History of the Theta Zeta Lambda Scholarship Fund

Alpha Phi Alpha’s Theta Zeta Lambda Chapter has funded scholarships since its establishment in 1962. Various methods have been used to fund these scholarships. Originally, donations through chapter dues were a primary source. Then, in 1986, the Black and Gold Scholarship Ball was established as the major fundraiser used by the chapter.

In 2013, then-Chapter President Brother Brandon Marsh presented a proposal to provide scholarships through a wealth-building effort by the chapter. In preparation, he had several meetings with local entrepreneur and businessman Mr. John Barfield. Once the concept was created, Brother Leland Walker agreed to lead the initiative through the proposal stage. Brothers Leland Walker and Brandon Marsh met again with Mr. Barfield, who supported them with developing a financial plan for the proposal, which included using a combination of fundraising strategies. It was projected that $400,000 could be raised over a 10-year period. That corpus could then be used to fund multiple scholarships in perpetuity. Brother Leland Walker presented the plan, which included our major milestone of providing a minimum of seven $1,000 scholarships to economically disadvantaged youth, which was accepted by the Theta Zeta Lambda Chapter.

After the acceptance of the proposal and financial plan, Brother Marion Hoey agreed to chair the committee to organize the TZL Scholarship Endowment Fund–a 501(c) 3 organization created to establish an endowment. (A previous Theta Zeta Lambda Scholarship Fund entity lapsed, circa 1989.) The original committee members were Brothers Marion Hoey, Reginald Marsh, Leland Walker, Byron Roberts, Richard Ross, Lemar Thomas and Brandon Marsh. On November 14, 2014, via documentation from the IRS, the “Theta Zeta Lambda Scholarship Fund Trust” was approved for reinstatement. Articles of incorporation listing the aforementioned seven men were submitted December 12, 2014, and filed by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs on December 16, 2014. Marion Hoey was unanimously voted to be our first TZL Scholarship Fund President.

On March 19, 2015, the “Bylaws of Theta Zeta Lambda Scholarship Fund” were adopted at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Fund.

Mr. Barfield realized that since the wealth-building concept was new to our organization, it would need support to get off the ground. In addition to his encouragement, coaching, and advice, he provided financial support by offering a $10,000 match, if the chapter raised $10,000 in the first year. This match was to be in Brother Brandon Marsh’s name, in return for the many Barfield initiatives that Brother Marsh worked on. Not only did we achieve this goal, but we exceeded it by raising $14,000. Mr. Barfield graciously rewarded our success with a second challenge, this time to raise $16,000, in return for another $10,000. Once again, we met the challenge and in two years, we had raised $50,000, which is more wealth than had been accumulated since the inception of our chapter.

Our second TZL Scholarship Fund President, Brother Brandon Marsh implemented management structures that connected all of our fundraising efforts, including the TZL Scholarship Fund, the Black and Gold Scholarship Ball, and the Student Recognition Luncheon. He, along with Brother Byron Roberts, led the effort to clarify our organizational vision, mission, and purpose.

Our third TZL Scholarship Fund President, Brother Reginald Marsh guided us as we continued raising funds. He was instrumental in leading us to transfer the initial funds to the Ann Arbor Community Foundation (AAACF), and to help us realize the benefits and management expertise that the AAACF organization would provide. After months of research and deliberation, in order to ensure the permanent security of endowment fund proceeds, in December of 2019, the Theta Zeta Lambda Scholarship Fund Board of Directors voted unanimously to transfer $100,000 from its various accounts to the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation to establish the “Theta Zeta Lambda Endowment Fund.”

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Theta Zeta Lambda Chapter continues to show support and dedication to the TZL Scholarship Fund and the noble endeavor of scholarship. The Black and Gold Scholarship Ball, Student Recognition Luncheon, Brotherhood Raffle, 10K Challenge, Black and Gold Scholarship Golf Outing and many other charitable fundraisers have contributed over $50,000 to the TZL Scholarship Fund to date. This loyal partnership was instrumental in the TZL Scholarship Fund exceeding its set goal to reach over $175,000 in the fund in 2021, just seven years after its inception. It has become the culture in the chapter to consider the endowment first during fundraising. The chapter will not rest until all goals are not just reached but exceeded.

The Theta Zeta Lambda Scholarship Fund is on track to realize our vision, purpose, and mission. As of July 2021, a community of eager supporters has enabled the Fund to award college scholarships to 19 deserving students — beginning with 3 in 2019 — 15 of which have gone to economically disadvantaged youth.

We appreciate our Charter donors who made at least a $100 contribution in the first campaign to enable the launch of the fund. They are listed below in the order their financial contribution was received:

. Bro. Reginald Marsh
. Bro. Donald & Deborah Scott
. Bro. Marion & Mary Hoey
. Bro. Brandon T. Marsh
. Bro. Morse L. & Arma J. Brown
. Gary & Barbara G. Hyatt
. Minnia Cook
. Shirley Locke/Bro. Raymond B. Randolph Jr.
. Bro. Larry & Janice Warren
. Bro. Anthony C. Hytche
. Bro. William Collins, PhD
. E. Laurita Thomas
. Bro. Lamar Thomas
. Bro. James & Annie Moore
. Bro. George Hoey & Erin Hoag
. Bro. Harry & Patricia Williams
. Bro. Lamont Manley
. John & Betty Barfield
. Bro. Charles A. Davis Jr.
. C & H Community Home for Funerals
. Bro. Robert Davis
. Bro. Richard Ross, PhD
. Isadore King
. Bro. David Rutledge
. Bridgette L. Marsh
. Bro. Lyonel Milton
. Sandra Wray-McAfee
. Patricia Ashford-Manley
. James & Ollie Wesley
. Bro. Byron & Marnise Roberts
. Bro. Jonathan Madison
. Clifton Smith
. Bro. Lavertis Vasser
. Bro. Walter Reed
. Bro. John Ashford
. Bro. Michael Davis
. Bro. William L. & Linda A. Harris
. Bro. Richard McFerrin
. Bro. Ronald Woods, PhD
. Brian Reed
. Bro. Robert Hunter
. Bro. Bro. Walter G. Parker, MD & Henri Mae
. Bro. James Anderson
. Bro. Larry Rowley
. Bro. Leland Walker & Elizabeth Whittaker-Walker

Theta Zeta Lambda Scholarship Fund
PO Box 1785
Ann Arbor, MI 48106

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