When we reminisce about our collegiate days, for many of us, our minds drift to the place we once called home — the chapter house. In many cases, that chapter house was the epicenter of relationships and activities — the place where memories were made and lifelong bonds were formed. It is more than a structure; it is a monument to our fraternal experience.
Housing, in whatever form it may take, is a long-term investment and the biggest representation of the ZBT brand. Right or wrong, it is the only thing that some people will ever know about your chapter or the Fraternity. They will drive past your chapter facility, with the ZBT letters proudly displayed, and make a judgement call.
The best kept properties are the ones that are stewarded by volunteers who see the benefit in the physical structure. Whether it be because of their own in-house experience or simply their love for ZBT, these individuals give of their time and talent to make sure our undergraduate brothers have a place to call home, our alumni have a place to return to and visitors are given a good impression of ZBT. Simply put, these volunteers provide the necessary consistency year after year, as collegians come and go.
We have many chapters who have or are interested in operating a property. Chapters may own or lease a space; regardless, all chapters need a functioning Local House Corporation (LHC). At its most basic, the LHC is a legal entity, separate from the Fraternity, chapter or the National Permanent Endowment Fund (N.P.E.F.), that looks after the long-term assets and real estate holdings that benefit the chapter.
The N.P.E.F. furthers ZBT’s mission by identifying, cultivating, and supporting housing that supplements a comprehensive fraternity experience.
The N.P.E.F. seeks to provide chapters and colonies with the necessary resources to sustain and acquire, where appropriate, chapter housing solutions.
Whether building, renovating or acquiring a property for the first time, proper planning and support from a LHC is key to long-term success. Around the country we have outstanding volunteers who make chapter housing a reality, and for them we are extremely grateful. Volunteers who serve in this capacity would most likely agree, there is no magic or closely held secret involved, only a well laid out plan, hard work, and commitment. No specific skillset is required, only a desire to help.
Chapter housing provides a shared experience to both undergraduate and alumni brothers. To facilitate this shared experience, we rely on volunteers. We hope you will consider giving of your time and talents to a local ZBT chapter in need of a house corporation or an expanded group of volunteers for an already existing house corporation. Your participation will ensure that brothers of all ages can enjoy the shared experience of a chapter facility.
To find out more, please contact the N.P.E.F at NPEF@NPEFHousing.org.