Flip Connell Scholarship Fund

I am discovering that there are a lot of Brothers that don’t know who Flip Connell is, and why they should contribute to his scholarship fund.

Most of us are ready to support scholarship, so why not do it via the Flip Connell Scholarship Fund?  What better way to remember Flip’s contribution to our beloved chapter at 707 Oxford than to give Undergrads in the house financial help in his name.  They know that Phi Gamma Delta is supporting their education.

The Flip Connell Scholarship was established in 2009 and is awarded “In Recognition of Superior Academic Achievements, and All Around Good Citizenship by an Undergraduate Brother.”  The award initially carried a stipend of $500 to the recipient.  The Board members felt that we would like to increase the amount to $1,500 to make it a more meaningful recognition of our tribute to Flip.  This means we would need to set aside about $30,000 to perpetuate the award at that level.

What did Flip do to earn the recognition we are discussing?

Flip was truly dedicated to Phi Gamma Delta.  FIJI ranked with this devotion to his wife, Jean, family, and UofM as relationships that defined to him why we are put on this Earth.  Flip was crushed when he saw his beloved Fraternity thrown off campus in 2000.  It was even harder because he was once of the Grad Brothers that discovered the house had become just another Frat Party House, and had lost the priority for the values that has drawn us to Flip over the years.  He effectively “blew the whistle”.  But the challenge of restoring our Chapter became the defining activity for Flip’s love for his Fraternity.  Flip helped spearhead the initial meetings of Brothers who came in disbelief from all parts of the country to assemble at the League.  Those meetings led to the plan for Recolonization that commenced in 2002.

But, Flip was a hands-on supporter.  Because he had retired to Ann Arbor in 1998, he was up at the house nearly every day checking on the progress of restoration.  Then if something needed to be done, he would just do it.  Whether it was power washing the house, painting the house, or refinishing the Board Room tables.  Flip was getting his hands dirty.  When they decided the old piano was no longer functional, Flip found another one to replace it.

His presence at the house was not Flip’s only contact with the new Colony.  Since the house was under construction during times of recruiting new members, Flip & Jean opened their house to the Undergrads to host rushees in a more suitable setting.  They even hosted a Super Bowl party for them in 2003.  This all fit with Flip’s desire to share his love of the Fraternity with the new men joining Phi Gam.

Later in 2003, Flip reconstituted the Board of Chapter Advisors.  This group of Graduate Brothers works directly with the Undergrads to counsel them in matters of brotherhood and setting Chapter priorities.  Flip recruited mostly younger grads to serve with him on the BCA.  This more personal contact with the Undergrads was in addition to his “bricks and mortar” work as a member of the Alpha Phi Board.

Flip also worked at the University level to support the new Colony.  He joined the Alumni committee of the Office of Greek life.  This gave Flip perspective from the University level for the direction of FIJI on campus.  It also allowed him to work with alums in other fraternities facing the same problems of maintaining successful undergraduate chapters.  As a result of Flip’s work with Greek Life, our Colony became the role model for many of the other chapters returning to campus.  The Greek Office honored Flip with the Outstanding Greek Alumnus Award in 2002.  The award to Flip recognized his dedicated support to the Michigan Greek system and the FIJI chapter – “his work has significantly enriched the brotherhood and has been a major factor in the resurrection and continuation of the Alpha Phi Chapter at the University of Michigan.”  When this award was presented to Flip, the room resounded with applause and cheers, true signs of the affection shared by all the brothers for this outstanding Phi Gam.

Last modified: December 26, 2023

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