New Chapter House


Founding fathers in front of the first Washington Beta Chapter house on 16th Ave NE


Rendering of new Washington Beta Chapter house

Washington Beta’s Legacy

Washington Beta and the University of Washington share a tradition dating nearly a century. Our history speaks for itself through academic achievement and leadership within the university. With more than 2,200 graduates, Washington Beta has influenced the lives of thousands of men, cultivating lasting friendships in the process. Many of our best college memories can be traced back to Washington Beta. 

While many of our alumni have gone on to successful and distinguished careers in business, engineering, technology, and countless other endeavors, the common bond of our brotherhood remains, along with our shared principles and values. Most of us can trace the roots of our success to one place: 4637 21st Ave. NE. 

Through SigEp we not only learned the importance of our cardinal principles Virtue, Diligence, and Brotherly Love, but we acquired valuable assets, which include leadership skills, organizational skills, social skills, teamwork, and character. Oftentimes, these traits have been integral to our personal success and helped make us the men we are today. 

Our chapter house is clearly the focus of undergraduate life for Washington Beta. It has been a home away from home for thousands of young men and a classroom where our brothers have learned our founding principles. However, if we wish for Washington Beta to continue its strong presence on the UW campus, we must ensure that we are providing a safe, modern, and competitive facility. 

We must build for the Next 100 Years and secure our future.

Our Future Needs

The Washington Beta experience is more than the bricks and mortar of the chapter house, but the facility plays a significant role in the development of our brothers and serves as a proud symbol of our shared values and goals.

Our home at 4637 21st Ave. NE has been a part of our legacy for nearly 50 years and is nearing the end of its useful life. It has become clear that we must make a major investment in our chapter house if we are to remain competitive, provide a quality living environment, and meet the ever-changing needs of our brothers.

  • KEEPING OUR BROTHERS SAFE 
    The safety of our undergraduate brothers is of utmost importance; we must offer a structurally sound and safe home for our brothers. Much like our personal homes, our chapter house must be a safe haven that instills confidence in our members and their parents.

  • PURSUING EXCELLENCE
    UW is as academically challenging as ever and the need for an enhanced, quiet, well-lit, and comfortable study space within our facility is necessary for our members to achieve. Our plan will ensure that Washington Beta remains an academic leader within the Greek system.

  • SETTING OURSELVES APART
    While WA Beta continues to attract some of UW’s top men, we risk losing quality potential members to other fraternities that offer better facilities. Chi Psi, Theta Delta Chi, and Delta Tau Delta have recently completed renovations while Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Delta Phi, and Tau Kappa Epsilon are in the planning stages of major remodels. We must also ensure we are relevant to students in the future through our chapter’s programming.


For Washington Beta to remain a premier fraternity at UW, we must redesign and build a new facility to support an experience that is impactful now and in the future.

Did you know?

Residential facilities on campus are the second most important factor in the college decision-making process. (Source: The Impact of Facilities on Recruitment and Retention of Students by David Cain, Ph.D. and Gary L. Reynolds, P.E.)

Washington Beta’s Vision

The House Corporation and undergraduate leadership have developed a solid plan to address the long-term viability of the Washington Beta experience on the UW campus. Through careful study, assessment, and planning, it has been determined that an investment, beyond what can be afforded by the House Corporation, is necessary to meet the needs of today’s students. The Building Committee chaired by Brandon Morgan, TX Upsilon ’94, has worked with architect Jon Kucera, VA Eta ’71, Neiman Taber Architects, and Krittenbrink Architects to develop the following approach.

The three-story, 21,000-square-foot design is optimized for an occupancy of 85 beds. The new facility will be constructed with high-quality, durable, commercial-quality materials designed to withstand the rigors of communal living, but also have longevity. Our new facility will place an emphasis on providing ample study space and a physical structure that supports Washington Beta’s goal of being recognized as an accredited Learning Community.

PROJECT TIMELINE

  • 3Q 2020 – Began privately marketing SPE parking lot for sale
  • 4Q 2020 – Submitted for Building permit approval
  • 1Q 2021 – Publicly listed the SPE parking lot for sale
  • 2Q 2021 – MUP ready for issuance
  • 2Q 2022 – Close Parking lot sale
  • 2Q 2022 – Building permit approval
  • 2Q 2022 – Start construction
  • 3Q 2023 – Move-in & celebrate the 100-year anniversary


PROJECT COST ESTIMATE

Washington Beta—A SigEp Learning Community

SigEp Learning Communities enrich the SigEp experience for undergraduate brothers by delivering a powerful living-learning environment and a strengthened member development program. SigEp Learning Community chapters embrace the relationship with their host university and local community in recognition that learning does not begin and end in the classroom and we can do more to bring unique learning opportunities into the chapter house. An important byproduct of a great Learning Community chapter house is a daily study space for members that is quiet, comfortable, and effective for their academic pursuits.

The SigEp Learning Community concept was formally established in 2000 to provide chapters with facilities and program support to enrich collaboration between undergraduates, academic faculty, local professionals, alumni, and community members that results in personal growth and educational development for all involved.

There are four basic elements of the SigEp Learning Community:

  • Facility/Learning Environment – Create an environment where it is easy to do right and hard to do wrong; the facility is not only a fraternity house, it is a learning community.
  • Network of Support – Ensure regular involvement and support of members, alumni, volunteers, parents, and the university community.
  • Faculty Fellow/Resident Scholar – Faculty members and/or resident scholar interested in working with students outside the classroom interact as advisors and mentors to individual chapter members.
  • Personal and Academic Development – Encouraged by the faculty fellow, chapter members explore new avenues for personal and academic growth.


FACULTY INVOLVEMENT

Faculty fellows are a tremendous asset to a chapter, assisting the men on an individual basis with academic planning. Typically, a faculty fellow holds regular office hours in the chapter facility, shares meals with members, and promotes student-faculty interaction through cultural and educational programming. Faculty fellows may teach a class in the chapter facility, invite other academic professionals to the facility, and share their knowledge of campus resources.

BENEFITS OF SIGEP LEARNING COMMUNITIES

In addition to an enhanced learning environment and overall improved academic performance, a participating chapter accredited as a Learning Community is eligible to receive additional benefits, including the opportunity to apply to the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation for grant funding to support educational facility improvements.

Did you know? 

  • Is a requirement to earn a Buchanan Cup 
  • 104% increase in chapter GPA 
  • 163% larger chapter size 
  • 20% higher retention of members 
  • 65% of Buchanan Cup recipients 
  • 100% of Gold Buchanan Cup recipients 

 

Washington Beta — Your Investment

Only you can place a value on your Washington Beta experience and the importance of investing in an organization training the leaders of the future. Your participation in this capital campaign is vital to the success of our fraternity.

Because of the magnitude of our goals, we are urging all alumni to stretch and consider a meaningful contribution to this ambitious and necessary campaign. Gifts can be structured over a five-year pledge period, which will allow each alumnus to maximize his participation.

It is important to understand not all of the money raised can be tax deductible. The IRS will allow exclusively educational space to be funded with grants of tax-deductible dollars through the Sigma Phi Epsilon Foundation. We have consulted with experienced tax counsel on this matter and have established a policy whereby gifts of $50,000 or more may be directed to the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation, providing tax deductibility to the extent allowed by law.

Since only a portion of the project meets the IRS educational space requirement, the need for non-tax-deductible gifts is great. Therefore, gifts and pledges below $50,000 should be made to the Sigma Phi Epsilon Building Corporation Campaign Fund (not tax deductible).

WILL YOU ANSWER THE CALL? 

Washington Beta plays a critical role in shaping the lives of young men. Your chapter provides a small-group living environment that offers its members a solid foundation for their education, affords opportunities for high academic achievement, promotes the development of leadership and social skills, and teaches the importance of community involvement through service learning. Your investment in the new chapter house will provide the home base for this development.

Please answer the call. Your commitment cannot be underestimated—it will have a far- reaching effect on the lives of your Washington Beta brothers and the Seattle community for decades to come. Thank you, in advance, for your contribution and support.

Donate to the New House Project
Capital Campaign Updates
  • $2.35 million in total pledges to date toward a target goal of $2.7 million
  • MUP and building permits are both in process
  • SPE parking lot sold and contracted to close by 8/31/2022
  • Estimated construction start date: June 2023