Purpose of the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation
The Sigma Pi Educational Foundation supports the educational pursuits of the Sigma Pi Fraternity and its membership. Among other things, the Educational Foundation provides for the Fraternity’s educational programs and leadership conferences; sponsors national, regional, and local leadership training events; and improves educational opportunities for deserving students through the awarding of grants and scholarships. Through these efforts, the Educational Foundation seeks to secure the future of Sigma Pi and the place of its members as the leaders of tomorrow.
The Educational Foundation relies entirely on donor support. Without the generosity of Sigma Pi alumni and friends, the Educational Foundation would be unable to fulfill its mission. As a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization under the United States Internal Revenue Code, gifts to the Educational Foundation are tax-deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.
History of the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation
The Sigma Pi Foundation was established in 1921 to provide permanent support for the Fraternity. The current Educational Foundation was organized in 1947 as successor to the Sigma Pi Foundation. Named the Byron R. Lewis Educational Foundation after its original benefactor Honorary Grand Sage Byron R. Lewis (Vincennes & Illinois, 1907), the Educational Foundation began with only a few hundred dollars. Brother Lewis recommended his original gift be used for a fund to support the educational pursuits of the Fraternity in perpetuity. He hoped his example would establish a tradition of giving among the alumni of Sigma Pi. Other alumni did indeed follow Brother Lewis’ example, and by 1970, assets surpassed $10,000. Ten years later, those assets had grown to over $150,000. In 1992, the assets topped the million dollar mark. Today, the fund, known as the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation, Inc., manages assets in excess of $2.6 million and provides annual support of over $100,000 in grants to the Fraternity for leadership training and in educational scholarships to its undergraduate members.
Endowments for Sigma Pi
Annual fund gifts to the Educational Foundation help fund MYLC, SPU, and similar programs from year-to-year. However, these resources must be secured at the same or higher level each and every year, leaving the programs at the mercy of the ebbs and flows of the economy as well as our ability to raise funds, which also varies from year-to-year.
An objective of the Educational Foundation is to create endowments for the MYLC and SPU, in the hopes to ensure the long-term stability and sustainability of these programs. Endowed funds under prudent management and investment would produce income capable of supporting the annual expenses of the programs. Growth of the endowments over time would allow for expansion and improvements to the already excellent programs.
Let there be no doubt that these endowments are important. For many of our young brothers, the personal and professional training they need to be truly successful men and leaders does not come just from their school work. It comes from their involvement in Sigma Pi. SPU and the MYLC reinforce Sigma Pi’s mission “to advance man’s quest for excellence”. Your gifts of support help us achieve that outcome.
These endowments are not a luxury but a necessity. As Foundation and Fraternity expenses increase every year along with the cost of fundraising, it is irresponsible to function in a manner that requires operating funds and educational expenditures to be raised in the same year they will be spent. Yet at the same time, we cannot afford to let programs like MYLC and SPU be neglected because of rising costs. The impact they have on our Fraternity and the young men who attend is just too great.
Every dollar given to the Educational Foundation is an investment in the future of our Fraternity and the young men who have and will pledge their lifelong loyalty to Sigma Pi.
Improving and expanding our educational programs will better position Sigma Pi and our members for growth and prosperity. Financial contributions will allow:
Immediate Impact – Your support goes to work right away
Affordable Options – Make a dramatic impact with a manageable monthly contribution
An Investment in Our Future – Create a sustainable future for Sigma Pi’s educational programs
Ease the Burden – Support current and future Sigma Pi brothers
The Board of Trustees, elected by the members of the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation, manage the corporation.