Campaign for the Second Century

"Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow"

Leave a Legacy for Lambda Chapter of TKE

A Case for Support

The Lambda Alumni Board of Directors, Inc. has embarked on an ambitious, but well-researched plan to renovate the chapter house at 216 Langdon Street. Please join us in supporting the campaign, remembering that brotherhood is more than a just a semester, year, or college term only, but we are "Fraters for life."

The Alumni of Lambda Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity at the University of Wisconsin, Madison seek to raise $1 million from Fraters to support an extensive renovation of the chapter house. We ask that all Lambda alumni make a one-time gift or a multi-year pledge to support this most worthy project. We have established a charitable vehicle, such that alumni may contribute gifts of securities (Stocks and bonds), tangible property, and matching gifts from corporate matching programs where Fraters are employed. The Lambda Chapter Building Corporation will also accept deferred gifts from estates, insurance, and trust distributions.

The chapter house at 216 Langdon Street was built in 1968 as a sorority house. Through the diligent efforts of Fraters Fritz Jacobi, a transfer from Lambda Alpha chapter at the University of South Florida and Rob Weigend, a law student at the time; from Zeta Zeta Chapter at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, a newly re-colonized Lambda Chapter was able to move into a new house in the middle of “Greek Row” in Madison. The chapter thrived in the late 1970s and ‘80s.

Since those halcyon days, the chapter house has served as home to more than 500 undergraduate members over 49 years. Should we be surprised that a major renovation is due?

The last (and only) renovation of the house occurred in 2007. This effort included a new roof, infrastructure improvements, a fire sprinkler system throughout the house, rebuilt bathrooms on the 2nd and 3rd floor, new carpet and painting the walls throughout the house.

[You may click the photos below to see the gallery of photographs]

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  1. Our Needs
    • A complete re-plumbing of the water and sewage systems
    • A completely new electric system
    • An HVAC system that includes heating and cooling
    • High performing wireless internet connectivity
    • Installation of a commercial kitchen for a full chapter dining program
    • Structural renovation on the rooftop deck
    • Paving the parking lot to meet city code regulations
    • Creating a new, traditional façade on the front of the street
  2. The Debate:
    To Build New or To Renovate An extensive study was conducted to determine the financial feasibility of renovating the existing house, or razing it, and building a new house in its place. Frater Jon Jenson, an alumnus from our Gamma Chapter at Iowa State is the chief architect for the State of Wisconsin, and lives in Madison. Frater Jensen conducted extensive studies, comparing our current house to the newly constructed Theta Chi and Sigma Phi Epsilon houses on Langdon Street. The former fraternity is our next-door neighbor, and the later is a project he was closely involved in (his son was a chapter member).

    Frater Jenson then lead a committee to determine the best, most economic and efficient use of funds for the Lambda Chapter. After an extensive financial analysis, comparing and contrasting the cost of an extensive renovation versus razing and building a new facility; it was unanimously agreed upon that a major renovation project appeared most feasible.

The determining factors included:

  • A renovated house cost much less than razing and building new. • A renovated house provided more square footage and a newly built house, considering the overall cost of a new build vs. a renovation.
  • The existing foundation structure is of high quality consisting of concrete and structural steel and is in excellent condition.
  • The existing house has many redeeming features, including a large parking lot, a rooftop deck, a large basement social hall, and a main floor dining room and kitchen.
  • The existing house has 28 large bedrooms that have the ability to house two members per room if the demand for housing called for double room. A new house, based on the financial model would contain fewer bedrooms.
  • The chapter, for the first time in several decades, has begun to double up room occupancy.
  • The chapter has never undertaken a major fundraising campaign in its 100-year history.

The Feasibility Study conducted by Wes Wicker and Columns Fundraising Consultants recommended a campaign goal that was more complimentary of a major renovation.

Capital Campaign Giving Levels

  • $1,000 - Wisconsin Level Recognition in the Grand Foyer Recognition Wall
  • $2,500 - Badger Level Donor Certificate
  • $5,000 - Bucky Level Commemorative brick in the front patio
  • $10,000 - Lambda Level Opportunity to name a bedroom in the house
  • $25,000 - Triangle Level Silver Triangle Plaque, Medium Room Naming Opportunities, Grand Front Foyer, Kitchen
  • $50,000 - Golden Horseshoe Level Golden Horseshoe Plaque, Large Room Naming Opportunities, Roof, Basement, Chapter Room

The Lambda Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon at University of Wisconsin-Madison was installed as a chapter on December 15, 1917.

Since 1899, Tau Kappa Epsilon has never had an exclusionary clause for membership. TKE does not judge men on their wealth, rank or honor, but instead on their personal worth and character.

Our mission is to "to aid men in their mental, moral, and social development for life." In essence, we build Better Men for a Better World.