29 Nov Giving Tuesday 2022
Letter to Investors by Foundation President Victor Em
“Sisterhood and brotherhood are conditions people have to work at. It’s a serious matter. You compromise, you give, you take, you stand firm, and you’re relentless… And it is an investment.” — Maya Angelou
One of the fond memories I had during my freshman year was that each active member of our chapter wrote in the footnotes motivational quotes that inspired them. The above quote wasn’t the quote that I remembered. It was something about having someone in Burma and someone else in San Diego (my hometown) and having to go… somewhere. In any case, I write about this quote because my time in college was meaningful due to the people I met and how they inspired me. And it is the same reason I helped rekindle the Lambda Phi Foundation.
Last year, Giving Tuesday 2021, we launched the Lambda Phi Epsilon Foundation to commemorate over 40 years of brotherhood. For a while, the Lambda Phi Epsilon Foundation was a means to extend our efforts beyond the fraternity model and give back to individual members who are excelling in academics, pursuing higher education, or serving their communities. We already had existing national scholarships that we distributed each year, and I figured we could do better than that.
Here is a list of recent wins this year:
• Transitioned over full ownership of the International Scholarships from Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Inc.
• Established 1st Chapter Endowment with the University of Michigan; received $30,000+ in donations within a year.
• Established 2nd Chapter Endowment with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on November 2022, just days before this letter.
Before the Giving Tuesday launch in 2021, we conducted over 50+ user interviews with charters, alums, recent graduates, and active members. We covered topics about Lambda Phi Epsilon, their wants and needs surrounding the fraternity, and their donation habits:
• Charters and older alumni wanted to see the fraternity continue to prosper with a meaningful legacy. Some chapters have been inactive for a while, but their wants to contribute to the fraternity are still there.
• Recent graduates face additional challenges with post-fraternity life. Many of them are focused on either adapting to a new city, focusing on their new job, or establishing a connection with their community and the people around them. Lambda Phi Epsilon is usually the first point of contact.
• Actives have had to adapt to a changing virtual environment and focus on key transitions like finding work or pursuing higher education.
The University of Michigan Chapter Endowment Fund by Hudson Tang
Xi Chapter at the University of Michigan celebrated its 30th anniversary earlier this year, and our alumni explored various ways to establish a scholarship, support the active chapter financially, and fund alumni events. After connecting with the Lambda Phi Epsilon Foundation and learning more about the Why, How, and What the foundation does, the alumni of Xi Chapter established a chapter endowment through the LFE Foundation’s 501(c)3 status, financial management, and donor infrastructure. During Xi Chapter’s 30th Anniversary, the alumni pledged to donate over $70,000 to Michigan’s Chapter Endowment. The funds have allowed Michigan to establish five scholarships.
We are only getting started. We continue to have so much to learn:
• Are we where we want to be in alumni engagement?
• Are we where we want to be regarding social, inter-chapter connections?
• Are we where we want to be in terms of the underlying values of Lambda Phi Epsilon?
If you are someone who wants to help with the Lambda Phi Epsilon Foundation or start a chapter-specific scholarship, please reach out to us. If you are a peer organization, please also contact us. We appreciate any opportunities to learn and work together.
Thank you, everyone, including the International Board of Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fratenity, Inc., the respective partner chapters, the various alumni, actives, and supporters we interviewed, and of course, the donors. We have much to be grateful for this Giving Tuesday. Thank you all for helping us get this far.
Victor Em, Lambda Phi Epsilon Foundation President
LFE Foundation Contact
Victor Em, Board of Trustees President
Lambda Phi Epsilon Foundation
About the LFE Foundation
The purpose of the Lambda Phi Epsilon Foundation is to engage in charitable activities and provide educational support to members of Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Incorporated within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.