Oxford, Ohio, July 10, 2006
In 2003, the Beta Theta Pi Foundation launched an aggressive campaign to endow the three great principles of the Fraternity. The Upon These Principles capital campaign was deemed necessary to support Beta chapters and undergraduates; thus the Beta Theta Pi Foundation Board of Directors, volunteer ranks and staff set out to raise $15,000,000 to support the educational programming of the Men of Principle initiative.
The “every Beta” phase of the Campaign began in early 2006 involving more than 15,000 phone calls and 100,000 letters to all Betas. The success of reaching the Campaign goal came into question as the total raised remained near $11 million at what appeared to be the end of the major donor phase. Unbeknownst to Convention attendees, the Campaign staff and volunteers were hard at work securing further significant gifts to reach the Campaign goal.
Among the many significant gifts announced was a $750,000 gift to endow and name The Institute for Men of Principle by James A. Collins, UCLA ’50. Collins chose to name the program after lifelong friend, Beta brother, and distinguished coach John R. Wooden, Purdue ’32, and his wife Nellie. Established in 1999, the Fraternity’s flagship leadership development program will now be known as The John and Nellie Wooden Institute for Men of Principle.
At the Saturday evening Celebration Banquet at the 167th General Convention, Honorary Campaign Chairman Senator Richard G. Lugar, Denison ’54 and Campaign Chairman W.H. (Bert) Bates, Missouri ’49 announced the accomplishment of the goal. Representatives from Beta’s 10 newest chapters and colonies raised large display boards in a suspenseful moment as the total was announced. As of July 1, 2006, the Upon These Principles capital campaign stands at $20,146,894. Chairman Bates was quick to point out that “we are certainly still open for business!”
Brothers Lugar and Bates were honored for their efforts in accomplishing this great feat with the naming of the driveway leading up to Brennan Hall, the Foundation and Administrative Office in Oxford, Ohio, as Lugar-Bates Drive.