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Scholarships endowed by Phi Delta Theta foundation help fraternity members succeed

Phi Delta Theta Foundation
Kevin Dreiling, front left, and Christian McIlvain, sit in the library of the Phi Delta Theta house on 21st Street. With them are three recipients of scholarships the fraternity’s foundation has endowed: (l-r) Reece Burns, Harley Hower and Dalton Glasscock.

When Kevin Dreiling and Christian McIlvain were members of Phi Delta Theta at Wichita State, the fraternity didn’t have its own scholarship fund to help students with college expenses, even though there was always plenty of need.

That’s one reason it’s so gratifying to Dreiling and McIlvain that the fraternity — with $230,000 in donations from members and friends — has endowed seven scholarships in the past seven years. In that period, 43 Phi Delts have received awards from the funds, 13 of them currently.

“The idea was simply to provide a helping hand to our members who may have the desire and ambition to attain their degrees but not always the means,” McIlvain said.

Here’s a closer look at the WSU Phi’s Educational Foundation and the scholarships it has endowed through the WSU Foundation:

Part of a larger campaign: The foundation has raised about $900,000 in a $1.2 million campaign dedicated to scholarships and the creation of an endowment to help maintain the Phi Delt house north of campus. Fraternity members in the 1990s raised about $1.5 million to build the house. “There’s a significant cost associated with upkeep, and that can be a real burden,” Dreiling said. “We want to maintain the quality of the house for years to come.”

Scholarship names: Three of the seven scholarships were named in honor of people associated with Phi Delta Theta in various ways. For example, the Mother Jones Memorial Scholarship recognizes Elizabeth Jones, who served as the fraternity’s housemother from 1947 to 1965. Two scholarships were named for Phi Delt members who made significant contributions to the fraternity’s current campaign.

About the WSU Phi’s Educational Foundation: Fraternity members created the foundation in the late 1980s when they started to raise money to build a new house. Dreiling, then a student, lived in the old house south of campus at the time. McIlvain was in the first group of Phi Delts to live in the new house. “We had great life-changing experiences and we want to make sure that continues as best we can,” Dreiling said.