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Osborne Family Partners With Whitman on Gift To Improve Fraternity Housing

Image of the Phi Delta Theta house at Whitman College.

A gift from Matt Osborne ’93 and the late George Osborne ’66—paired with an investment from Whitman College—will result in $900,000 for fraternity chapter facilities upgrades starting this summer. These housing improvements will strengthen community and residential life for Whitman students.

The Osborne gift came in response to a matching gift incentive from the college’s Board of Trustees designed to encourage alumni giving for fraternity and sorority chapter renovations. The Osborne gift of $600,000 will earn the college’s full fraternity 1-to-2 matching fund of $300,000 to cover investments prioritizing health and safety for students in fraternity chapter houses.

“Our residential life provides students with opportunities to find community, take on leadership roles and make lifelong friends, and our fraternities are an important part of that,” says President Sarah Bolton.

“I am deeply grateful to Matt and George Osborne for their generous gift to enhance fraternity life, as well as the quality and safety of student housing at Whitman.”

Whitman has four residential fraternities: Beta Theta Pi, Phi Delta Theta, Sigma Chi and Tau Kappa Epsilon. The college also has four sorority chapters whose members primarily reside in Prentiss Hall: Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma, Kappa Kappa Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta.

An Osborne Family Tradition

“George and I experienced firsthand the lifelong benefits of the fraternity experience at Whitman as members of Beta Theta Pi and Phi Delta Theta,” says Matt Osborne of his and his late father George’s Whitman experience. “It’s been important for us to help sustain and strengthen that experience for current and future generations of students, not only in our chapters but at all Whitman fraternity chapters.”

Providing leadership and philanthropy for Whitman and fraternities has long been important to the Osborne family. George Osborne provided leadership during his lifetime for significant investments in the Beta Theta Pi chapter house. He also made gifts for Baker Center renovations recognized with the naming of Osborne Commons, broad investments in Whitman Athletics, and the creation of the college’s Department of Computer Science.

An Immediate Impact on Health, Safety and Well-Being

Examples of fraternity house upgrades made possible by the Osborne gift, as well as the college’s matching funds:

  • Beta Theta Pi: replacement of a roof section, new gutter and roof ridge support, and an updated bathroom and four living spaces on the second floor.
  • Phi Delta Theta: foundation repair and waterproofing.
  • Sigma Chi: installation of an upgraded fire alarm system.
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon: east tower renovation, construction of an ADA-compliant access ramp, and demolition of an aging rear deck, which will be replaced with a concrete pad.

Rising Upward Together

The Osborne gift lifted the Upward Together campaign to $171 million in total philanthropy from more than 14,000 alumni, families, friends and organizations. To learn more and discuss how you might partner to make an impact through the Upward Together campaign, contact our Development team at 509-527-5165 or development@whitman.edu.

Published on Jun 5, 2024
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