Congratulations! Goals met, formal fundraising concludes
The $50,000 Beal-Pyatt match storms across the finish line
Give yourselves a big round of applause and a cold beer at The Coug.
The historic day is here.
Because of your generosity over the last three years, we have met all our goals by raising more than $2.4 million for construction of the WSU Sigma Chi Centennial Chapter House plus hundreds of thousands more during previous campaigns in 1996 and 2006..
Today, the Executive Committee announced an end to this phase of formal fundraising.
Next stop: Grand Opening on August 8th, 2020. Do not miss it.
Despite the devastating news of the Covid-19 pandemic, the $50,000 Challenge Match put up by brothers Rick Beal and Jeff Pyatt was met. For all those donations that came in during that period, Rick and Jeff matched each dollar for dollar.
It allowed us to storm across the finish line together.
All donors at all amounts will be listed on the wall inside the new chapter house. That list will be printed, mounted and distributed as the official final list in late July. So, we will gladly accept further donations until then, especially to help cut expenses of the Grand Opening ceremonies being planned by a special organizing committee. Donors will be listed in order of the amount of their donation but specific amounts will not be included.
Separately, donors at or above $10,000 will be engraved on the Hall of Heroes plaque which will list categories of dollars. That list is now closed and the engraving has been ordered.
More than 422 donors made this happen. And you've all graciously read our fundraising emails (only three brothers complained!).
We're going to stay in touch. We thought we were building a building but we now realize we have created a close-knit community of WSU Sig alums of all ages.
With deep gratitude to every single one of you, thank you.
John Crawford Howell
Sultan Al Ramahi
Bruce Titus, Consul 1979
Chase Jackson, Consul 2006
Vin Sherman, Consul 1966
Jeff Kraft, Consul
Jim Miller, Consul 1971
Bill Ukropina, Consul 1978
Ross Brownell, Consul 2001
Alan Rasell, Consul
Garith Krause, Consul
Pat Summit, Consul
Jeff Lightheart, Sr.
Mike Pirello, Consul 1989
Jim Sweeney, Consul 1954
The centennial chapter meetings
On May 23, 2019, our Sigma Chi chapter celebrated the exact day 100 years ago that we were approved. We tried something so audacious, so bold that no chapter had ever attempted: Simultaneous, real chapter meetings held in Bellevue, Spokane, Portland and Kennewick presided over by alumni Consuls. The social portion was streamed live between each location. The Grand Consul Tommy Geddings addressed the entire gatherings, 100 brothers in all celebrating our 100 years. How fitting. Enjoy the photos below. And if you feel like supporting the completion of our $5.5 million Centennial Chapter House now under construction, click the donate button today. In hoc, brothers!
We did it! $1,318,312 raised tops goal: Now? Phase 2 begins
WSU Sigma Chi Centennial Campaign Director
CENTENNIAL CHAPTER HOUSE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Whew. Benjamin Piatt Runkle must be smiling.
As of January 15, 2019, WSU Sigma Chi donated a total of $1,318,321 to build the Centennial Chapter House, with more donations coming in as we speak. We set a very aggressive goal of $1.3 million by December 31, 2018 and you exceeded it. Plus, we have more than $125,000 in donations committed to arrive in coming weeks.
A giant thank you to all donors! In December alone, we brought in more than $300,000.
What happens now? Today, we are announcing the state of Phase 2.
So much has been happening fastidiously and quietly for many months by your Executive Committee:
CONTINUATION OF DONATIONS: Please do not think it's too late to donate! In fact, continuing your gifts is essential. Here's why: It's vital in negotiating with the bank that we have money in reserve. Follow the lead of several other Sigs like Larry Culver, Craig Angelo, Rob Steil, Bobby Thompson, Gordy Bjorg and Mark Hayden who anticipate giving large donations in coming days, weeks or months. We'll be unveiling a funding plan for furniture, landscaping, equipment and more as we progress toward our spring start of construction.
THE LOAN: We began meeting face to face with banks in 2017. Now, in recent months, our Loan Acquisition Team of Eric Bolstad and Jeff Kraft has been engaging with those loan officers in anticipation of submitting our application(s) in late January. Right now, brother Joe Winkler, the Executive Committee's treasurer and partner in Bristlecone Advisors, is feverishly completing all the financial statements need for the loan application. Remember, we are seeking a construction loan of $3.4 million without signature to guarantee it. So, cash is king.
DONORS DECEMBER 1 TO JANUARY 15
Ryan Haines (’96) $5,000
Chris Huber (’93) adding $2,500
Del Schwisow (’61) adding $2,500
Jim Linstrum (’78) adding $100
Mikel Morrow (TKE ’79) $100
Mikel is honoring his dad & uncle who were WSU Sigs
Robert M. Allert (’63) adding $1,867
Jerry Herres (’65) adding $10,732
Brad Fulton (’85) adding $5,450
Dave Kraft (’85) adding $500
Philip Grossenbacher (’17) adding $20
Wade Barringer (’98) adding $3,000
Robert Flatt (’12) adding 68.25
Mike Augustine (’89) adding $2,500
Brent Nysoe (’98) adding $500
Chris Carlson (’70) adding $3,500
Mike Sullivan (’83) $3,750
John Coulthard (’66) adding $1,000
Jon Anderson (’89) $2,500
Gregg Munro (’68) $500
John Ferguson(’77) and Steve Ferguson(‘84) $10,000
Jeff Kraft (’86) adding $10,000
Jeff Davenny (’85) adding $1,000
Mike Boutz (’82) adding $500
Eric Schneider (’85) adding $5,000
Steve Oates (’79) adding “The $2,019 Club”
Tom Hall (’79) adding $9,500
Garith Krause (’65) adding $1,250
Jim Sweeney (’54) adding $2,000
Luke, Kenzie and TJ Hansell $25,000
Col. Terry Thomas (’91) $10,000
Russ Young (’02) “The $2019 Club”
Gordy Davis (’68) adding $80,000
Owen Follette (’99) $5,000
Joey Burnell (’02) $100
Chris King (’73) $1,000
Jack Harrison (’16) adding $3,000
Brian Anderson (’84) $250
Arne Hall (’82) $5,000
Gordy Bjorg (’93) adding $45,000
Vin Sherman (’66) adding $400
Dennis Pfaff ('74) $1,000
Randy Borden (’76) $1,000
David Anderson (’95) $250
Mike Shapley (’87) adding $9,500
John Frazier (’84) $1,000
CEO, PCS Structural Solutions
CEO, Absolute Mortgages
Partner, Bristlecone Advisors
Attorney, Carter & Fulton
GSM, Sharp USA
VP, Kidder Matthews
Attorney and Sigma Chi House Corporation President
JEFF BURNSIDE, investigative reporter
BILL UKROPINA, Colliers
CONSTRUCTION DESIGN: Executive Committee member Brian Phair, founder and owner of PCS Structural Solutions engineering firm, has been overseeing all vendors including Pullman-based architect Design West. The WSU Sigma Chi Centennial Chapter House will be incredible. It's a 50-man house reminiscent of our original building but bigger, better, sturdier and smarter. It features a 31-foot cathedral Grand Foyer that leads to the library, dining room and the Courtyard. There will be Senior Suites to keep upper class leaders in the house and a private suite for either a future alumni room available to rent on event weekends or a live-in advisor. The Chapter Room will be in the basement again and designed specifically as a permanent chapter room.
CITY OF PULLMAN CONSTRUCTION PERMIT: Design and engineering, environmental reviews and more are now completed and being submitted this week to the City of Pullman for our building permit. There will be much back and forth over the next few weeks.
McMILLIN LIMESTONE AND E.O. HOLLAND BRICKS: Sigma Chi's first Grand Consul John S. McMilin presided over the installation of our chapter in 1919. He is well known as the founder of the Roche Harbor resort and the limestone quarry on San Juan Island, WA. We are working on plans to bring a large boulder of McMillin Limestone to the new house as a memorial to him. We also intend to recover buried bricks from the old house and construct a memorial to President Holland, legendary WSU President from 1919-1945 and the sole driving force behind the creation of our chapter.
LIVE CONSTRUCTION CAMERA: We will soon flick the switch for our live Centennial Construction Camera that will give you a 24-hour look at construction beginning in April or May (exact date to be determined). You'll be able to find it on this website and on our robust Facebook page "Beta Upsilon Chapter of Sigma Chi Alumni" (or just search Facebook for @wsusigmachi
DONORS DECEMBER 1 TO JANUARY 15 CONTINUED
Tracy Harris (’78) $10,078
Bill Ebel (’64) adding $1,000
Pat Taylor (’86) adding $6,500
Sean Alstott (’11) adding $250
Jeff Pyatt (’81) adding $4,000
Joe Winkler (’85) adding $5,000
Jerry Reder (’79) adding $1,000
David L. Hill (’57) adding $1,500
John McPherson (’64) $1,000
Darren Ehlers (’99) $100
Paul Filicetti (’88) $250
Norval Nelson (’77) adding $1,000
Crane Chantrey (’95) adding $114.12
Rich Fangen (’86) adding $5,100
Brad Wilgus (‘13) adding $100
Brice Dodge (’17) $205
Britt Nederhood (’68) $500
Brad Johnson (’88) adding $5,055
Nick Birklid (’04) adding $505
Mike Rector (’90) $500
Terry Cochran (’66) $1,000
Sean Boutz (’92) adding $5,000
Ross Brownell (’02) adding $50
Aaron Reibe (’01) $100
Mike Holliday (’69) “The $2019 Club”
Dave Gregory (’88) adding $675
RJ Sanchez (’85) adding $100
Jason Lane (’10) “The $2019 Club”
Jerodan Dodge (’14) $300
Larry Evans (’66) $400
Dave Baker (’90) adding $675
Justin Frank (’02) adding $20
Eric Bolstad (’90) adding $50,000
Henry Carstensen (’51) $250
Jeff Howard (’95) “The $2019 Club”
Matt Sanborn (’95) $500
Rodney Dodge (’59) $100
Lee Webber (’80) $200
Mike O’Brien (’82) $2,000
Curt Sandstrom (’84) $505
Jim Klavano (’71) adding $5,000
Ed Haskell (’65) $100
Brent Gooch (’98) “The $2019 Club”
Rob Krause (’72) adding $750
Dan Pass (’75) $100
John Barlow (’72) $3,000
Eddy Yusen (’84) $100
2018 Undergrads (parking fees) “The $2019 Club”
For whom are we building this Centennial Chapter House?
WSU Sigma Chi brother,
Help settle a little argument here...
Over beers last week, a bunch of your brothers were debating this question: For whom are we building the Centennial Chapter House?
1. For WSU Sigs from the 1920's, 1930's, 1940's long since passed into Chapter Eternal?
2. For Sigs currently at WSU?
3. For ourselves and the oath we took so many years ago?
4. For future WSU Sigs who may be just kids now?
For the answers, keep reading this page.
1. We are keepers of the flame
For WSU Sigs from the 1920's, 1930's, 1940's long since passed into Chapter Eternal?
Meet Archie, class of 1938 (right). Look at this group photo we found in the Beta Upsilon archives as we prepare to place our chapter history in the new library of the Centennial Chapter House. Swagger. Style. Confidence. You can see it in their faces.
Of course, we're imagining Archie's name here because no notes exist. But a plausible scenario might be that Archie came from a small town where he worked hard in his father's machine shop. The first to attend college and pledge a fraternity, Archie felt the pride and pressure from his extended family and made sure to succeed at Washington State College. In the same building we shared, he learned Sigma Chi values and character and, as years went by, passed them on to his kids who passed them on to their kids, and so on for generations. Archie never knew it, but he made the world a better place. Sigma Chi helped make that happen.
We are the keepers of the flame. In good conscience, can you tell Archie and his swaggering brothers that YOU have not yet donated to build the new Centennial Chapter House? Let's keep their heritage alive.
Remember the candles? The white robes? The emotion in the air? The glow on all those faces as we became men together? The oath we took then to make a lifelong commitment is real. So stand tall and donate.
3. Brotherhood & sense of family
For ourselves and the oath we took so many years ago?
Del Schwisow is a man of his word.
Del ('61) is a retired farmer near Ritzville. You couldn't meet a nicer guy. His kids are all adults now and thriving in big cities. It's been two years since his beloved wife Carol, his partner for his entire life, passed away. Two painful years.
He's always been connected with Sigma Chi. But, he says, since Carol's passing, he's found even greater strength in the bonds of Sigma Chi. And, indeed, the White Cross has gained new luster by his life. Del attended the private launch dinner for the Centennial Chapter House Campaign in Coeur d'Alene. As he watches the campaign and it earns his confidence more and more and more, he's given - repeatedly. Maybe seven or eight times by now. He winks and says "more to come." His total is now passing $25,000. "And it feels good!" he famously wrote us.
Del is a beautiful example of donating for ourselves and the oath we took so many years ago. Del is a man of his word. And we love him.
Brothers, think about the brothers you have out there in the world. Maybe you've remained close. Maybe you'll reconnect later in life. But we're here waiting for you. Please do what Del did. Give. Because "it feels good!"
Del Schwisow ('61) has given repeatedly as his confidence with the campaign continues to rise. And he's remembering the bonds and the oath and how it feels so good to give.
We are the keepers of the flame. In good conscience, can you tell Archie and his confident, swaggering Beta Upsilon brothers from 1938 that you have not yet donated to build the new WSU Sigma Chi Centennial Chapter House? Let's keep their heritage alive. Let's build it for Archie just as we hope our brothers in distant generations will do it for us.
2. Jake's story & the family farm
For Sigs currently at WSU?
Jake LaRoque was 14 when his life changed. Cancer took the life of his uncle Robert, who'd sometimes been his father figure after Jake's parents divorced when he was barely a year old. Without a father living at home, his uncle and grandfather ran the massive family wheat farm near Touchet, WA. But when his uncle died, Jake was just too young to help his grandfather keep things going.
So the family sold. Everything.
"It was hard," he said. "That way of life on my family farm is something I love very much. Others may scoff at it. But I don't. Not me." That age prevented him from saving the family farm has driven him every day since. He became a WSU Sigma Chi and is now majoring in agriculture technology with the fierce determination to earn a good salary, return to Touchet and buy back the family farm. It's a tall order. But Jake says Sigma Chi's teaching have further fueled his own principle, values and determination. What he couldn't control then, he intends to control in the future.
Jake has never known what it's like to live in a normal fraternity house with all his brothers. He's heard all of us talk about it. If we build the Centennial Chapter House, Jake will be a senior and, he hopes, our chapter's first Consul in the new house.
So let's donate to the construction fund and give Jake the fraternity house he and all the others deserve.
When Jake LaRoque's uncle died, Jake was just 14, too young to help keep the farm going. So the family sold it all. Jake vows to leverage his Sigma Chi values and some day buy back the family farm. If we build the Centennial Chapter House, Jake, who has never experienced a full size fraternity chapter house, plans to run for Consul and be the first in our new chapter house. Let's build it for Jake.
Jack said "Dad, I want to be a WSU Sigma Chi."
It was enough to make a grown man tear up.
It was enough to make a grown man tear up.
Jack, above, turned to his dad, brother Jeff Morrow ('93), and said "Dad, I want to be a WSU Sigma Chi."
It's one very motivating reason why Morrow would like to make sure we have a full sized fraternity house. It's why he has donated, twice.
There will be 2,000 new WSU Sigma Chi's during our second century, if we are able to build this Centennial Chapter House. That's a lot of Jacks.
And among them will be dozens and dozens of legacy Sigs with dad's or uncles.
Let's help make it so Jeff can pin The White Cross on Jack's chest in, oh, about 2025.
Whether we succeed now or fail is in your hands.
"Jack is excited to go to WSU!" says Morrow. But there is a problem. Jack is a twin. And the other one, Cam, "is aiming for UW.... we’re working on that, but there’s still time."
Let's built it for Jack. Go Cougs!
4. Jack, we want you and 2,000 others to be a WSU Sigma Chi too
For future WSU Sigs who may be just kids now?
If you're going to donate, do it before December 31;
it's time to start announcing naming rights to the rooms
WSU Sigma Chi Centennial Campaign Chairman
We really are on the doorstep of success. But to get across the goal line for the win, we must bring in $220,000 more by the end of December in order to boost chances of securing our $3.4 million construction loan in January.
The equation is simple, brothers: If you're going to donate, please do so now.
As we pass $1.1 million in cash donations, we must reach $1.3 million because our loan has no one to sign for the guarantee. So the banks want cash.
Find the donate button on this website begin your secure online donation today.
We are so grateful for the 361 donors so far and invite all of you still sitting on the sidelines. You must jump in the game now and get your name on the donor list for all to see.
Donors at $10,000 or more are engraved on the Hall of Heroes plaque permanently mounted in the Grand Entry. Donors at all levels will be honored in the new house and in the new book "The History of WSU Sigma Chi" to be published during the Grand Opening celebration.
ANNOUNCING "THE BOLSTAD CHAPTER ROOM"
We are pleased to announced that the name of the most important room in the new Centennial Chapter House will be "The Eric Bolstad Chapter Room" in honor of brother Bolstad ('90). Not only has Eric donated $103,500 but he is also volunteering to co-chair our Loan Team to work to secure our construction loan. Eric is owner of Absolute Mortgage, a successful firm that has done more than $1 billion since Eric founded it.
Eric's incredible story of brotherhood, tragedy, inspiration, hard work and success. Read more about Eric on this website linked above.
NAMING RIGHTS IN THE NEW CHAPTER HOUSE
Naming rights now available (donors can add to existing donations to reach new total):
The Chapter House - $250,000 or top donor
The Library - $100,000 (reserved)
The Grand Foyer "Hall of Heroes" - $100,000
The Courtyard - $65,000
Upper Wing - $55,000 (reserved)
Main Wing - $55,000
Scholarship Suite - $30,000
Senior Suites (3) - $25,000 (only 1 remaining)
Individual Rooms (22) - $15,000
TO RESERVE YOUR ROOM OR BEGIN DISCUSSION, Call Jeff Burnside at 206-512-6544 or
NAMING RIGHTS NOW OPEN: Donors will be honored with their names permanently mounted in each major room of the new chapter house like this image shows.
Bill Ukropina ('78), chairman of the Centennial Chapter House Campaign
Bill Ukropina ('78), Chairman of the WSU Sigma Chi Centennial Chapter House Campaign
Click here to get started on your secure donation, doubled:
A whopping $100,000 challenge match will now "double your donation" automatically
By Bill Ukropina
This is extraordinary. Every donation you give to the WSU Sigma Chi Centennial Chapter House Campaign will be automatically doubled right now, thanks to a $100,000 challenge match funded by brothers Erik Morgan and Eric Bolstad.
"Double your donation," said Sig Steve Oates. Give $5,000? It turns into $10,000. Give $12,000? It turns into $24,000.
But don't wait. We anticipate that the fund will be depleted by the middle of November.
Click on any DONATE button here on this website.
This is second round of $50,000 gifts each from Eric and Erik. The first round, in separate gifts, inspired $133,000 in giving! Your brothers are so grateful for your generosity.
THE $2019 CLUB
Brothers who have so far donated less than $2109 are being asked to up their previous gifts to $2019. The match will apply to the new portion of your gift.
After 50 years of trying, this campaign is finally on the 5-yard line. We start construction in April. We must raise several hundred thousand dollars more by December 31 in order to boost chances of getting our construction loan in January.
Don't let us down. Step up now.
Brothers Erik Morgan ('91) and Eric Bolstad ('90) have each donated an additional $50,000 to create our new $100,000 challenge match. So they'll match your gift dollar for dollar if you give right now.
Our beautiful $4.5 million Centennial Chapter.
UNVEILED: New architectural renderings are "stunning" as we close in on $1.3 million needed to lock in construction loan
By Bill Ukropina, campaign chairman
It was as if the sound of stunned Sigma Chi's and guests could be heard across Greek Row at WSU on Homecoming weekend as new architectural renderings of the Centennial Chapter House were unveiled to the large crowd gathered.
"Stunning," said one. "Simply breathtaking," said another.
At $4.7 million, it's intentionally reminiscent of our beloved old house but bigger, better, more beautiful, stronger and designed to last generations.
Featured are twin sweeping staircases that greet you as soon as you walk in the two-story grand entry foyer. Sigma Chi stone work will be embedded in the floor. High windows and ceilings make an immediate impression of grandeur.
Also featured is a high-ceiling private chapter room in the basement with room for 75 brothers and ritual fixtures throughout.
The library is set to the left of the grand entry where composites and chapter memorabilia will be permanently housed in locked trophy cases.
Brothers, we are moving up the start of construction to this spring.
We are now in pre-construction. We are done with architectural schematic design and are now in full design phase, creating a complete set of documents needed to construct a commercial structure. We have mechanical, electrical, structural, civil, environmental, and topographic engineers working as team members under our solo prime contract with Design West Architects of Pullman. This design team is creating detailed 3D models and construction drawings over the next few months for our Site Permit Submittal in November, and for our Building Permit Submittal in January.
"The Final Push" calls for all donations in by end of 2018
For the first time in 50 years of trying, we now have a closing window to accept your donation: Dec. 31.
Unless you are hopelessly attached to the past, you now believe this Centennial Chapter House Campaign is succeeding. We need all of you to get on board with your donation immediately. By the end of this year, we must have all our cash in place in order to lock in a construction loan by mid-January.
Our new total amount of cash raised plus earned income and firm pledges is now passing $918,035. We must reach $1.3 million by December 31 to lock in our construction loan in mid-January.
Donate or increase your previous gifts today.
Countdown to construction: Proforma and timeline show strong, 'viable' project
By Bill Ukropina, Campaign Chairman
Brothers, our recently completed 23-page proforma, crafted by the top fraternity expert in America, shows the Centennial Chapter House project is strong and "viable." Click here to view Steve Malin's executive summary. And our newly published timeline shows the powerful story of just how far we have come, now in the pre-construction phase and on schedule to break ground in September of next year - our 100th year at WSU.
In less than two short years, we have taken this project into its final stages:
We have hired a highly regarded Pullman-based architect.
We have completed our site and geotechnical survey.
Our pro forma, constructed by America's leading fraternity expert, concludes we have a strong, viable project.
We are engaged with City of Pullman officials in preparation for permit submittals.
We are preparing to hired our General Contractor.
We are seeing a strong launch now from our loan committee of industry leaders led by Jeff Kraft and Eric Bolstad with guidance from Joe Winkler, Bobby Thompson, Larry Ogg, Jack Thompson and others.
THE MYTH OF 'WAITING UNTIL CONSTRUCTION" BEFORE DONATING
Because other previous efforts have never pushed the ball into the end zone, a few Sigs just refuse to believe that it'll happen this time. "I'll donate once it's under construction," they've said. Frankly, that's absurd. Logic dictates that, if everyone felt that way, we'd never raise a dime. That's precisely why Sigs like Pat Nevin changed his mind and gave another $11,500 bringing his total to $15,250. "You're right," Nevin said declaring the waiting game to be a myth. By the time construction is underway, we'll likely have the loan locked in and the design of the house locked in. So donations after that point will not enhance the scale, magnitude or quality of the house. Some big donors have compromised by agreeing to donate once a permit is in hand from the City of Pullman. We can accept that.
Dave Helsby of Mercer island recently upped his total to more than $7,575 with another gift coming this summer.
Jeff Pyatt, one of the true leaders of this fraternity, recently upped his total giving of nearly $20,000 by another $1,000 during June's Leadership Team conference call strategizing to build the Centennial Chapter House. Jeff has also given wise counsel on matters of our construction loan. Thank you, brother.
Del Schwisow said "it feels good!" after donating another $5,000 bringing his total to more than $25,000.
Garith Krause, Consul in 1964, recently upped his total to $16,000.
Pat Nevin, the new president and general manager at KOIN TV in Portland, initially said he'd wait until he was certain this campaign would actually succeed. He quickly changed his mind and agreed this was happening. His $11,500 gift was the final amount needed to match Erik Morgan's $50,000 challenge gift, bringing that total to $100,000.
Mike Picatti and his father Don, along with Mike's uncle Richard, all Sigma Chis from WSU, recently added another $3,000 to their family's longstanding record of contributions to the house.
Brian Phair, CEO of PCS Structural Solutions, is donating six figures worth of top level engineering and owners rep services for the construction of the Centennial Chapter House. Brian also personally donated $10,000. "I'd hardly heard anything about the campaign until recently. I am so on board. I work on hundreds of projects worth billions of dollars. And this Centennial Chapter House project is as financially solid and sound as any I've seen. Let's go get this done."
Seattle attorney Brad Fulton recently upped his total by another $1,000 during a recent Leadership Team conference call bringing his total to more than $15,000. Brad is also a notorious fundraiser for the Centennial Chapter House Campaign and serves on your Executive Committee.