$2.5 Million Campaign Announced to Preserve Missouri Alpha’s History
We’re bringing you this third issue of the Mizzou Phi Psi 150 with great news and a challenge.
Four years ago, the charter of the Missouri Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi was suspended. Almost immediately, a group of alumni spanning the decades of the 1,200-plus living Mizzou Phi Psis went to work to make this suspension a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure Missouri Alpha’s future. We think we’re well on the way to making that happen.
From those dark days in the summer of 2014, the revitalized group of alumni (called Mizzou Phi Psi 150 in recognition of 2019 being the sesquicentennial year for Phi Psi at MU) has worked in partnership with the Housing Corporation to bring Phi Psi back to campus the right way. We have a communication team to publish newsletters, this website, emails, and social media postings; a master planning committee to meet with architects, construction companies, and lending institutions; and a fundraising team to partner with a nationally renowned firm to lay the foundation to raise funds from our alumni.
The result? Today we announce the kickoff of the Honoring Our Past, Securing Our Future: 150 Years of Phi Kappa Psi at the University of Missouri capital campaign. This campaign aims to raise $2.5 million (just under 50 percent of the total estimated project cost) to renovate the old wing of the chapter house at 809 South Providence and completely replace the new wing. The resulting structure will honor the history of our beloved chapter (formed in 1869 at MU), while ensuring a future of attracting the best and brightest young men to Phi Psi.
Our new colony at Mizzou is going strong, but to sustain that strength, we have to address our outdated living quarters so Phi Psi can be competitive on a campus where dorms, apartments, and Greek houses have changed dramatically in recent years. Our new wing is over 60 years old and has long been deficient in spite of ongoing maintenance and periodic upgrades. Many alumni have said, “I wouldn’t want my son living there.” On the other hand, we are blessed with a stately and historic old wing that we want to preserve, along with a huge yard that is the envy of every other fraternity. We have a strong and engaged base of alumni and a housing corporation that has worked tirelessly to keep up the property while maintaining a strong financial base.
- The Mizzou Phi Psi 150 master planning committee, which is co-chaired by Rick Bien ’76, Bob Underhill ’71 and Bill Scheidker ’66, began by assessing the chapter’s housing needs, the competitive environment, and the willingness and capacity of our alumni to support a capital campaign.
- Financial models were created to determine the optimum number of rooms and amenities, and estimate construction costs, debt capacity, and housing fees.
- Architects were evaluated and chosen, then re-chosen after the initial selection opted out.
- Then came lots of dialogue with Cunningham & Associates to incorporate alumni input, leading to a series of renderings that show a completely refurbished “old wing” and a brand new “new wing.”
- A legal framework then had to be established to maximize the tax deductibility of alumni gifts, leading to the creation of The Grasslands Foundation.
All of these things had to be done before we could ask alumni to contribute to a capital campaign. In the coming days and week, you will hear a lot more about the campaign and how you can support this effort. Depending on the extent of alumni support, we could be breaking ground for our new facilities by mid-summer, with occupancy about a year later as we mark our 150th anniversary at Mizzou.
Please take a moment to review this newsletter. We hope it will help evoke fond memories of your time in the chapter, while stimulating your interest in helping a new generation of Phi Psis—and many in the future—to succeed.
Good things take time, but we are well on our way to restoring not only our charter, but also our reputation on campus and the pride we all feel in being MO Alpha Phi Psis. We challenge you to contribute to this important call to all Missouri Alphans.