IRDF Toasts to 50 Years of Supporting FSILG Vitality
Alumni, staff and students gathered in Walker Memorial Hall Saturday evening on April 26 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Independent Residence Development Fund.
The IRDF’s steady stream of support has provided grants, loans and financial stability for capital and ongoing projects for MIT’s Fraternities, Sororities and Independent Living Groups (FSILGs) since 1964.
“No other university has a fund like ours,” said Lisa Tatterson ’99, who chaired the evening’s celebration committee. “The function of this fund is to support the FSILG community and keep it vital.” Monetary support from the IRDF has yielded results far beyond original expectations, since its launch 50 years ago. “Demand for the IRDF loans is at an all-time peak,” said Dave Latham ’61, a member of the IRDF Board of Allocation for the last 25 years.
The vision for the IRDF came from a small cohort of alumni enthusiasts. Present in Cambridge for the fanfare and dinner was one of the IRDF’s four founders, D. Reid Weedon ’41, who received a standing ovation. All MIT FSILGs that have their own houses have and continue to take advantage of the generous IRDF grant and loan offerings, which are funded by donations from alumni and FSILG supporters.
Most recently, IRDF financing allowed the brothers of Phi Beta Epsilon to design and complete a truly breathtaking renovation of the PBE fraternity house on Memorial Drive. “We could not have accomplished this massive project without help from the IRDF. We used the money for liquidity purposes, as collecting alumni pledges can take quite a long time,” said Steve Carhart ’70, President of the PBE Corporation. Now, the students inhabiting the brand new facility are reveling in its payoff. “The new face to our house has brought rejuvenation to our chapter, and symbolized the power of change possible at MIT,” said PBE Student President Rishi Tirumala ‘14. And PBE isn’t the only FSILG taking advantage of tax deductible loans and varying grant opportunities.
“The Sigma Chi renovation could never have happened without the IRDF’s guidance,” said Karl Buttner ‘87. “This event is eye opening for undergraduates, helping them realize what the fund actually is and how imperative it continues to be for sustaining our way of student life.”
Among the crowd were many student FSILG leaders, most of whom gained an even deeper understanding of the importance of the IRDF to their community. “Tonight is more than just about eating and talking, we are creating awareness for this amazing gift at MIT,” remarked Carhart. Presidents of the Interfraterniy Council and Panhellenic Association were also on-site, helping to offer a guiding perspective.
“The IRDF means that the FSILG community is alive,” said IFC President Haldun Anil ‘15. “Of course we all strive to have magnificent buildings and state of the art facilities, but the most telling quality of the IRDF is that it allows us to share ideas, resources and … well, be inter-fraternal with one another.”