May 6, 2020

Preparedness: It’s Never Too Early, Never Too Late

GHQ Staff Blogger Phi Delta Theta Foundation
Preparedness: It’s Never Too Early, Never Too Late

By Col. (Ret) Stephen M. Bloomer, Monmouth ’83 – Senior Vice President of Advancement, Phi Delta Theta Foundation

After my commissioning as a Second Lieutenant of Engineers in the United States Army, June 1982, I was assigned to an Iowa National Guard Engineer Battalion while finishing my senior year of college. The battalion was preparing for a REFORGER exercise in Germany spring 1984. All deploying soldiers were required to have a current will and testament. I dutifully stood in line for my discussion with the Deputy Judge Advocate General (DJAG) so that I could tell him that I owned very little besides my Ford Galaxy 500, surely, he would understand and I could quickly “check the block” on this required pre-deployment station. After the DJAG patiently educated me on the benefits of always having one’s financial, health and legal affairs in order, I developed a greater understanding and appreciation for these important documents, and also expanded my soldier advocacy to include; soldier training, professional development, health, welfare and legal preparedness.

The 2020 COVID 19 experience reminds us that it’s never too early or never too late to make plans. To my soldiers I suggested; expect the unexpected and prepare accordingly. We spend a lifetime making memories, building relationships, earning and acquiring wealth. It is so important to our loved ones and our legacy that what’s important to us during our lifetime is secure and taken care of for the future.

The Phi Delta Theta Foundation, one of two major revenue streams of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, has benefited immeasurably from the impactful generosity of benevolent Phi Delt alumni, spouses and friends of the Fraternity. The Shaffer Trust, named for Brother Maurice E. Shaffer and his wife, Dorthea, continues to support established and new Honor’s College scholarships for tomorrow’s undergraduate emerging leaders. Keeping with the times and ever-changing societal conditions, many of our Living Bond Society members (planned gift society) understand the Phi Delta Theta Foundation Board of Trustees keen oversight of Foundation net assets. Many of these bequests remain unrestricted so that future Foundation Trustees have the resources to provide our Fraternity with innovation, educational programing, scholarship and technology funds. Our 4% spending policy protects these legacy funds in perpetuity.

As I often try to remind our brothers and friends of the Fraternity, the Phi Delta Theta Foundation provides a dependable and predictable source of revenue to the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity in order to support scholarship and personal development opportunities for undergraduate and graduate members. In other words, together, we “will strive in all ways to transmit the Fraternity to those who may follow after, not only, not less, but greater than it was transmitted to me.” These words wisely included in our Phikeia oath. I hope you will join our Board of Trustees and the thousands of Phi Delts who support the Foundations honorable work as we continue to separate ourselves from others in the field as the aspirational peer for all other fraternal orders.

Whatever your wishes for the future; it’s never too early, never too late. Best wishes in your future endeavors!

Proud to be a Phi!


P.S. For questions on Planned Giving with the Phi Delta Theta Foundation, please contact Brother Andrew Cole at

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