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PRESERVING THEIR HOME AWAY FROM HOME: A GENERATIONAL GIFT FOR THE UPSILON CHAPTER HOUSE

The following post was written by guest blogger Noelle Dunckel Nachreiner, Chi–Michigan State University, Communications and Programs Manager for the Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation.

When Donna Smith Davis, Upsilon–University of Oklahoma, looks back on her time as an Alpha Gam, her fondest memories revolve around the chapter house. 

“I was a fast farm girl,” said Donna, “as soon as I got my bid, I ran all the way to the house and was the first to arrive on Bid Day.” 

From playing the piano and having sing-a-longs before formal dinner, to learning who her ‘big sis’ would be, Donna cherished her time in the Upsilon Chapter and living in the house. So when she learned that the Fraternity Housing Corporation (FHC) was remodeling and expanding the chapter house, she knew she wanted to contribute—and she wasn’t alone. 

Donna, joined by her daughter, Cara Manzelmann Schad and sister Dianne Smith Kesinger, who are also Upsilons, decided to fund the powder room in the renovated Upsilon Chapter House, as part of the Growing OUr Legacy Campaign. For Cara, it was important because the house served as her home away from home during her time at OU. For Dianne and Donna, it was an opportunity to honor their parents and the sacrifices they made so the sisters could pledge. 

“Our parents were so proud visiting during Mom’s weekend and Dad’s weekend,” recalled Dianne. 

The 2016 Upsilon Chapter House remodel was generously supported by donors through an Educational Area Grant (EAG) managed by the Alpha Gam Foundation on behalf of the FHC. Giving opportunities like the EAG make it easy for families to come together for generational gifts. Not only will these women have their names on a plaque in the first-floor powder room, they are also ensuring that future generations of Upsilon women have a safe environment in their home away from home.  

All three women strongly believe that Alpha Gamma Delta has contributed to who they are today by providing them with networking opportunities and lifelong friendships. For Cara, giving back to the Foundation is important as she feels the Fraternity shaped her into who she is today both personally and professionally.  

Donna, Dianne and Cara’s legacy lives on in the revitalized Upsilon house. Any why the powder room? According to Donna and Dianne, “we chose the powder room because we always thought about getting prettied up!” 

For more information about contributing to current Educational Area Grants, or other generational giving opportunities, contact Liana Mitchell Wallace, Advancement Officer, at lwallace@alphagammadeltafoundation.org or 317.663.4242.  

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