CHENEY, Wash. - The Eastern Washington University Libraries is getting a huge boost on two significant initiatives that will help students succeed, thanks to some EWU fraternity alumni who are committed to leaving a lasting legacy with the university that brought them together a half century ago.
The group of alums from Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, who have stayed connected for more than 45 years, are now partnering with the EWU Libraries to raise money for the endowed Randy Van Turner Library Scholarship Fund and the Pi Kappa Alpha Library Fund.
The Randy Van Turner Library Scholarship Fund commemorates an EWU graduate and founding member of the "Pike" fraternity who was killed in action in Vietnam. Proceeds from the $25,000 scholarship will be awarded to an Eastern student as early as 2015 and a memorial will soon be displayed in the library's Archives and Special Collections. The Pi Kappa Alpha Library Fund will be utilized to fund the Archives Hidden Collections Digitization Project, and will result in renaming of the Archives and Special Collections room to commemorate the fraternity's generosity.
With this tremendous philanthropic effort, the EWU Libraries has an opportunity to digitize more than a quarter million items of substantive intellectual value and cultural significance that are currently not accessible.
"We are making great strides to reach our target goal of $250,000 to fund these important initiatives," said Suzanne Milton, dean of EWU Libraries. "The library is grateful to these dedicated Pi Kappa Alpha members, whose generous contributions will allow us to help EWU students pursue their dreams by awarding scholarships and contributing to student success through our library collections. Part of that dream is to add even greater value and contribute on an even larger scale to the body of knowledge available to scholars at the local, national and global level."
Doug Myers, one of the driving forces behind the fundraising effort, said "It has been a privilege to partner with the library to continue the legacy of Randy and the fraternity, and to ‘pay it forward' for future students at Eastern in this way. I would like to thank all who have helped this become a reality."
Alumni from Pi Kappa Alpha, along with their spouses and friends, gathered at JFK library on Feb. 8 for a reception and raised more than $107,000 for the two funds. Turner's widow and daughter were on hand for the special event, which included touching tributes and stories about Turner.
"These fraternity brothers and spouses have enjoyed wonderful close friendships for more than 45 years, and it all started here at Eastern," said Jamie Wolff, a PIKE alum who helped organize this drive. "In this spirit we want to give back to Eastern. Our fraternity will continue with this effort and we encourage other groups to join us in giving back to Eastern."
To give, or learn more about the fund, please visit http://alumni.ewu.edu/supportpka
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