Our Founders were true visionaries of their time. They were among the first women to attend and graduate from college, and together they formed a literary society aimed at enriching their academic experiences while supporting their fellow female students through the bonds of sisterhood and friendship. While much of the world has evolved and changed over the last 168 years, most of Phi Mu’s ambitions have stayed relatively the same since our founding. Every day, Phi Mu members continue to strive toward One Destiny — Noble Womanhood. Staying true to who we are at our core is something to be proud of, especially when members are inspired to pass the torch.
More than 20 years ago, Betty Nell Wilkinson, ΑΛ, Louisiana Tech University, and her now late husband Addison met with Phi Mu Foundation to share their passion for investing in opportunities that would help Phi Mu women continue to reach their greatest potential. Betty and Addison were very active supporters of the Lafayette, La., community, particularly when it came to promoting education.
As an involved member of the Lafayette Alumnae Chapter, Betty kept her finger on the pulse with Phi Mu and recognized the great need to invest specifically in women’s education. That’s when she and Addison established and endowed three critical funds through Phi Mu Foundation that would support Phi Mu women for generations to come: the Betty Nell Wilkinson Scholarship Fund, the Betty Nell Wilkinson Emergency Fund and the Betty Nell Wilkinson Lecture Series Fund.
While each of these funds stands alone, their purpose is tied together with the promotion of leadership and education for Phi Mu members. Betty’s academic scholarship is offered annually to an Alpha Lambda chapter member pursuing her education, while the emergency fund exists to help members who are facing a difficult time in their lives and need tuition assistance. The lecture series fund helps secure nationally-renowned speakers for Phi Mu’s signature events such as National Convention and the Phi Mu Officer Academy. Together, these funds have impacted the lives of women across the country who are furthering their education and expanding their leadership potential. Betty and Addison’s endowment of these funds through Phi Mu Foundation has ensured that the true meaning and spirit of Phi Mu will become a reality for their beneficiaries.
Over the years, many members have continued on their paths toward success with the help of the Wilkinsons and in turn, these women are paying it forward by becoming Phi Mu Foundation donors themselves. When you invest in helping a fellow Phi Mu achieve our One Destiny, that investment pays out in dividends.
“Phi Mu Foundation came to my aid with a grant from the Betty Nell Wilkinson Emergency Fund when I needed it the most. After my family lost our home in a fire, my parents had no idea how they’d pay for my schooling. Because of Ms. Betty’s generosity, I didn’t have to take a semester off and was able to continue to be involved with my chapter. I am so thankful to her and to be a part of an organization that generously gives back to sisters in need. This is what sisterhood is all about.”
— Betty Nell Wilkinson Emergency Fund Recipient Sara Connell, KΣ, Jacksonville State University
If you are interested in leaving a legacy through Phi Mu Foundation, consider establishing a named fund, grant or scholarship that promotes leadership and education. For more details on how you can begin your journey toward investing in the future of Phi Mu, contact Director of Major Gifts Mandi Young, ΑΕ, Florida State University, at 770-632-2126 or firstname.lastname@example.org.