The Skip Beebe Leadership For Life Program
It was Skip's vision to build an annual retreat for the undergraduates to focus on building their leadership skills and to continue those lessons throughout the year thru a mentoring program. Skip worked with several Beta Psi alums to build the program based on Brother Bill George's book True North. The program consists of an annual retreat, most recently held at the Winshape Foundation at Berry College, and includes food, accommodations, books and materials, and leadership exercises all for the benefit of the undergraduate chapter. Since the first session in 2001, it has been a tremendous success.
Skip unfortunately passed away soon after the program started. As a testament to the impact Skip made in that first year, the undergraduates asked the Foundation to name the program after Skip and the Foundation quickly agreed. Further, the Foundation worked to establish an endowment, the Skip Beebe Memorial Fund, to help fund the program for the years to come.
The Skip Beebe Leadership for Life is a program developed for the Beta Psi community that is intended to not only instill valuable life lessons to Beta Psi undergraduates, but also to promote continued involvement from Beta Psi alumni in the lives and development of brothers and pledges. The program centers on providing enrichment to both students and alumni alike. It’s overriding premise and the Circle One program is based on the book True North by Beta Psi alumni Bill George.
The program also includes prescribed activities throughout the year in between the annual retreats. A very important aspect of the year-long activities is that they will involve participation with the students by alumni mentors. These activities will be based on a teaching technique used by Mr. George at classes he teaches at Harvard whereby students are divided up into small groups that meet at prescribed times throughout the course. These small groups, called LDG for Leadership Development Group, have been found to be very powerful in helping students to delve deeply into important topics. The same concept is used now in an MBA class at Georgia Tech being taught by Brother Bill Gunn.
The Skip Beebe Leadership for Life program has an annual cost of approximately $28,000. In 2017, Brother Bill George and his Foundation committed to a grant of $100,000 to cover the costs of the program for 5 years (2017 – 2021)! He also challenged the Foundation to find a $50,000 match and his foundation would add another $50,000 over the same five years. The match was pledged by the Significant Seven, and we are now in the fourth year of this grant period.
Skip Beebe Fund
The George Family Foundation has been a tremendous supporter of the Beta Psi Foundation and specifically, the Lead For Life Program. Bill was even been able to attend our leadership retreat in March 2017, serving as a group leader and seeing firsthand the tremendous program put forth by the Lead For Life Board and the impact it is having on the Chapter. We submitted our request in 2017 to renew their financial commitment in support of the program, the costs of which continue to rise. Their response to our request simply blew us away!
The George Family Foundation pledged $30,000 per year for 5 years towards L4L beginning in 2017! It's an unbelievably generous gift and it is a testament to all the hard work the L4L Board and the chapter continue to put in to the program. As you might imagine however, Bill and Penny also wanted to make sure we continue our own fundraising efforts to support the program as well. Thus, each year of the pledge is structured as follows: they will send us $20,000 and once we raise an additional $10,000 for the program, they will send us the remaining $10,000!
A group henceforth known as the SIGnificant Seven (Steve Denning, Gary Steele, Peter Palmisano, Dan Pittard, Joe Juban, Bruce McInnis, and Jimmy Asip), were vacationing in the majestic mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Upon hearing of the George Family Foundation's pledge towards L4L and their challenge to our Foundation, they immediately stepped forward and agreed to match the challenge! And not just match it for one year......they agreed to match the entire challenge across all 5 years!
So just like that, with the generosity exhibited by those two groups over the span of a couple of months in 2017, we have secured funding for our flagship program that will last for several years.
On behalf of the Beta Psi Foundation and the chapter, to the George Family Foundation, Bill and Penny and the Significant Seven, we say thank you for all you have done and continue to do to support us! And to all of you, who continue to support our mission and provide the additional funding needed for scholarships, the Bell Chapter, and other endeavors on the horizon, we say thank you as well!