At age 20, I was managing a $200,000 budget for Phi Psi.

By: Justin Smith, Minnesota ’04

Talk about learning outside of the classroom! I learned how to manage all kinds of interesting situations while managing my chapter’s finances. The budget had to be created in a way that keeps all the different chairs happy, but the dues had to be low enough to keep all the brothers happy. There are also collections… the oh so fun collections process.

What an opportunity and I am grateful to those that made it possible. For this reason, I’m expanding on my legacy with the Phi Kappa Psi Foundation in gratitude for the many formative opportunities I’ve benefited from over the years.

I know most brothers in their late 20s and early 30s haven’t given a lot of thought to enacting a Last Will and Testament, but I’m a bit of a planner. I’ve always been pretty forward thinking and wanted to make sure things were accounted for, so I went ahead and created my will. My resources are relatively few these days, but declaring that $10,000 of my estate will go to the Phi Psi Foundation gives me satisfaction knowing that it will pay out scholarships every year, forever.

Ironically, I had no interest in joining a fraternity when I arrived at the University of Minnesota in 2003. I ended up attending a Phi Psi event where Paul Wineman Washington ’55 was one of the speakers, and I just loved it. He impacted me.

I served Minnesota Beta as treasurer and house manager as an undergraduate. Overseeing a $200,000 budget was a big job, and really rewarding when I realized I could actually accomplish it — especially since I’m an IT major, not in finance or economics.

I also saw firsthand how the Phi Psi Foundation supports its chapters and undergraduate brothers financially. I received merit scholarships from my chapter and was honored to be named Most Outstanding Brother.

After graduating in 2007, I served as our house corporation president for eight years. It wasn’t until then that I started to realize much more fully how Phi Kappa Psi empowers its undergraduate members, providing brothers with opportunities to mentor and teach people in ways other students don’t get.

Time is precious. Even for a young alumnus, making a monthly or an annual contribution is something you can plan for & budget for in advance. I really do think it’s important to make supporting our brotherhood a priority. If you find that you are able to make a bequest in your will, I highly suggest you do. It’s all in the spirit of giving back.

Inspired by Justin’s story? Learn more about options available to establish your Phi Psi legacy today.