The Educational Foundation

Mission statement

An educational association created to further sound learning by the establishment of scholarships, endowments, scholarship incentives and awards; to enable or assist needy and deserving students to continue or complete their studies; to make, encourage and promote donations to colleges and universities, particularly those where Theta Delta Chi has Charges; to seek and contribute to the attainment of higher educational standards, as well as to the development of high standards of honor, integrity, character and leadership, among undergraduates, and to conduct research work in the educational field, under the corporate name of The Theta Delta Chi Educational Foundation, Inc.

Founding and History

The Theta Delta Chi Educational Foundation was established in Rochester, New York, on July 21, 1944 by its founding Board of Directors to provide scholarships to worthy college and graduate students in need of financial assistance.

The new organization was chartered August 24, 1944, by the Regents of the University of the State of New York as an educational association to

further sound learning by the creation of scholarships, endowments, scholarship incentives and awards, to assist needy and deserving students, to make and encourage donations to colleges where Theta Delta Chi has Charges and to encourage development of high standards of honor, integrity, character, and leadership among undergraduates.

A group of trustees directs the destiny of the Educational Foundation, which enjoys the advantage of being able to attract gifts and bequests that provide their donors with income or estate tax deductions in the cause of education. New York Supreme Court Justice William F. Love, Chi 1903 (Rochester), who served a record seven terms as President of the Grand Lodge, was elected to be the first president of the foundation.

Restructuring (1988-1999)

In 1988, Theta Delta Chi Educational Foundation, Inc., was chartered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt private foundation. Shortly thereafter, a majority of the assets of the Theta Delta Chi Founders' Corporation (which served as the endowment fund for second mortgages for Charge houses) were transferred to this newly created corporation. Upon the merger of the New York foundation into the Massachusetts foundation in 1993, the surviving entity moved to terminate its private foundation status in favor of reclassification as a public charity. In 1999, the Internal Revenue Service completed its review of the foundation's five-year probationary period, and issued a final ruling that the Board of Directors may continue to operate as a public charity. As such, the Educational Foundation is not subject to the restrictions and excise taxes imposed on charitable private foundations. Donations to the foundation are deductible to the maximum extent permitted by law, and the foundation is a more attractive recipient of donations from other foundations and employer-matching programs.

In an interview published in Volume 112 Number I of The Shield magazine, John M. Geisler, Gamma Triton '83 (Michigan State), ninth president of the Educational Foundation, recognized some of the men responsible for restructuring the corporation.

This IRS ruling is the victory of Geoff Fitzgerald, Jim Greer, Don Apel, Phil Curley, Bob Armstrong, Mark Nelson, and many others. We thank these men for putting their talents to work on behalf of the Old Lady. We are all cheered by their example, Geisler said.

Today's Educational Foundation consists of a seventeen-man Board of Directors. Fifteen are term directors; each year these directors elect three alumni for five-year terms on the Board. There are also two annual directors elected from the Convention floor by its official delegates for one-year terms. The chief educational activities supported by the Educational Foundation each year are its scholarship program, and educational programming available to undergraduates and also to alumni, typically at the and annual Conventions of Theta Delta Chi. A limited number of grants for educational purposes such as library renovation, books, and furnishings, are also available to Charges and House Corporations.

How It's All Made Possible: Voluntary Graduate Dues

Despite having a three million dollar endowment, the Educational Foundation needs the annual support of its operating budget through alumni participation in the Voluntary Graduate (VG) Dues program. VG Dues became a part of Theta Delta Chi in 1929, under the leadership of Charles P. Schmid, Pi Deuteron 1897 (City College of New York), who encouraged all alumni to donate $2 each year. Over the years the annual income has increased substantially; in 1946 it was $9205, in 1966 it reached $24,378, and in 1985 contributions broke $50,000. More recently, campaign totals have exceeded $130,000.

The Educational Foundation publishes the names of all VG Dues donors annually in The Shield magazine according to various giving levels. A donor, who has made contributions at least equal to the number of years since his graduation, is called a 100%er. Theta Delta Chi honors alumni who loyally support the Educational Foundation with membership in the following lifetime giving clubs:

  • $1-99 – The VG Dues Club
  • $100-249 – The Century Club
  • $250-$499 – Stars and Arrows Club
  • $500-$999 – Sons of Minerva
  • $1,000-$1,846 – Graduate Loyalty Club
  • $1,847-$4,999 – Founders’ Circle
  • $5,000-$9,999 – PGL’s Society
  • $10,000-$24,999 – Robert Frost Society
  • $25,000-$49,999 – John Hay Leadership Society
  • $50,000-$99,999 – Norm Hackett Legacy Society
  • $100,000 and above – Lindsay Russell Society


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