In November of 2004 Miami University was given what is believed to be a one-of-a-kind gift in college philanthropy - a one million dollar contribution to endow Miami’s Office of Greek Affairs. The purpose of the gift is to support the Greek community in the areas of membership and chapter development, commitment to fraternal values, innovation and change, advising and coaching, and recognition of Miami University's heritage in fostering the fraternal movement across the country.
Cliff Alexander of Piqua, Ohio graduated from Miami in 1956. He went on to found the Crayex Corporation, a custom manufacturer of polyethylene shrink, non-shrink, and specialty films and bags for the packaging industry. The company has facilities in Piqua, Ohio and McDonough, Georgia. It is known for its quality products and its philosophy that every customer should be treated in the same manner that employees would like to be treated.
In 1976, Alexander was named the Ohio Small Business Person of the Year. He has served on numerous boards and is a trustee of Piqua Memorial Hospital, president of the Piqua YMCA, and an elder in his church. Despite these business and civic responsibilities, he never forgot his alma mater or his fraternity, Sigma Nu.
“Mr. Alexander agreed to endow our office of Greek Affairs because the experiences he had as an undergraduate fraternity member shaped many of his values and provided early opportunities for leadership,” said Dick Nault, then Vice President for Student Affairs at Miami.
Long known as the “Mother of Fraternities” because five national chapters were founded here, Miami expects that Cliff Alexander’s gift will cement Miami’s leadership in Greek life well into the Twenty-First Century.
“The gift is remarkable because, to my knowledge, it will be the first Greek Affairs office in the nation to be endowed,” said Nault. “It will impact not only the almost-thirty-percent of our students who are members of fraternities and sororities, but the entire campus.”
Fraternal membership development should reflect a commitment to the men and women pursuing the work that will help them become their best selves.
This commitment to fraternal values involves creating systems and reminders that constantly draw fraternal organization members back to their core purposes.
Innovation and change is necessary in order for fraternal organizations to continue to shape a relevant future. A focus on what innovations and changes are necessary to preserve important traditions while simultaneously modernizing the contemporary fraternity.
Provide training and incentives to draw caring sponsors and guides back to the chapter. Also, work to create more effective models of advising that provide helpful assistance while reinforcing the responsibility and leadership of undergraduate members.
An archival collection will be established and built over a number of years. The stories of fraternal lore will be retold in collected texts, pictures, artifacts, and possible recordings of oral history passed from generation to generation.
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