It is our pleasure to update you on the ongoing activities of the Sigma Chi Canadian Foundation. This year we celebrate and much has been accomplished as you will see in our most recent newsletter.
You can also view and download a PDF version online at: www.sigmachi.ca/newsletters
It was an honour this past November 2016 to watch the Initiation ceremony of my youngest son, Ben MacNicol, take place at my home chapter, Sigma Chi – Epsilon Omicron, at Western University. Ben is in his fourth (4th) year of a five-year program and as we all know, the commitment to being a Sigma Chi is a lifelong obligation and is not one to be taken lightly! Watching Ben take the pledge of the White Cross serves as a reminder of why we are (still) part of such a wonderful organization and why I am proud to serve as your Chairman of the Sigma Chi Canadian Foundation. Congratulations to all of our new Brothers joining the Fraternity across Canada this past year.
Our mission at the Canadian Foundation is simple — we exist to strengthen Sigma Chi in Canada. We ONLY exist to serve the chapters across Canada. We are proud of the impact and the difference we are making with our scholarships and grants (with over $160,000 awarded this past year alone) and humbled by the support we offer to chapters in Canada with the help of our loyal donors. We have a significant fundraising campaign underway now to raise $750,000. We have achieved about 40% of our goal — and we can’t stop now.
One of the three 2016 John W. Graham Scholars I like to introduce is Brother Saif Akkad, UBC 2017, who is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Integrated Sciences (specializing in Immunology and Human Physiology) and plans to become a doctor. Brother Saif Akkad noted that, “the John W. Graham Scholarship as well as other Sigma Chi scholarships have helped me pursue my academic, community service and philanthropic goals as university student. With the time I would have to otherwise spend working, scholarships like these provide me with the time needed to maintain a high academic average (in the 90% range) while remaining involved in my community as a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House, Big Brothers Program and the local soup kitchen.” It is brothers like Brother Saif Akkad who are making a positive difference everyday at his Sigma Chi Chapter, his campus and community and we are proud to have awarded him as a Graham Scholar!
The majority of funding required for our leadership programs and many scholarships offered comes out of the Canadian Foundation general reserves – while the majority of donations received are earmarked for specific chapter accounts to help with their housing needs – which is not a sustainable long-term financial model. In terms of support for the Canadian Foundation’s General Funds, we are thankful to all of those donors, who are mainly from Sigma Chi – Beta Omega (Toronto-Ryerson) and Sigma Chi – Epsilon Omicron (Western Ontario). While we do get some support from Sigma Chi – Delta Omicron (UBC-SFU), Sigma Chi – Theta Psi (Waterloo) and a smattering of donors from the other Chapters – it means we have to keep working.
We know the need is there and we also know the potential is there too. We need to do a better job of communicating our impact and the valuable role we play as your Canadian Foundation. We need Brothers across the entire country to step up and join the campaign by making a financial commitment. Donate online today at www.sigmachi.ca/donate and thank you for your support!
Thank you to our current Board of Directors who serve at the Sigma Chi Canadian Foundation: Brothers John Akitt, Lionel Colman, David Garland, Tom Kennedy, Jim Lawley, Jeff Lee, David Lucescu, Malcolm MacLeod, Steven Moro, Andrew Shoom-Kirsch, Peter Tilden and Doug Towers. Thank you always to our honourary directors, Brothers H. Garfield Emerson, Q.C., George A. Fierheller, Douglas A. McWhirter and Richard G. Taylor. While the list is too long to thank everyone who volunteers across Canada, let us take a moment to thank some of the (many) active volunteers who work tirelessly behind-the-scenes and in the interest of ensuring Sigma Chi continues to thrive and grow including: Constantine Sig Lionel Colman who works endlessly on alumni engagement with the help of Andrew Shoom-Kirsch; as well as, Doug Towers, Board Nominations Chair; as well as, David Lucescu, Treasurer, who dedicates many hours a week to make the Foundation operate smoothly throughout the year. In addition, Brother Robb Hadley, President of the Sigma Chi – Toronto Alumni Chapter who is a dedicated, engaged volunteer working to better our organization on so many levels, along with Nigel Fung, Ron Leung and all of the alumni and undergraduate leaders. These are just a few of the many Brothers making a difference across Canada.
Thank you to all of the donors who quietly support our organization consistently every year. We could not continue our work without your help so thank you kindly. The dedicated and committed alumni of Sigma Chi faithfully contribute to the well-being of society; we are delighted to work with our Brothers across the country on this journey to strengthen Sigma Chi in Canada and you are encouraged to call me directly at (416) 367-3040 if you would like to help in any way you can.
In Hoc Signo Vinces,
David MacNicol, WESTERN ONTARIO 1986 Chairman