For the last two years, I've had the great pleasure and honor of serving as the Chapter Advisor of the Kappa Eta Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. I wanted to take a brief minute to update you about some substantial progress that's been made over the past few years, and to give you an update on the chapter house.
Over the past two years, the chapter has successfully dealt with a number of problems that threatened to weaken the chapter. A few years ago, dues collection fell to an unsustainable level, which led to the creation of a substantial debt owed to the international fraternity. In order to retire this debt, the chapter raised dues to $695 for the first two years of active membership, and $595 thereafter, and I am happy to report that it has achieved a better than 90% dues collection rate each semester over the past two years, paying off that debt.
In recent months, the undergraduate chapter has worked with the House Corporation to make serious improvements to the house. The most notable improvement is, of course, the finished basement, photos of which are attached. Thanks are due to the many generous alumni who have donated to the house improvement effort. In addition, the undergraduate chapter has undertaken its own fundraising drive, with over 70% of current undergraduates having made pledges or contributions. A number of these contributions have already been made, and some of them have been very substantial. I'd like to recognize four undergraduate brothers in particular who have contributed more than $1,000 each, making them new members of the Norman Shield Society.
As these brothers contributed out of their summer earnings and signing bonuses, and these contributions represent a significant sacrifice on their part. By contributing significant funds as well as individual labor in maintaining the house, the undergraduate chapter hopes to express its gratitude for the alumni contributions, as well as its commitment to continuous improvement of the house.
Despite the recent improvements, much work remains to be done. Among other projects, we need to complete capital improvements on the house, pay down the mortgage, and develop better alumni networking programs for the future. I hope that if you have not done so already, you'll contribute to our ongoing fundraising drive by making a contribution online. In addition, because we have not yet exhausted the matching funds pledged by our very generous alums, any contribution you make will be doubled.