Meet Past Foundation President Claudia Nemir, Eta Alpha

Not many people can say that they’ve walked alongside an organization since its inception, but Past Foundation President and 1852 Society Member Claudia Nemir, Eta Alpha, is proud to say that about her relationship with Phi Mu Foundation. It was soon after the Phi Mu Foundation had been established at the 1956 National Convention in Edgewater Park, Mississippi, that Claudia began her lifelong relationship with investing in the future of Phi Mu women.

“My contribution to the Foundation began with just one dollar tucked into an envelope that one of the very first Foundation Trustees Ruth Cushman Fox had given me at the 1956 National Convention. From then on, every time I’d see Ruth, she’d slip me another envelope, and I’d put in another dollar. I equate giving to the Foundation to making a regular contribution to a savings account to take advantage of the compound interest growth. You have to start somewhere, and then over time, you’ll be amazed how your contributions can accumulate into something life-changing.”

Since then, Claudia has been a lifelong donor and Phi Mu volunteer. She’s served the Fraternity as National Housing Director and on National Council, and on the Phi Mu Foundation Board of Trustees, assuming the presidency in 1998. One of her fondest Foundation memories includes fellow Past Foundation President and Heart and Hand Fund endower Leona Hughes Hughes, Delta Delta.

“When the Foundation was just building its endowments, Lewis Hughes, Leona’s husband, made a challenge gift to help us raise $10,000. His challenge created a huge buzz around Phi Mu and helped the Foundation surpass its 10-year anniversary goal of raising a total of $50,000. Leona and Lewis created a tremendous legacy for Phi Mu through their generosity. They set a wonderful example of giving back for all of us; it was pretty remarkable to watch over the years.”

Claudia has enjoyed watching the Foundation grow over the years and the tremendous benefit that fundraising efforts have had on the lives of Phi Mu women. She currently volunteers on the Foundation’s Member Assistance Committee and has a bird’s eye view of her investment in the Foundation at work through the grants made through the Member Assistance program.

“It’s overwhelming for today’s college woman with all of the challenges out there that can stand between her and her education. From rising tuition rates to mounting student loan debt, there are women out there who are struggling to make it all work. If you add in a personal emergency to all of that, it can make paying for the cost of college and Phi Mu almost impossible. If you are on the fence about making a gift to Phi Mu Foundation, I can promise you that helping these women get back on their feet is worth every penny.”

If you are interested in joining Claudia in becoming a member of the 1852 Society or another one of Phi Mu Foundation’s Giving Programs, please contact us at