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Scrooge would have benefitted from a fraternity experience


"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens is a story of a broken man whose wealth has become his only passion in life. One night and three spirits later, he learned how to embrace life and share his wealth. These same lessons can be applied to the fraternity and sorority experience today.

From the first spirit Scrooge encounters, the Ghost of Christmas Past, he learns that the simple things in life, like love, friendship and laughter, hold value. The Ghost of Christmas Past reminds Scrooge of the previous relationships in his life that gave him happiness. Like you … from the connections I made in my college days to those that I’ve fostered as a long-time volunteer and professional, interfraternal relationships have made a difference in my life and have given me great happiness.

The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge that those he considers foolish or beneath him actually understand life better than he does. He shows him the meaning of joy and that he is missing out on the simple pleasures in life. While many alumni think the fraternity or sorority experience had its time and place in college, in actuality, the fraternal experience is timeless and more relevant today than ever. With the social anxiety and loneliness students are still experiencing from the pandemic, the fraternity experience provides critical connection, community and support.

The Ghost of Christmas Future appears last, and unlike the first two friendly ghosts, is a frightening guy. The ghost takes Scrooge to Tiny Tim’s funeral because the family doesn’t have enough money to treat his medical condition. Much like the Ghost of Christmas Future, our chapter houses can appear scary. Just like Tiny Tim, most of our house corporations do not have the resources, especially after the budget tightening of the pandemic, to do the necessary updates to our home away from home.

Scrooge sees the error of his miserly ways and wakes up Christmas morning a new man, full of life, love and excitement to share his wealth and company with the people with whom he shares his life. Time and time again, we have witnessed fraternity alumni who — when asked — have awakened and given their time, talent and treasure for the benefits of young men and women.

We've helped our clients raise more than $1 billion. We've seen alumni/ae embrace joy by giving to fraternities and sororities.  Pennington & Company has helped to raise more than $1 billion for fraternities and sororities. We have seen firsthand alumni/ae embrace the joy in life by giving. We'd be happy to help your alumni/ae experience that joy, too.

From all of us at Pennington & Company, happy holidays and best wishes in 2023.