates elected three new Chi Phi Governors.

    “The Board of Governors isn’t a well understood part of Chi Phi, but they are a critical part of Chi Phi. Their role is to appoint new Trustees to the Educational Trust Board and to remove any Trustee who isn’t fulfilling his responsibilities,” stated Board of Governors Vice-Chairman Hans Stucki, Iota 1970.

    The Governors are elected by the Congressional body and serve two-year terms. Only five Governors serve at any one time and the Board is chaired by the Educational Trust Chairman. Brother Randy Loos, Theta Delta 1977, and Brother Tom Holtey, Beta 1962, ended their terms as Governors.

    “Tom and Randy did an outstanding job as Governors. They helped grow the Educational Trust Board and were key in helping execute our vision. We appreciate their service to Chi Phi,” shared Trust Chairman Chris Shuler, Alpha Zeta 1984.

    Brother Fran Nolan, Kappa Delta 1990, was elected to the Board of Trustees leaving the third vacancy.  During the opening Congressional Session, Chairman Shuler nominated Brothers Mike Molinari, Omega 1997, Sahil Patel, Gamma 2000, and Ron Drag, Psi Delta 1984, to fill the three seats.

    Congress delegates unanimously approved the nominations adding three very experienced Brothers to the Board of Governors. Molinari, Patel and Drag immediately began their terms and will serve until 2016.

  • Chi Phi Governors Appoint Three Trustees

    By News

    The Chi Phi Board of Governors have appointed three new Chi Phi Educational Trust Trustees.

    “We have been working to grow the Educational Trust Board to include more Chapter representation. We want to give everyone a voice at the table,” stated Trust Vice-Chairman John McElderry, Eta 1994.

    The Governors carefully reviewed the applications and voted to appoint Scott Henderson, Alpha-Tau 1984, Ken Fredericks, Theta Delta 1980, and Fran Nolan, Kappa Delta 1990, to the Board of Trustees.

    Brother Henderson is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Five Hour Energy and has been involved with Alpha-Tau Chapter at University of Michigan for many years. Previously, Henderson served as a Chi Phi Board of Advisors member and spoke at the 2014 Alphas Academy.

    “Chi Phi means a lot to me. I was able to receive financial support from the Educational Trust at a time when I really needed it. I would like to give back and help some young men that need our support now,” stated Henderson.

    Brother Fredericks is a former Chapter Alpha from Theta Delta at the University of Florida. He served the Vice President of Human Resources for Motorola, Inc. and Armor Holdings, Inc. before retiring in 2008. Fredericks brings a wealth of experience in leadership training and development to the Board of Trustees.

    Brother Nolan served as a Governor before becoming a Trustee. He is a highly respected real estate attorney practicing primarily in Boston, MA. Nolan has been involved with Kappa Delta Chapter at University of Rochester for many years. He has served as President of the Kappa Delta House Corporation, member of the Chi Phi Scholarship Committee and as a member of the Accreditation Committee in addition to his time as a Governor.

    “I am excited to welcome Ken, Scott and Fran to the Board. All bring a wealth of knowledge which will help Chi Phi continue to be a leader in the fraternal foundation community,” shared Trust Chairman Chris Shuler, Alpha Zeta 1984.

  • New Scholarship to Honor Grand Alpha Soderquist

    By News

    To honor outgoing Grand Alpha Jim Soderquist, Alpha 1967, the Trustees of the Chi Phi Educational Trust have named the Soderquist Scholarship.

    “Jim really wanted to help the men who have served as Field Executives after they leave staff,” shared Director of Development Elizabeth Vaughn. She went on to say, “Since many former Field Executives return to school to pursue a masters or professional degree, Jim felt that establishing a scholarship for graduate study would be the best way to help these men that give so much to Chi Phi.”

    When Ms. Vaughn shared the news of Soderquist’s latest gift with the Educational Trust, Chairman Chris Shuler, Alpha Zeta 1984, suggested the Board work with Alumni to raise $50,000 to match Soderquist’s gift and rename the scholarship the Soderquist Scholarship.

    “We wanted to honor Jim and help him give back in a way that was important to him.  We cannot overstate all that Jim has done for Chi Phi, between his financial support, his service as Trust Chairman and now as Grand Alpha and Changing Lives Campaign Co-Chair, he has really helped Chi Phi become a leader in the fraternal world,” shared Shuler.

    Trustees worked secretly throughout the year to raise $50,000 for the Soderquist Scholarship, even enlisting a few of Soderquist’s Alpha Chapter Brothers along the way.  “Keeping this a secret from Jim hasn’t been easy,” shared Mike Beall, Alpha 1976, “but it has been well worth the effort.”

    If you would like to help honor Grand Alpha Soderquist with a donation to the Soderquist Scholarship, please visit or contact Director of Development, John Fisher at 404.231.1824 or

  • Former Grand Alpha Re-Elected to Lead Again

    By News

    “This is a great time to be a Chi Phi!” was the call from Grand Alpha Jim Soderquist, Alpha 1967, at the 149th Chi Phi Congress. Though Brother Soderquist would never admit this, he is a big reason it is a great time to be a Chi Phi. In 2009, Soderquist was elected Grand Alpha-Elect and immediately went to work on making Chi Phi the best fraternity in the country.

    Soderquist carefully selected his Grand Council and developed a strategic plan. He and his Grand Council set ambitious goals to improve Chapter health, create a more financially stable Chi Phi, grow Chi Phi through strategic recharterings and colonizations, reduce risk management issues, improve communications, increase national programming and increase Alumni involvement.

    Under the careful watch of the Soderquist Administration, Chi Phi re-opened or started 17 Chapters. The Chapter Accreditation program was implemented to help each Chapter and Colony develop a plan for success. Accounts receivable for the Fraternity are at an historic low, and more than $9 million has been pledged to the Changing Lives Campaign.

    In addition, this Grand Council has been instrumental in developing the Alphas Academy, expanding the Regional Leadership Alliances and bringing back the College of Excellence. They also helped begin the Total Membership Education program and collectively have donated nearly $1 million to build better men.

    This is indeed a great time to be a Chi Phi!

    At the 149th Congress, Brother Soderquist began preparing to pass the leadership torch to Brother Ron Frank, Nu Delta 1981, Iota Zeta 1989, Delta Zeta 2000. Frank has experience leading Chi Phi. He has served the Nu Delta Alumni Association President, Nu Delta Chapter Advisor, a Chi Phi Governor, Grand Beta on Soderquist’s council and Grand Alpha from 2000 to 2005.

    Frank shared his vision for Chi Phi with the 149th Congressional attendees.

    “We have come a long was as a fraternity. We are leading in so many different areas, and I intend to continue to push Chi Phi to be a better organization. I would like to focus on three key areas during my tenure as Grand Alpha. My focus will be to research and publicize our heritage, improve upon Alumni outreach and increase national staffing.”

    Frank intends to continue work on the Chi Phi Greek Life Museum, the next installation of the Chi Phi Chronicles and prepare for the quickly approaching 200 year anniversary of the founding of Chi Phi. He also intends to improve on the Chi Phi Alumni network by adding more City Clubs and providing support to local advisory boards, Alumni associations and housing corporations.

    Frank will be installed as the Grand Alpha at the 150th Chi Phi Congress in June 2015.

    Commenting about the transition from Soderquist to Frank, Trust Chairman Chris Shuler, Alpha Zeta 1984, said, “Jim is a true gentleman. He has given countless hours, unmatched passion and bold vision to our Fraternity for the last five years. I am truly honored to have had the opportunity to work alongside him leading our Fraternity and our Changing Lives Campaign. Ron has big shoes to fill but I have no doubt Chi Phi is in very capable hands.”

  • Fraternity Members More Engaged in Workforce

    By News


    This summer Gallup released the results of a groundbreaking survey of more than 30,000 college graduates across the U.S. They found that individuals who were members of a fraternity or sorority were more likely to be “thriving” in their well-being and more engaged at work than college graduates who did not go Greek. The scientific research concluded:

    • Greeks are more engaged in the workforce than non-Greeks. Fraternity men and sorority women are more satisfied with and productive in their jobs. They are more intellectually and emotionally connected with their work organizations and work teams.
    • Fraternity and sorority members are more likely than all other college graduates to be thriving in each of the five elements of well-being (purpose, social, financial, community and physical). To be thriving in all five elements, noted Gallup, provides Greeks with a great advantage in life and leads to a more fulfilling life.
    • More fraternity and sorority members report they have started a business than all other college graduates.
    • More fraternity and sorority members believe they were better prepared for life after college than all other college graduates.

    When you analyze the data by gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and public vs. private school, the results are the same. There is irrefutable evidence that joining and actively participating in a fraternity and sorority helps men and women lead happier, more fulfilling, productive lives.

    While remarkable, these results were not too much of a surprise. Every day, we see the life changing benefits Chi Phi bestows upon on young men during their college years and throughout their lives. However, it is gratifying to have documented research to support what we have always known.

    That is precisely the reason we began the Changing Lives Campaign “ to positively impact lives.  Alumni, actives, parents and friends have no committed over $9.3 million toward the $10 million goal. The end is in sight. The evidence is clear. When done correctly, Chi Phi makes a profound difference in the life of a young man. Rest assured Chi Phi changes lives for the better. Donor support enabled us to make fraternity life a defining experience. Thank you to all our donors for changing lives and making a difference.

    To learn more about Gallup’s landmark study, visit:  or

    To add your name to the Changing Lives Campaign donor honor roll visit

  • Create Income and Help Chi Phi Brothers

    By Uncategorized

    The last five years have brought uncertain economic times for many Americans.  Coupled with interest rates at historic lows, now is the perfect time to consider a charitable gift annuity. A charitable gift annuity can supplement your income; reduce gift, estate and income taxes and allow you to make significant gifts to charities that are important to you, such as Chi Phi.

    What is a gift annuity?

    A charitable gift annuity is a simple contract by which Chi Phi promises to pay a fixed amount each year to you and/or another person for life in exchange for a gift of cash or securities. Payments may be made annually, quarterly or monthly to fit your preference. On the death of the surviving beneficiary, the remaining assets (or the charitable remainder) become available to Chi Phi to support the educational program, Chapter, scholarship or other program of your choosing.

    Helping those you love

    A gift annuity allows a variety of options and Chi Phi staff can help you determine what best fits your needs. A gift annuity can be set up to provide income for your lifetime or you have an option of arranging a gift annuity with income for one other person.  You can guarantee income for your life or your surviving spouse or special loved one.

    How to establish a gift annuity

    When establishing a charitable annuity, you can choose whether to designate a specific use for your gift, such as your Chapter or a scholarship, or you can leave it unrestricted. Giving cash is the simplest way to fund your charitable gift annuity. With cash, you will benefit from immediate tax savings and a portion of each payment may be received income tax free.  Securities that have increased in value but still yield less than desirable income might be another good choice for funding your gift annuity. Real estate and other real assets can also be used to fund a gift annuity. Normally the non-cash assets are sold and reinvested to produce annual payments to you or your named beneficiary.

    For more information about establishing your gift annuity and ensuring life income, contact Director of Development, John Fisher at 404.231.1824 or

    Charitable Gift Annuity Annual Payment Rates

    Single Life Rates

    Two Life Rates



    70 & 75




    75 & 79




    80 & 83




    85 & 87




    88 & 90


    Is a Charitable Gift Annuity Right for You?

    Would you like to receive regular, stable income for life or to provide regular income for someone else, such as a spouse or other loved one?
    Are you in a position to irrevocably transfer cash, securities or real property to Chi Phi?
    Are you interested in reducing your income tax burden or capital gains tax burden, as well as reducing future estate taxes and probate fees?
    Do you want to change the lives of Chi Phi Brothers for generations to come?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, a gift annuity might be right for you.  Contact Director of Development, John Fisher at 404.231.1824 or for more information.


  • Inagural Board of Advisors Meeting a Success

    By News, Uncategorized

    Since 1975, Chi Phi’s membership has more than doubled. Just 38 years ago, the Fraternity served 28,871 Actives and Alumni. Today, there are more than 47,000 Chi Phi Brothers. Chi Phi has seen its volunteer efforts, administrative tasks and educational responsibilities grow exponentially. The model for Greek life is also changing. Leading students look for a fraternity that enhances their collegiate experience outside of the classroom, one that serves as a launch pad to a successful career.

    To better serve Chi Phi Brothers, the Educational Trust established the Board of Advisors in March 2013. The Board of Advisors supports the Educational Trust’s Board of Trustees and provides critical advice on a number of current issues facing the Trust. This is of particular demand today because of the resulting demands of a rapidly growing membership organization and the changing Greek world.

    The Board of Advisors had their inaugural meeting in January 2014 in conjunction with the Alphas Academy.  The advisors reviewed the Trust’s Strategic Plan, making key updates and offered advice on the Changing Lives Campaign.  Advisors also discussed Chapter housing and how Chi Phi may be able to better support housing for Chapters.

    Four advisors participated in the Taking Leadership from the Chapter Room to the Board Room panel during the Alphas Academy and all joined the Alphas for the Chairman’s Dinner.  “This was a great weekend. I enjoyed meeting other Alumni, but spending time with the Chapter Alphas was fantastic,” shared Advisor Dick Gilbert, Rho 1962.

    Board of Advisors Members

    Rocco H. Carnevale, Mu 1980

    John Christian, Lambda 1980

    David F. Davis, Theta Delta 1973

    Richard S. Gilbert, Rho 1962

    Scott A. Henderson, Alpha-Tau 1984

    Solon P. Patterson, Gamma 1957

    J. Wray Pearce, Tau 1966

    Josh Price, Epsilon Delta 1998

    Andrew Schultz, Sr, Alpha Delta 1960

    John Christian, Lambda 1980

  • Hit the Links to Support Chi Phi Educational Programs

    By Uncategorized

    What could be better than hitting the links with your Chi Phi Brothers? How about knowing those 18 holes directly support thousands of young Brothers working hard to complete their education and become better men.

    This year Barton Creek’s Canyon course in Austin, Texas will host the fourth annual Watts Gunn Memorial Golf Tournament. Proceeds from the tournament fund Chi Phi’s College of Excellence which helps our young Brothers develop leadership skills they will carry with them long after graduation.

    You can help make Watts Gunn an even bigger success this year. Opportunities are available for corporate sponsorships, Chapter sponsorships and individual player positions. Each sponsorship opportunity offers a variety of benefits to create exposure for your organization, while impacting the lives of young Chi Phi Brothers.

    Chapter sponsorships are a new opportunity! Consider sponsoring your Chapter to send a team of the best golfers among your Alumni or Actives to Austin and compete for the Watts Gunn Chapter Cup. Chapter sponsorships will also provide funding for your Chapter Excellence Fund and directly impact the Chi Phi’s at your Alma mater.

    All supporters are invited to attend the annual Chi Phi Leadership Dinner in downtown Austin following the tournament to celebrate our tournament champions, Chapter Cup winners, longest drive and closest to the pin victors. We hope to see you at the tee box this June! Visit or contact Nick Holmes, Director of Development at or 404-231-1824 for more information.

    Schedule of Events:
    7:00 a.m. – Driving range and putting greens open
    7:30 a.m. – Registration and Breakfast Begin
    8:30 a.m. – Shot-gun start
    6:00 p.m. “ Chi Phi Educational Trust Cocktail Hour
    7:00 p.m. – Chi Phi Educational Trust Leadership Dinner and Golf Awards Ceremony

    Tournament Information:
    Four person team scramble format
    Individual Player Cost $250 (includes greens fees and cart fees)
    Tournament Contests include closest to the pin and longest drive
    Mulligan Tickets Available

    Registration Deadline June 10, 2013
    Sponsorship Deadline June 5, 2013

    For more information or to sponsor this event contact:
    Nick Holmes, Director of Development

  • $89,308 Pledged in March for Education and Leadership

    By News

    Like the NCAA March Madness, the 2014 Chi Phi March Mania Challenge was an exciting time. Chi Phi Brothers were challenged to commit $64,000 to support Chi Phi scholarships and Chapter Excellence Funds. Brothers competed for bragging rights, glory and continuing their legacy.  More importantly, Brothers were renewing their pledge to Chi Phi and ensuring the future of this great Fraternity.

    The month started off with some friendly competition among active Brothers.  Delta Pi Chapter (Georgia Southwestern) raced out to an early lead with 100% of active Brothers committing to March Mania and the Men of 1824. Not to be outdone, Delta Xi Chapter (West Virginia Wesleyan) used the Northeast Regional Leadership Alliance to mount a comeback and also had 100% of active Brothers commit to March Mania and the Men of 1824.

    Though Delta Pi and Delta Xi locked up the percentage participation by actives category, Psi Zeta Chapter (UT Dallas) and Omicron Theta Chapter (SUNY Plattsburgh) tied in the most dollars raised from actives category. Each Chapter raised $1,250 for their Chapter Excellence Funds and Chi Phi Scholarships. The gifts from these active Brothers can provide five textbook scholarships for future Chi Phi Brothers or fund the travel to Regional Leadership Alliances and Alphas Academy for both Chapters next year.

    Alumni got in on the action at a slower pace, until one Delta Chapter (Rutgers) alumnus scored 10,000 points with a five year pledge. Delta maintained a strong lead through most of the Challenge.  Lambda (UC Berkeley), Gamma (Emory), Phi Lambda Theta (Bucknell) and Theta (RPI) Chapters all made valiant efforts, but were unable to catch Delta. But in a buzzer beater, on the last day of the Challenge, a Nu Chapter (Texas) Alumnus made a $25,000 pledge to lead them to victory. His generous gift will endow a scholarship to provide annual educational support to Brothers for many generations to come.

    Lambda Theta Chapter (UMass Dartmouth) took the victory in percentage participation by Alumni category. Through a coordinated communications effort, the Chapter was able to rally Brothers to make commitments to support Chi Phi Brothers.  Donors committed $89,308.01 to Chi Phi in the month of March passing the $64,000 goal by over $25,000.

    While Delta Pi, Delta Xi, Psi Zeta, Omicron Theta, Nu and Lambda Theta Chapters will add a trophy to their cases, the real winners of the March Mania Challenge are Chi Phi Brothers.  Today’s Brothers, and those yet to come, will receive scholarships and leadership training opportunities because of the generosity of all March Mania donors.