Frank J.R. Mitchell Scroll Endowment Fund Created


In November 1908, at the 29th Pittsburgh Convention, Scroll Editor and Manager Frank J. R. Mitchell suggested the Scroll Endowment Fund, a plan for life subscriptions that would, in time, provide adequate support for the magazine. In 1910, he placed before the Niagara Falls Convention a proposal, without precedent in the fraternity world, which called for a plan providing for a life payment of ten dollars for each initiate. By 1917, the fee of ten dollars upon initiation was obligatory. By 1936 the fund amounted to approximately a quarter of a million dollars, invested in mortgages and high-grade securities. The principal of this fund now amounts to more than $4.9 million. Almost every fraternity and sorority has since adopted the plan of life subscription which Phi Delta Theta gave to the fraternity world.

The 43rd Convention held August 30–September 3, 1938, in Old Point Comfort, Virginia, provided that, in Brother Mitchell’s memory, the endowment should be named the Frank J. R. Mitchell Scroll Endowment Fund.

Unfortunately, the contributions to the Mitchell Fund stopped in 1981 due to a change in the tax code. As a result, this fund was insufficient to continually support the publishing and mailing of printed The Scroll in perpetuity. Therefore, the decision was made to change the delivery method of the lifetime subscription to electronic. A digital version also reduced the Fraternity’s overall use of paper and helped address the ever-rising production, printing, and postage costs. Now funds from the Mitchell Fund and the True Blue Society support The Scroll, The Scroll Archive, The Scroll Extra, and expenses related to communications and alumni relations.