Investing in the Future of the Brotherhood

Watch the Sigma Pi Greek Affordability Fund video here.

The Educational Foundation, in partnership with the alumni and undergraduate e-board, has launched an exciting new program that aims to remove the financial limitations that face potential new members and allow the fraternity to adjust to changing recruitment demographics. The Greek Affordability Fund is the first of its kind at Cornell and will allow the fraternity to attract a broader pool of recruits whose values align with the organization, but face barriers due to finances, a lack of connection with the Greek system, or financial uncertainty due to the pandemic. This is a unique opportunity to invest in the future of the brotherhood by providing a new member with the financial opportunity to experience what the fraternity has to offer.

The idea for the fund was spearheaded by undergraduate leaders Rob De Jesus ’24, Emir Erkenkalkan ’24, and Ricardo Melasecca ’24, who spoke with the alumni board and educational foundation about the increasing financial challenges that brothers are faced with today and the increase in potential recruits who have a lack of connection to the Greek system. This past year alone, nearly 65% of incoming freshmen identify as non-white, with nearly 20% indicating that they were first-generation college students, a number that is predicted to increase steadily by Cornell over the next few years. As the board was presented with this data, we knew that we had to act to set the organization up for future success.

We have established a formalized process for the Greek Affordability Fund, including an application that potential recipients must complete and a committee to vet applicants. Brothers Will Murphy ’18, Brody Ehrlich ’10, Tom Silver ’81, and Wayne Forman ’80 all offered to serve on the committee in its inaugural year. In the future, the award will be made available to potential recruits who are faced with financial restraints. Upon accepting the award, the recipient will agree to live in the house for two years, fulfill a leadership obligation to the fraternity, and must be on financial aid with Cornell.

On Dolly Day, September 9, the alumni board announced that it would be launching the Greek Affordability Fund and had chosen three undergraduate brothers to be the inaugural recipients. Bradley Daly ’25, Robert De Jesus ’24, and Emir Erkenkalkan ’24 were each chosen to receive a $5,000 award stipend to help offset the costs of the fraternity due to their leadership and academic excellence. Please join us in congratulating our brothers on their award and outstanding commitment to our Fraternity!

Fundraising continues for the Greek Affordability Fund. It allows a unique opportunity for members to invest directly in the brotherhood by providing aid to future brothers in need. As the community of Cornell continues to change, the alumni board must adapt. We are at the front of this initiative and have already raised close to $60,000 with a goal of $100,000 by the end of the fiscal year. We hope that you consider donating to the fund and investing in the future of our brotherhood.

If you have any questions regarding the fund, please contact Joe Zanetta ’75 at

Donate Here

Total giving so far: $104,340

Donors to date:

Douglas Parker ‘56
Peter Muth ‘74
John Morrison ‘75
Joe Zanetta ‘75
Mark Cunha ‘77
John Haggerty
Kent Sheng ‘78
Wayne Buder ‘79
David D’Orlando ‘79
Robert Novo ‘79
Chris Olie ‘79
Gordon Pugh ‘79
Leo Timms ‘79
Luc Chabot ‘80
Joe Dervay ‘80
Jonathan Fordin ‘80
Wayne Forman ‘80
Larry Kanton ‘80
Aron Minken ‘80
Jarett Wait ‘80
Tom Silver ‘81
Michael Rantz ‘81
Nicolas Vonjovic ‘81
Chris Selland ‘86
Lloyd Robinson ‘87
Connor Riser ‘16



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