As a sister in the know, you’re no doubt aware that our Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation has been giving outstanding women in our Fraternity tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships and educational grants for many, many years – funds that have helped secure their academic and professional success, and changed countless lives for the better.
But have you heard how easy it is to create a chapter-specific scholarship that benefits sisters on your own campus each and every year? It’s true!
These scholarships, called “Chapter Educational Funds” (or CEFs), are becoming increasingly popular – giving chapters a competitive advantage during recruitment, and bolstering morale and performance among undergrad and grad students who vie for monies ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars annually, depending on the overall size of their chapter’s fund.
‘CEFs for everyone…’
Currently, nine chapters internationally have created CEFs. Of these, six are fully funded with a minimum balance of $10,000 – which permits the annual distribution of scholarship funds.
“Our dream goal is to encourage all sisters, as well as interested parents and friends, to create CEFs for each Phi Sig chapter before our Centennial in 2013,” explains Michelle Soucy of the Foundation.
One of Phi Sig’s most successful CEFs was launched in 2004 by our Xi Chapter at Temple University in Philadelphia – which, to date, has distributed thousands of dollars to its own sisters, says Dr. Diane Spatz, chapter key advisor.
“We were committed to being one of the first chapters with a CEF – and, in the beginning, Foundation worked with us on a successful fundraising campaign geared to local alumnae and parents,” Diane explains.
“Now, every year, the chapter sets its own fundraising goals to benefit Foundation overall as well as our chapter-specific scholarship. It’s definitely worth it,” she adds, noting that Xi sisters appreciate this extra incentive to go “above and beyond” in their studies and achievements. What’s more, they enjoy telling potential new members that their chapter has a “guaranteed scholarship” that at least one outstanding sister will win (in addition to being eligible for any of Foundation’s regular scholarships and grants, of course).
In recent years, Xi awarded $850 to Maura Bucciarelli, who became a medical student at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pa. (Read Maura’s inspiring story here.) As with all CEF recipients, Foundation selected Maura from a number of well-qualified applicants from her chapter who demonstrated high academic achievement, as well as dedicated service to the chapter, campus and community.
“This year, I think I’ve written between 10 and 12 letters of recommendation for our CEF,” Diane says, noting that both collegians and graduate students are eligible to apply. “There’s always a lot of competition and a high level of interest in applying because sisters are excited to know at least one of them will win a scholarship each year.”
How to start a CEF
Interested in starting a tax-deductible CEF for your own chapter? We can help – and the process is easy: