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Published on April 6th, 2014 | by Kappa Sigma Endowment Fund

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Don Dilley Jr. Makes Record-Setting Estate Gift

Brother Don Dilley, Jr. Makes Largest Single Donation to the Kappa Sigma Endowment Fund Supporting Scholarship-Leadership Awards Programs

When Brother Donald C. “Don” Dilley, Jr. (Epsilon-Phi, Texas Tech, 1953) set foot on the Texas Tech campus in 1952, little did he know it, but he was destined to be a Kappa Sigma. Brother Dilley’s father, Donald C. Dilley, Sr. (Gamma-Omicron, Kansas, 1914), and his uncle, Alva N. Dilley, Jr. (Gamma-Omicron, Kansas, 1914), had already come within the 12th gate some 30 years before him via the Gamma-Omicron Chapter and had always spoken fondly of Kappa Sigma. However, finding no Kappa Sigma on what was then Texas Technological College in Lubbock, Texas, Brother Dilley joined a group known simply as the “College Club” local fraternity. As fate would have it, shortly after Brother Dilley joined, the College Club made the decision to become a Chapter of Kappa Sigma, and was chartered as the Epsilon-Phi Chapter of Kappa Sigma on May 16, 1953, just a few months before Dilley was initiated.

Beginning Kappa Sigma

After his initiation, Brother Dilley fully embraced the ideals of Kappa Sigma, eventually serving as Grand Treasurer and then as Grand Master of the Chapter. Not only was he instrumental in the early stages of the Chapter, but he also participated in the Texas Tech Community as a whole, serving as president of the Inter-fraternity Council and vice president of the Student association, all during his senior year.

After Graduation

Graduating from Texas Tech in the spring of 1956, Brother Dilley found himself in the era of the draft, and rather than joining the Army or the Air Force like many of his classmates, he instead enlisted in the Naval Reserves, serving four years during his time in Lubbock. After completing his degree at Texas Tech, Brother Dilley was accepted into the reserve officer corps program in Newport, Rhode Island. He was later commissioned in the fall of 1956 at the Dallas Naval Air Station, going on to serve three years active duty on the USS Princeton. Following his naval career, Brother Dilley partnered with his father in a farming and ranching business in the northern Texas Panhandle, about 100 miles north of Amarillo. The Dilley family owned and operated their business for many years before deciding to sell it to some neighboring farmers. Realizing that he had no more ties to the Amarillo area, Dilley relocated in 2001 to Pensacola, Florida, having fallen in love with the area during several visits with his former Navy shipmates.

Continued Dedication

When it came time to establish an estate plan, Kappa Sigma immediately came to mind. Brother Dilley proactively contacted the International Headquarters and explained his interest. A meeting took place in Pensacola shortly thereafter. “Looking back on my life, I realized that my college experience at Tech was a very important part, especially my involvement with Kappa Sigma and my Brothers at Texas Tech. Reflecting on all of it, I realized that I wanted to give something back, so that I could memorialize what my experience with Kappa Sigma had been”, said Brother Dilley when asked about why he chose to give back.

Considering his options and how to allocate his gift, scholarships were of the utmost importance to Brother Dilley. After learning about the Endowment Fund’s Scholarship-Leadership Awards Program and the ability to establish scholarships that give preference to members of certain Chapters, Brother Dilley knew immediately that this program was something he wanted to support. Accordingly, Brother Dilley has designated 40% of his gift to be used towards the establishment of named scholarships (some in his name, and some in his father’s name), which will forever benefit members of the Epsilon-Phi and Gamma-Omicron Chapters, or Chapters in the greater Texas and Kansas areas.

Extended Reach, Increased Impact

But Brother Dilley did not stop there. Realizing that the need for support stretches far beyond Texas and Kansas, Brother Dilley was determined to make a difference in Kappa Sigma across North America. Brother Dilley had this to say when asked about his interest in supporting students: “Almost all of my estate goes towards supporting education. I would like to support anyone who has the willingness to gain an education but finds themselves without the means to do so. Kappa Sigma Brothers will undoubtedly need that help and these scholarships will come in handy for those Brothers.” In order to make his goal a reality, Brother Dilley requested that 50% of his gift would go towards supporting the Scholarship-Leadership Program as a whole. In order to recognize this significant support of the Endowment Fund’s missions, the Endowment Fund’s Scholarship-Leadership Awards Program will be forever associated with the Dilley family.

Lastly, Brother Dilley wanted to give back to the area he has called home for the last couple decades. Accordingly, 10% of his gift will be used to establish scholarships that show preference to members of the newly established Sigma-Xi Chapter at the University of West Florida, and to other Chapters in the greater northern Florida area, as a testament to Brother Dilley’s love for Pensacola.

Kappa Sigma Roots

Brother Dilley’s incredible generosity is not easily described in words but can surely be tied back to one of the true challenges of being a Kappa Sigma, to “…afford an example which some may equal, but none excel”. Don Dilley, Jr. and his family will be forever regarded as instrumental contributors to the Kappa Sigma Endowment Fund, especially the Scholarship-Leadership Awards program, and it is certain that countless Kappa Sigma brothers will benefit from his incredible generosity. AEKDB

Caption for Photo:
Worthy Grand Master Hugh M. Robert, Brother Don Dilley, Jr., Executive Director Mic Wilson, and Director of Development Chris Kontalonis at Brother Dilley’s home in Pensacola, Florida.

By: Christopher P. Kontalonis (Beta-Upsilon, NC State, ’02), Director of Development


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