The Chi Phi Educational Trust began in 1887 when Congressional delegates set aside an endowment fund of $300. The fund grew slowly through the years, and by 1921 had reached $11,956.20 (approximately the equivalent of $142,000 in 2010). In preparation for the Fraternity's Centennial, a committee was appointed to make recommendations for the celebration. One recommendation the committee made was to raise the endowment fund to $100,000.
Daniel D. Craft, Chi 1910, was named Chair of the Committee and began a monumental fundraising campaign. It was hoped that each member of the Fraternity would contribute $50.00; however, Brother Craft fell short of the goal. By the Centennial Congress in 1924, the endowment fund totaled less than $25,000.
Alfred H. Hutchinson, Xi 1909, was elected Grand Alpha by the Congress of 1926, and he soon realized that Chi Phi could not go forward and compete with rival Fraternities on equal terms unless it had an adequate endowment. Upon review it was decided that $100,000 would be the minimum goal and $500,000 would be amount needed to put the Fraternity in a position to answer all necessary calls upon the endowment. Brother Hutchinson began an extensive study of Fraternity endowment funds. At the 1930 Congress, Brother Hutchinson proposed a plan to create the Chi Phi Educational Trust. The Congressional delegates passed the resolution unanimously.
The declared purposes of the Trust were:
- To assist and supplement the work of universities, colleges and schools in the promotion of the scholarship and development of the character and morality of students;
- To provide improved educational facilities, opportunities and conveniences for students; (c) To make donations and/or loan money to universities, colleges and schools;
- To assist needy and deserving students to complete their education;
- To aid aged or disabled former students who are in need and are worthy of assistance;
- To expend money for any other educational and/or charitable purpose not inconsistent with any of the foregoing specific purposes.
In 1933, the IRS recognized the Trust as a 501(c)(3) educational foundation. Since then, thanks to the support of thousands of alumni, parents, undergraduates, friends and corporate partners, the Trust has become a vital part of the success of Chi Phi.
The mission of Chi Phi Fraternity is to build better men through lifelong friendships, leadership opportunities and character development. The Chi Phi Educational Trust is a 501(c)(3) educational foundation whose mission is to support the Fraternity by promoting scholarship, developing character, improving educational facilities and supporting charitable causes.