Aiming to promote brotherhood with new house

By Alessandra Luciano, Valpo Torch; photo via @valpophikappapsi Instagram

The sorority housing complex isn’t the only Fraternity and Sorority Life establishment on Union Street after members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity moved into their new house over break.

According to the Valpo Phi Kappa Psi, Indiana Epsilon, website the new house aims to promote the main fraternal goal of brotherhood. For Phi Kappa Psi’s members, “the bond of fraternal friendship begins as an undergraduate and remains unbroken throughout their alumni years.”

 It is thanks to this unbreakable bond and generosity of such alumni that the brothers of Indiana Epsilon now have a new place to call home. 

“The alumni wanted to build the new house to start getting all the fraternities and sororities by each other again to promote unity,” said Phi Kappa Psi President Nick Jimenez.

He went on to say that the donations from alumni allowed Phi Kappa Psi to reach a high point of funding, thus meaning that the Phi Kappa Psi project began before any other organizations. 

“[The alum] hope to have a sort of Greek row again, and we’re happy to start [the process],” said Jimenez.

Ben Nicol, the leader of the national Phi Kappa Psi foundation, also calls Valpo home. According to the brothers of Indiana Epsilon, this Crusader connection has proven paramount to the success of the project.

“Because of Ben, we made it work,” said Anthony Luciano, the Interfraternity Council President and Phi Kappa Psi member. 

Nicol is a fellow brother and Valpo alum, and his personal connections complemented his business expertise in the process. He worked with alumni from other chapters to fundraise and even made his own personal donations to the new housing development. 

The capital campaign began with huge donations totaling $2,750,000. The donor list includes notable Valparaiso alumni including Mark F. Hagerman who donated upwards of $500,000 and Donald V. Fites, CEO of Caterpillar and former brother, who donated over $1 million dollars. 

The million-dollar building features 12,367 square feet of freshly furnished living space. Designed to house up to 39 fraternity men, the new house also highlights the importance of brotherhood. 

There are large communal entertainment spaces, brand new amenities and a plethora of scholastic spaces both within and externally adjacent to the house. Inside the house are dedicated e-board and chapter spaces for official events and functions. Outdoor seating areas, a private parking lot and recreational spaces surround the back and sides of the building like a brotherly bear hug.  

“We’re incredibly blessed and fortunate for the donations from both Valpo and other Phi Kappa Psi alumni,” said Luciano. “We are very excited to enhance our on campus presence and fraternity experience.”  

Giant letters on the Indiana Epsilon website proclaim the chapter’s view on the house campaign, “Pride in Our Past, Foundation for the Future.” 

Despite the chapter’s already firm academic foundation, Jimenez hopes that the house can further advance the fraternity’s success. 

This past fall semester, the new members of Phi Kappa Psi achieved the highest fraternity 2020 new member class grade point average. The brothers as a whole also received the highest fraternity chapter GPA for the fall semester. 

“With the chapter house being in brand new condition, I feel like it will encourage brothers to strive to be their academic best,” said Jimenez, “the house has a ton of new resources like projectors and more study rooms for brothers to utilize the space to their advantage.” 

A key part of fraternal brotherhood is academic success, and the brothers hope to continue uplifting each other to be their very best within their new home.