The Alpha Phi sorority recently donated $25,000 to create a scholarship fund for Alpha Phi members at Eastern Illinois University.
The funds were part of the sorority’s proceeds from selling its former EIU sorority house, at 1816 Ninth St., to the university earlier this year.
"Talk about a win-win situation,” said Karla J. Evans, EIU’s executive director of development. “The university was fortunate to purchase the property the former Alpha Phi house stood on, and future generations of Alpha Phi members will benefit from the proceeds.”
The university plans to use the sorority’s property, near the Doudna Fine Arts Center expansion, for additional parking in the future.
The Alpha Phi house was located there from the chapter’s establishment in 1976 until 1991, when it joined other sorority and fraternity houses in the university’s Greek Court.
Michelle S. Harris of Sullivan, a 1980 graduate of EIU, is a charter member of the local Alpha Phi chapter, known as the Zeta Alpha chapter. She now serves as president of its board of directors.
“The whole board, including our International Board at Evanston, Ill., is excited about having this available for the girls, because time after time, we’d hear of girls facing dropping out of school because of finances,” Harris said. “This fund will be a great benefit to our members.”
The first Alpha Phi Scholarship is to be awarded to a member of EIU’s chapter of the sorority for the 2007-2008 school year.
Each recipient is to be a member of the Zeta Alpha chapter, as well as a full-time EIU student who has completed at least 24 credit hours of college-level coursework at EIU. Grade point average is an important component of eligibility. Recipients may receive the award for as many as three years.
Evans said the generosity of the sorority’s leadership has left a lasting legacy that will benefit numerous students through the years.
“Perhaps when the scholarship recipients become alumni, they will make contributions to the fund to further help future generations of students,” Evans said.