Maurice and Dorothea Shaffer Leave Record Gift


In December 2012, the Foundation received word that it had been named in the estate of Dr. Dorothea Shaffer, wife of Brother Maurice (Maurie) Shaffer, Dickinson ’30, for at least $2 million. This gift propelled the Shaffers into the spotlight as the most generous donors in the history of the Phi Delta Theta Foundation.

Maurie was initiated in 1927 into Pennsylvania Epsilon. After graduation, he served as president of the Phi Delt Harrisburg Alumni Club, and he and Dotty were known for their annual summer parties at their Spruce Lane Farm.

Maurie was one of the first members of the Phi Delta Theta Foundation’s Founders Club, which recognizes donors with cumulative lifetime giving of $10,000 and above. He reached this level in 1980, but it seems that generous annual donations were just the tip of the iceberg of Maurie and Dotty’s generous support in the years to come.

In 1992, Maurie and Dotty gave a gift of $50,000 and established the Maurice E. Shaffer Endowed Scholarship Fund in support of deserving Phis from any chapter across North America. The Shaffer Endowed Scholarship has been awarded every year since its creation.

Maurie remained a loyal, generous, and active brother until his passing in 1997. Dotty kept in touch with Phi Delta Theta through annual updates on the Shaffer Endowed Scholarship.

In 2010, Dotty welcomed Trustee Emeritus Stephen “Tio” Kleberg for a visit to her Florida home. Tio expressed gratitude on behalf of Phi Delta Theta for her continued support and shared with her the tremendous impact their scholarship fund had made over the years. When Dotty passed away at age 101 in October 2012, the Shaffers’ relationship with Phi Delta Theta had spanned an incredible eighty-five years.

The Shaffers’ steadfast friendship with Phi Delta Theta through their Living Bond Society commitment would make history for the Fraternity. Although commonly referred to as a simple bequest, the Shaffers’ $2 million commitment is the largest gift ever made to the Phi Delta Theta Foundation. Maurie and Dotty designated these funds to establish Whole Man Scholarships, and, similar to their existing scholarship, they can be awarded to Phis from any active chapter in North America. Their gift also helped the Fraternity create the Shaffer Honors College of Leadership, an in-person leadership opportunity for Whole Man Scholars each summer.