Sigma Alpha Epsilon - University of Montana

Fall 2013 Newsletter

Montana Beta Chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity at the University of Montana

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THE BETA BEAT Sigma Alpha Epsilon s University of montana Campaign for Montana Beta Preserving a Lifetime of Brotherhood Fall 2013 Heading in to the Home Stretch Capital Campaign to End December 31, 2013 O ur five-year Campaign for Montana Beta: Preserving a Lifetime of Brotherhood—launched to pay for the renovation of the chapter house from Siberia to the basement electrical panel— wraps up on December 31, 2013. Although we are short of our $1 million goal, alumni have responded with remarkable generosity. Working in the face of the worst economic collapse in 70 years, 129 brothers, Little Sisters, parents, and friends have pledged nearly $700,000. fraternity membership. Other fraternities have addressed this problem by providing scholarships to their members to offset this cost. We can be proud of 1120 Gerald. It is a handsome home inside and out. Many times since the renovation it has been the center of alumni, sorority, and fraternity social gatherings (see the Homecoming schedule). The actives and your House Corporation hope you will visit and meet our members and learn about the chapter, the community service they have been doing, and their academic and professional goals. Brothers of the Montana Beta Chapter of We launched the campaign in the fall of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. 2008, a heart-stopping time for those of us at the center of house reconstruction and chapter rebirth, but there was no other good option and you responded generously. SAEs support many good causes and we are There is still time to have your name on the celebration plaque to grateful many of you chose Montana Beta to be one of them. be placed in the dining room so your contributions will be noted for generations. Make a commitment today and do your part to ensure We have received heart-warming letters and met with SAEs the future of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the University of Montana. spanning more than 70 years. They shared many memories of their time at 1120 Gerald. Personally, I can't imagine what my life would In the bonds, be like without my SAE experiences. Dick Ford '64 Campaign Chairman Below are a few reasons why some of you supported Montana Beta: (925) 876-8625 • Lessons learned from leadership and fraternity sustained throughout your family and professional life. • The investment made by SAEs in the 1920s (when they P.S. We hope to see you at Homecoming! raised money to buy and improve the house) and the later SAEs (who installed new roofs, painted, and remodeled the bathrooms and kitchen) earned your continued support. • You wanted to honor a brother, Little Sister, or wife. • You graduated with abiding friendships. • You believe the SAE experience must be sustained for young men at the University of Montana. Gift Inspired by Alumnus Involvement • You felt the need to pay back the wear and tear that wasn't ames Willits '64 never thought he would join a fraternity when picked up in the cost of your room and board at the house. he went to college, but after meeting the brothers in Sigma There was no mortgage or depreciation fund for much of the Alpha Epsilon at the University of Montana, he decided to give chapter's life. recruitment and fraternity life a try. "They were a good group Jim Willits '64: SAE for a Lifetime J You can still give, still stretch your gift over five years, and we hope you will. We will continue to talk to you about paying down the mortgage, but in a different way, hoping you will help. A goal of the campaign is endowed scholarships and a house maintenance fund. They are still an important dream. For now, chapter members will have to pay off our $400,000 mortgage (at $3,000 a month) and dig deep for any repairs that come up. You likely know that the average U of M student graduates with over $30,000 debt, and the sticker shock of tuition and books can be a roadblock to of men who had good values," Jim said. "I got along well with everyone and they seemed to like me." A lot of Jim's undergraduate time was spent in his pharmaceutical studies, but he still helped out the fraternity where he could. After graduation in 1967, Jim worked in a variety of fields from retail and in hospitals to serving his local state government. In 1971, he was able to purchase Benton Pharmacy. "Running a business was the experience of a lifetime. I came from the 'hand shake' days, where a man's word was his business," Jim said. (Continued on page 3)

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