The Educational Foundation Luncheon was a big success, at least from the foundation's perspective. This is a time when we learn about what the foundation is spending money on - mostly the Leadership Continuum (EDGE, CLA, Ruck, Quest) - and how desperately they want to have more to spend.
To start off, we heard from 6 undergrads how SigEp programs have had an impact on their lives. Then after lunch we met the Spelling Bee champions from the last two years. They were both well scripted and had very nice things to say about us.
The first Doud-Clayton award was presented to a group of men who stood by their brother and helped him keep vigil while his wife was dying in the hospital. It was quite emotional and touching. I won't even try to give the details, just read about it when the Journal comes out.
But the really big deal came when Garry Kief, Foundation President, announched a $5 million lifetime challenge gift to the Foundation. Garry suggested that those in attendance might want to make a similar contribution. There had obviously been some prior set up involved, but I think that the final total was more than even he expected: $16,845,000!!! That does include Bro. Schryer's challenge gift too, but still... It basically doubles the endowment. Wow. Not bad for a lunch. The entire place erupted whine the last giver stood up and made his decision known. Jim Clayton pledged a matching $5 million. The really interesting point was that many, if not most, of the men either had their wives with them or mentioned that they had discussed it with them. Let's hope so, or there will be some embarrassing conversations back at home.