UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity has made a gift of $100,000 to support fraternity and sorority research through Penn State’s Timothy J. Piazza Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research and Reform. This contribution, which was matched by the University, underscores the organizations’ commitment to partnering to combat hazing and reinvent the fraternity experience.
“The mission of Lambda Chi Alpha is to inspire and equip men to lead an ethical life of growth, service and leadership. This gift acts as an exemplification of our legacy combating hazing in the fraternity experience and commitment to enhancing the co-curricular experience fraternities provide. In conjunction with our work with other strategic partners, we are confident our relationship with the Piazza Center will allow us to reinvent fraternities and continue to serve as the premier men's leadership organization in North America," said Lambda Chi Alpha's Office of Administration.
The gift will support the expansion of research on fraternities’ and sororities’ ability to enhance student learning outcomes and ethical leadership. Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity’s gift is designed to form a closer alignment of the member experience with undergraduate education. The gift will help the Piazza Center explore how fraternities and sororities can support integrative learning, positive gender development, ethical leadership development, and engagement of fraternity and sorority members as connected educational partners.
"This important gift aligns with the motivation within higher education to understand how fraternities and sororities impact the learning and ethical decision-making that reduces hazardous behaviors," said Stevan Veldkamp, executive director. "We are grateful for Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity’s support and partnership in the work to understand and enhance transformational learning, which in turn will enable fraternities and sororities to partner with host institutions in exciting ways that focus on the student."
The Piazza Center is a multidisciplinary research center dedicated to uplifting fraternity and sorority life whose aim is to create actionable data and scholarship for professional practice. The center's research agenda is a change model, a two-pronged approach of strong and safe fraternities and sororities. Strong equates to enhancing student learning, and safe is a prevention and intervention agenda. The center’s studies are focused in four key areas: hazing and hazardous drinking prevention; leadership, community engagement and learning; mental and physical health; and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
Penn State hopes to generate an endowment of $8 million to support the center's research. Toward that end, the University has committed $2 million in initial funding and will match up to $3 million in additional endowment funds committed for this purpose. Through this opportunity, organizations, alumni, parents, and friends can leverage their gifts to secure matching funds that double the impact of their generosity. To learn more about supporting the center and the goal that students in fraternities and sororities have a safe and enriching college experience, visit the Piazza Center website.
This gift will advance "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a 21st-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by serving communities and fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit greaterpennstate.psu.edu.