Why I Give

Ian Steenhagen rose99:

I have been able to participate in several education programs provided by the National Foundation. Whether we were discussing the direction & purpose of Triangle or discussing our personal experiences an opportunity for growth was always provided. The skills and ideas I have gained from these programs have given me a renewed focus for our chapter.

I know these opportunities are available to me and members of my chapter because of the many alumni that donate generously to the Foundation. That is why when I was invited to become a member of the President’s Men I quickly signed up. It is my way of doing what I can to help support these valuable opportunities. Some day soon I hope I can do more by becoming a member of the Founders’ Club.

Don Hatfield msu88:
As an undergraduate at Michigan State, Triangle provided me with the unique opportunity of personal growth that stretches far beyond the boundaries of the classroom. Engineering school often stressed knowledge of the discipline, but skipped the most important part of the puzzle – I must successfully work with other people to make that knowledge pay off. They’re right – it’s not what you know. It’s how well you can work on a team, or how convincing you can be to get others to share your vision.

If I could tell younger Triangles two things, they would be:

  1. If you don't have a will, GET BUSY and get it right away, especially when you have children involved!
  2. Even if your estate may have a wife and kids involved who might end up requiring all the resources of your estate, there are still ways to provide for Triangle in your will.
Now that I’m an alumnus, I have a family, a career, and other volunteer work. But I never forgot Triangle’s impact on my life. I continue my dedication in an effort to “pay it forward” to future Triangles. I do this not only by volunteering at my Chapter and the National level; I include Triangle in my contributions and even estate planning.

Jim & Elizabeth Craig mn69:

Triangle has been a big part of Jim and Elizabeth Craig’s professional and personal life both as undergraduates and alumni. Their decision to establish the James and Elizabeth Craig Civil Engineering Scholarships was an easy one and is significant in many ways. Jim's love of Civil Engineering, particularly Geotechnical Engineering, and the need for top-notch professionals in this field led them to cestablish these scholarships through the Triangle Education Foundation.

To this day, Jim and Elizabeth still keep in touch with a group of Triangle alumni and their wives. They get together once a year after the holidays for a special dinner. Throughout the many years, they have reunited with some of his fraternity brothers’ families for sailing, family celebrations such as children's graduations and other events. The long time friendships have been a most significant part of the Triangle experience.

Jim attended the University of Minnesota where he immediately joined Triangle Fraternity. He graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering specializing in Geotechnical Engineering (soil foundation analysis). Jim has worked in this field for over 30 years and is currently a Senior Geotechnical Engineer with Barr Engineering Company in Minneapolis, MN. Jim and Elizabeth Craig reside in Eden Prairie, MN and are about to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

James Rust pur56:

As universities across the country set the tuition for the 2003-2004 school year, we are once again seeing double digit increases in tuition. Over the past 8 years the average tuition bill has increased more then 8% a year, well over double the rate of inflation. A college education is quickly becoming out of reach for a number of individuals.

Jim Rust pur56 saw this need over ten years ago when he endowed the Rust Scholarship Fund with the Triangle Education Foundation. For over ten years now the Foundation has been able to award sizable grants to young men in need. These funds have enabled many Triangles to focus on their academic accomplishments, involvement as leaders of Triangle, and investment into their future.

Due to Jim’s wise investment in Triangle, the yearly dividends are plentiful. To date, close to a dozen men have benefited from the Rust Scholarship Fund, including this year’s winner Chad Whitman from our Iowa State chapter.

Due to wise investing, the Foundation is able to increase the award size for the 2003-2004 year by $500. Although not keeping up with the skyrocketing cost of higher education, Triangle is making a dent.

Brian Lally csu97:

I received a Founders’ Club letter asking for donations and was about to throw it away, but it caught my attention after seeing Guido uwm96 and David Fleischhacker’s minn95 names on it.


My thinking maybe flawed but this is how I thought…I am a recent graduate from college and have very little money (especially working as a ranch hand since getting married to a rancher) so I don’t have much to give back to the Fraternity. I knew I would not even be able to donate at the Bronze Level ($250+), so I did not donate at all. I now look back at this thought and see how stupid it is, but I believe I may not be in the only one who thinks this way.

I think the new Pearl Level is a great idea for those new graduates that do not have much money. My check is in the mail!

Alan & Jo Silver ucla61:

Triangle played a very important role in my college life. Like most house freshmen, the fraternity was my first home away from home. My Big Brother and, yes, even the Pledge Master, provided me with valuable guidance and direction in both my academic and social development. The opportunity to develop, along with my pledge class was an invaluable experience. Once initiated, we were thrown into various leadership roles – opportunities we would have otherwise not experienced.

Several years ago, I decided to try to repay the Fraternity, in some way. I was fortunate enough to not need a scholarship or a full-time job to get through college, but others can’t. I dedicated a percentage of our estate to the Triangle Education Foundation, to establish a permanent scholarship fund in my wife Jo’s and my name. I will continue to make regular donations to the Education Foundation, and I hope you all do, too. I want to challenge the pledge class of ucla61 (and you know who you are) to also bequeath a percentage of your estate to Triangle National.

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