Indianapolis, Indiana – The Foundation for Fraternal Excellence (FFE) has named the Phi Delta Theta Foundation’s first-generation college student scholarship for new members the Best New Development Idea for 2022. The award was presented at the annual FFE Seminar on August 30, 2022. The FFE exists to support organizations and individuals invested in developing the next generation of fraternity and sorority leaders.
The first-generation student scholarship initiative was launched for the 2021-2022 academic year as a new member program. The goals of the initiative were to directly impact the financial hardship of first-generation college students, indirectly lowering the economic burden of membership into Phi Delta Theta, and assisting Phi Delta Theta chapters in becoming more representative on its campuses. The Phi Delta Theta Foundation’s Board of Trustees initially approved a four-year annual investment of $250,000 in the program, and the Foundation’s staff continues its work with donors to secure long-term funding.
“Being a first-generation college student, Phi Delta Theta provided me with the support I didn’t even know I needed. The intricacies of the higher education environment are hard to navigate alone. My brothers helped me learn how to register for classes, how to fill out a financial aid form, and how to find a good on-campus job. Without this support, I would have persisted, but it would have been a much bumpier road. In addition to the guidance and moral support, these scholarships will offer meaningful financial assistance to ensure a place for first-generation students on their campus and within our brotherhood,” said Phi Delta Theta General Council President Moe Stephens.
The comprehensive effort of the Fraternity and Foundation will accomplish two important objectives: first, to ensure greater and equitable access to an experience that allows individuals to enhance their personal trajectory through best-in-class leadership programming, mentorship, and community. Second, to broaden the perspective of its members to achieve success in an increasingly diverse and inclusive world.
“This scholarship took huge financial pressure off my family and me. It also serves as a token that attests to my family’s hard work to get me to this point,” said Gio Olvero, Western Kentucky ’25. “My brothers have made adapting to college life so much easier. I am able to count on them to help me with whatever questions I have about academics, the school, or even life in general.”
One hundred and forty-nine new members received a first-generation scholarship from the Phi Delta Theta Foundation during the 2021-2022 academic year. The initiative is possible thanks to the generous and visionary support of Phi Delta Theta Foundation trustees and donors to support the first-generation scholarship programs and leadership by Gary Norcross to support the Fraternity’s diversity and inclusion educational programs.
For more information about the Phi Delta Theta Foundation, contact Foundation@phideltatheta.org.