Mitchell Passes Plan For $10 Life Payment Per Initiate


At the Niagara Falls Convention of 1910, Frank J. R. Mitchell, Illinois Alpha 1896, proposed a plan for a life subscription to The Scroll and The Palladium. The committee approved the measure. On page 20 of the November 1910 issue of The Palladium, the statute appears as adopted. The Scroll Endowment Fund would be built up by each member’s payment of $10.00. The decree reads, in part, “For the purpose of establishing and maintaining an endowment fund, primarily for the payment of the necessary expenses of the administering the fund and for the publication of the periodicals of this Fraternity, each active member of each chapter shall pay the sum of ten dollars in cash, or a larger sum in installments, as he may elect, as hereinafter provided. Said payment shall be as obligatory upon him as any other dues or assessments and shall be collected and remitted to the treasurer of the General Council by the same officers who collect and remit the dues for General Fraternity expenses.”

The statute includes provisions to elect three trustees to administer the endowment. These would be “members of the Fraternity and men of prudence, skill, and experience in financial affairs. The national convention of 1910 shall elect the first three said trustees.”

Recapping the 1910 Convention in the September issue of The Scroll, Scroll Assistant Editor Walter B. Palmer wrote, “One legislative act of far-reaching effect and highest importance to the Fraternity need not be here explained. It was the adoption of a plan proposed by Frank J. R. Mitchell, who presented the original plan at the 1908 convention, and who remodeled it in far more perfect form for this convention. The entire plan in essential principles was adopted, some of the details of the arrangement being worked out on the floor of the convention. It was gratifying that, though this act involved the taxation of members, not a single objection was raised to the plan in its final form. All delegates seemed convinced that this act would result in great ultimate good to the Fraternity.”

The endowment fund grew steadily. Past President of the General Council William R. Bayes, Ohio Wesleyan 1901, wrote in the December 1936 issue of The Scroll, “During the past twenty-five years, the Fund has increased until today the income covers about one-half the cost of printing and distributing the fraternity publications. Brother Mitchell, PPGC, newly appointed editor of The Scroll and The Palladium, may justly take pride in the results of this most constructive piece of legislation which was proposed and advocated by him.

And hence, if the alumni in large numbers become Sustaining Members, they will, from now on, share with their undergraduate brothers in the completion of Brother Mitchell’s plan for the publication of the fraternity magazines. The opportunity is at hand. I believe the alumni will respond.”