Sanford donates $1 million to U frat

During his time at the University, T. Denny Sanford was a member of Chi Psi, the school’s oldest fraternity.

by Koran Addo

University alumnus T. Denny Sanford donated $1 million Friday to renovate the Chi Psi fraternity house on campus.

Sanford serves on the fraternity’s executive council and was a member during his time at the University.

Sanford made headlines last year after pledging $35 million for a new Gophers football stadium. He later rescinded the pledge after he and the University could not agree on the gift’s terms.

Interfraternity Council member Andrew Koepsell said the donation is the largest by a single donor for a fraternity that he can remember since he has been a student.

Chris Phillippi, Chi Psi recruitment chair, declined comment.

The University Chi Psi chapter, commonly known as The Lodge, was founded in 1874 and was the first fraternity on campus.

Sanford said he originally committed $100,000 to refurbish the fraternity house after learning of its deteriorating condition last year.

Last Friday, during a visit to the Twin Cities, Sanford decided to increase his donation to $1 million. The estimated cost to renovate the house’s interior is $2 million.

Sanford said he increased the donation because he felt more generous this year.

“I’ve been truly blessed in my life, and I wanted to share it,” he said. “The house has taken a toll from heavy living, and I have an opportunity to help an organization that played an instrumental part in my upbringing.”

The money will be used to renovate the interior of the house, including new wiring and the purchase of new computers.

In addition to the renovation project, the South Dakota native also pledged $16 million toward the construction of a children’s hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Sanford, who lives in South Dakota, said he is proud of the fraternity for raising almost $300,000 for the renovation.