It is with great honour that on December 30th, 2020, I accepted the nomination of Chairman of the Sigma Chi Canadian Foundation, after serving as Vice Chair under brother David MacNicol for 5 years and Chair of the Scholarship and Grants Committee for 5 years. Brother David Garland has agreed to serve as Vice Chair, Chair of the Audit and Governance Committee, and Chair of the Communications Committee, in addition to being Past-Chairman himself. Not surprisingly, I am grateful to have brother Garland at my side at this pivotal time in the foundation’s governance.
We are pleased to continue to benefit from the service of brother David Lucescu as Treasurer and brother Steven Moro as Secretary. Brother Malcolm MacLeod will continue to serve as Chair of the Scholarship and Grants Committee, brother Tony Sanderson as Chair of the Fundraising Committee.
Along with this transition comes the resignation of brother David MacNicol from the foundation board. David served Sigma Chi faithfully for nearly 15 years. His firm took on the role of fund manager for the foundation’s assets (free from management fees and expenses) and under his stewardship the fund’s investments consistently outperformed the market, both preserving and growing the value of your donations to the benefit of every Canadian Sigma Chi chapter. As foundation Chair, brother MacNicol dedicated himself to trying to resolve some of the foundation’s most pressing challenges and took personal responsibility for steering the foundation through its current challenges. On behalf of the board, we thank you, brother MacNicol, for your service.
Significant immediate and mid-term challenges lay ahead for the foundation. We await a response from Canada Revenue Agency to the Notice of Objection filed last June; this notice was filed to give the foundation more time to consult legal experts in charitable law and to formulate a plan for managing the loans to the chapters. This is a “no news is good news” situation so it’s a good news story so far. We have received comprehensive feedback from two well-regarded law firms and have had regular and productive discussions with each house corporation with whom there are loans outstanding.
It is now time to invite you into the conversation. In one year from now, plus whatever bonus time is allotted from the CRA, the foundation in its current form will terminate. What should take its place? What has the foundation meant to you, and what do you think it should mean? Are we, as Canadian Sigma Chis, willing to continue to donate our time and money to ensure every Canadian chapter has a house, access to scholarships, and a national organization to bring unity to our chapter-specific experiences?
During my time on the board, I have seen how strong Sigma Chi is in Canada. It is Epsilon Omicron strong. It is Gamma Rho strong. It is Beta Omega and Gamma Lambda and Delta Omicron strong. Can we be Sigma Chi Canada strong too? This, brothers, is a decision that we all must make together, and continue to make every year. The brothers I have listed above, who are dedicating their time and energies to this cause, believe we can, but that is clearly not enough on its own. We need you, too.
In the next few weeks and months, we will be reaching out to as many of you as we can to ask you to be a part of the future of Sigma Chi in Canada. You will also be invited to be a part of the most significant event in Canada’s Sigma Chi history: celebrating the 100th Anniversary of our Canadian founding at Beta Omega. Right now, I am asking you to please think about donating to that future. The current need is for non-charitable donations to allow our chapter loans to be repaid. The housing corporations representing Theta Psi, Gamma Rho, and Epsilon Omicron are most in need, and donations to Beta Omega and Gamma Lambda would be well served, too. The repaid loans will remain as donated funds for the respective chapter that can be used for future scholarships or other charitable purposes.
Brothers, we are in your service and are grateful for your contributions. I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the months ahead.
In Hoc Signo Vinces
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