The Legacy of 325 Ash
The Alpha Iota Chapter of Phi Gamma Delta has long been an integral part of Greek Life on campus. The tradition of leadership that began with our founding in 1907 continues today, with a member currently serving as President of the Student Association and members involved in the debate team, Investment Club, Ski Club, Fraternal Values Association, Engineers without Borders, Tau Beta Pi, Epsilon Tau Pi, and the volleyball and lacrosse clubs.
We have approximately 87 members who maintain an admirable 3.28 Chapter GPA. And despite the many challenges presented by the pandemic, the Chapter still managed to raise $1,000 for the American Red Cross in the last academic year.
As pleased as we are with the success of our undergraduate brothers, Phi Gamma Delta does face a challenge in the physical structure of our chapter home. The accumulated wear-and-tear of almost 700 undergraduates since being rebuilt in 1983 has taken its toll. To maintain the house in a safe and livable condition, and to remain competitive with new housing options and amenities provided by the university and by apartment complexes, we will need to significantly improve the existing living space, provide flexible spaces and upgrade systems (i.e., plumbing, electrical, HVAC, etc.) at 325 Ash.
The challenge is clear: to remain a competitive option in the Greek system, the chapter’s housing requires attention before it materially impacts the health and safety of our members and our recruitment effectiveness.
In 2018, the Alpha Iota House corporation engaged the firm INVISION to help determine options for improving the chapter house for the undergraduates of today and tomorrow. A group of graduates led by INVISION team member Eric Ritland (Alpha Iota, ’90), outlined three options to address the issues with the house and presented their recommendations at Pig Dinner in 2019. These varied from a renovation to a renovation and reshape, to complete demolition of the existing structure and construction of an entirely brand-new home for Alpha Iota.
In 2021, our house corporation engaged Columns Studies to help determine the feasibility for funding each of the options and identifying the option most favored by Alpha Iota graduates.
Based on graduate feedback obtained during the feasibility study, and, importantly, initial philanthropic support from Alpha Iota graduates, it is clear that a renovation of our current chapter house along with a reshaping is the financially responsible course of action. In 2022 work began behind the scenes to create a campaign steering committee.
Today, we are pleased to announce the Legacy 325 Campaign to address the chapter house needs. With leadership from our Honorary Chairman Dick McCormick ('61) and co-chairs Paul Boynton ('86) and Steve Caldwell ('86), our goal is to raise at least $8.0 million dollars in support of this restoration and reshaping project.
While architectural plans are not yet finished, Brother Eric Ritland ‘90, an engineer at Invision, has provided renderings that illustrate what our new and reshaped might look like:
View from Parking:
You Are Needed
As noted above, our plans call for an $8 million dollar renovation and upgrade to ensure the long-term future of our home at 325 Ash. We are pleased to share that, through a very quiet process of fundraising to help us kick off this initiative, graduate brothers have already committed more than $6.5 million in gifts towards this project!
This early success is a powerful testament to the Phi Gamma Delta experience ... but we still have more to do! This effort to build the legacy of Alpha Iota at Iowa State University depends upon all of us. Every investment in our effort to support our undergraduate brothers is extremely important and deeply appreciated. Each of us has been a part of the history of Alpha Iota Chapter and will certainly be part of its future. You have a chance today to participate in the next phase of our Chapter’s growth and success by joining other graduates in making an investment in our home at 325 Ash.
Please join your fellow graduate brothers in ensuring that this tradition endures and that Alpha Iota Chapter remains an active and steadfast supporter of academic pursuits, leadership enhancement, and Greek Life at Iowa State for generations to come.