New Chapter House Updates

It's true. Rho Alpha is building a new house on campus! Stay tuned, as information comes available you will find it here.


Official Kickoff



Our account has been officially opened with the Virginia Tech Foundation and we have officially kicked off the campaign to raise the necessary funds for Phi Gamma Delta to build a new house on campus.  Please help me express my appreciation to all of the Brothers that have helped get us to this point.

The highlights of the project are as follows:

·         We are paying for one third of the construction price and Virginia Tech will pay for two thirds.

·         The total cost of the new house is still pending, but can run between $2 million and $5 million depending on the final design.

·         We will sign a 50 year lease with a first right of refusal on renewing the lease.

·         We have five years to raise the funds with us hopefully breaking ground and moving in prior to the final funds being collected.

·         All of the money collected will be done through the Virginia Tech Foundation, so your donation will be 100% tax deductible. 

You can give to the foundation at:

We do have a significant amount already pledged from a core group of donors, but we’ll never reach our goal without the support of the majority of the 700 Brothers associated with Rho Alpha.  Every donation counts.  If you can give as little as $50 a month, you are making a difference to secure our Chapter’s health and longevity. 

There will be more information shared at the Board of Chapter Advisers/House Corporation meeting being held the morning of Saturday, April 29th.  If you have any questions, please feel free to send them to

March update


As we start to gear up for our 45th Pig Dinner, we are excited to share some of the important milestones we have reached in relation to the construction of our new state of the art Rho Alpha Home on the Virginia Tech campus.  

After completion of many negotiation session with Virginia Tech, including a last minute rush of conference calls to negotiate final details, Rho Alpha and Virginia Tech have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) to start the process of building our new home.  Some more detailed highlights are as follows:

1)      We can officially say that we are the first chapter to execute a MOU with the University for this phase of Oak Lane and, as such, we will have our pick of lots in Phase IV of Oak Lane.

2)      Our new home will consist of between 30 and 44 beds for our Brothers.

3)      The University and Rho Alpha will work together to design our new home, and while we will need to comply with Oak Lane design standards and the University will need to sign off on our design, we have discretion in what our home will look like.

4)      The total maximum project cost is set at $5,720,000, however, both Rho Alpha and the University are committed to all costs coming in well below that total cap and estimate total project cost to between $2.5 million to $3 million.

5)      Virginia Tech will pay for 2/3 of the total project cost and Rho Alpha will pay the remainder.

6)      We will have five years to raise our 1/3 of the project costs and donations can be spread out over that period of time.  All donations made through the Virginia Tech Foundation will be tax-deductible.

7)      Donations will be made through the Virginia Tech Foundation, which will save Rho Alpha administrative fees as we’ll be able to recoup fees that would otherwise not be recoverable if going through IHQ. 

8)      Upon completion, while Virginia Tech will own the home, we will enter into a 50 year lease with the University with an option to renew for another 50 year term.

Now that the MOU has been executed, the Virginia Tech Foundation has set up an account for us to start receiving donations.  All donations should be made through the Virginia Tech Foundation.  We have already made significant progress in this regard as we have raised over $250k from a small handful of generous Brothers.  We are thankful for these donations as they are the seeds of what will become our new home.

There will be a lot more information coming out between now and Pig Dinner and we will certainly be discussing in more detail at Pig Dinner.  But in the meantime, please feel free to contact us with any questions at



September Update

It's been awhile since I've updated everyone on where we are with the "New House" project.  There's mostly good news on every front.

First, let me thank Brothers Griffith, Hesse, Lloyd, Maret, and McMahan for serving on the Fundraising Committee and helping during the quiet phase of the process.  I'd also like to thank Brothers Koolman, Woodward, Tabb, Crockett, and Meyrowitz for their additional assistance.  We would not be in as good of a position today if not for the efforts of those Brothers. 

As some of you may know, our plan is to sell our beloved, but distressed home at 202 Church St, and move into a house on campus.  While we've been talking about this for the past ten years in one way or another, there has been significant activity in the last 6 months.  Virginia Tech has made some changes to the way they view these projects and have come to the table with plans that are more advantageous to our Chapter.  The highlights are below:

Unchanged Points
-Virginia Tech will cover 2/3rds of the project costs
-Rho Alpha FIJI will cover 1/3rd of the costs
-The lease for the new house will be 50 years (usually the lease is 2 to 3 years)
-Maximum cost of the project is $4 million (including about $750K in furniture)
-The account that will be set up for donations will be with the Virginia Tech Foundation and will be 100% tax deductible. 

Recently Changed Points
-There is no minimum cost.  We originally were under the impression it had to be at least a $2 million house.  
-The requirement to have a "house manager" is still included, but it can be a member of the Chapter, a recent graduate, or someone from outside the Chapter.  VT pays their salary.
-They will be running the project and hiring the teams to complete it.  We will have some say in the design and the final details.  This is a partnership.
-We paid them $11K in August to begin the negotiations on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the House Corp and the University.
-They are open to a 5-year giving period, but there are still some details to be worked out, such as establishing a timeline for phase goals. 
-At least one other Fraternity has begun discussing going through this process.  Their current Chapter size (around 60) is not conducive to a 30 man house and they are far behind us in organization and planning.  

After we get the MOU worked out, they will set up the account for us to start donating.  I'm thinking November is the earliest they will have that account set up. We'll have more details on how to give once it's worked out with the University.

As some of you know, the Fundraising members have been calling some of the key donors in the quiet phase of this project.  We have received generous commitments from 22 Brothers, totalling between $237K and $264K.  We are very grateful to those donors.  If you were not contacted, please don't be offended.  We would be happy to speak to you about joining these 22 donors.  There are almost 700 living members of the Rho Alpha Chapter, so there are still a ton of members we haven't reached out to yet.  The good news is that we are 100% confident we will be able to build some sort of house on Oak Lane.

This is a lot of information, and there's still a lot of information coming in after each meeting with the University.  I promise to start giving more updates as the project develops further.  If you would like to pledge any amount to the project, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Every little bit helps.  If you have any questions, please contact me at


Jason Newcomb
Fundraising Chair
Class of 1998