Cap 50

Posted by admin | | Monday 10 January 2011 8:16 pm

Baker Delts Celebrate Renovated Shelter

     On May 21, 2011, alumni and undergraduate members of Gamma Theta chapter celebrated the renovation and re-dedication of their 50-year-old chapter house, known affectionately by members as the Shelter. The dedication was officiated by Dr. Neal Malicky and nearly 200 Baker Delts were in attendance at the dedication ceremony before the annual Stag Night celebration.

     The original Shelter was completed in 1961 with a capacity of 40 men. After 50 years of vigorous living by 50 Delt pledge classes, the House Corporation of Gamma Theta chapter came to the realization that a major renovation was much overdue. A capital campaign was organized completely by Gamma Theta alumni with no outside consultants and $580,000 was raised in one year to fully fund the renovation thanks to a leadership gift by Ross Hartley ’70 and contributions by nearly 200 other alumni. “We were very fortunate the alumni that planned and built our Shelter in 1961 had great vision and built a structure that is still architecturally attractive and structurally sound,” said Gary Sollars, a member of the Cap 50 Campaign Committee that lead the fundraising and remodeling effort. “But it was time for major updating…all of our bathrooms were virtually unusable, our kitchen was shut down, parking lot and driveway were completely gone; repairs were needed everywhere,” added Sollars.

     House Corporation President Gary Coleman laid the groundwork for the Cap 50 Campaign with a meeting of 20 Gamma Theta alumni in April of 2009 to discuss the challenges and define a plan of action. Through a committee approach with several alumni working in the area of their particular interest and expertise, action to remodel the Shelter began. A “quick fix” plan was implemented with 75 alumni each contributing $150 to embrace true emergency needs of the Shelter. Following a positive recruitment in the fall of 2009, Coleman recounts, “Gamma Theta was ready for the challenge of a capital campaign. We had a compelling story to tell….our Shelter was in dire need, our undergrad men were the right group at the right time, the potential was there to have Gamma Theta return to the high level we all wanted.”

     The next job was communicating the story of our recent success and need of repairs to our alumni. The Cap 50 campaign committee included Gamma Theta alumni Gary Sollars, Darrell Franklin, Murray Blackwelder, and Gordon Langsford alongside House Corporation President Coleman. Contractor Brandon Dahl of Dahl Construction was chosen based on his expertise with Greek organization projects in the area. A firm outline of work and costs was developed and a complete summary of the campaign was developed for personal delivery and mailing to alumni. Personal visits by Cap 50 campaign members as far as New York City and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, were made to fundraise for the renovation project, and in addition many visits were paid to alumni in the local area. Many alumni also reached out to their pledge brothers and assisted the committee with personal phone calls. Coleman recalls, “We were able to announce at Stag Night 2010 that $400,000 had been raised in early pledges, and the formal campaign kicked off at that point.”

     The work then began directly after Stag Night of 2010 and the campaign concluded as our undergrads moved into a virtually new Shelter for the fall semester 2010. The exterior portion of the renovation project included grading and drainage work, a new concrete parking lot and front drive, landscaping, new patio walls, a new front porch, exterior repairs, and painting. Interior improvements included a complete demo and overhaul of the kitchen, each of the 5 bathrooms, the dining and recreation room, and in addition major improvements to the formal living room, library, and foyer. Because of the work of the Cap 50 campaign and alumni, our undergraduate members are able to live in one of the nicest chapter houses at Baker University, and continue to profit off of the experience of being a Gamma Theta Delt.

Read about the story in the Fall 2011 edition of the eRainbow on page 6 by clicking this link!