VISION, MISSION & HISTORY
PHI SIGMA SIGMA FOUNDATION
Empower Phi Sigma Sigma women to aim higher.
Cultivate relationships, secure and provide financial resources for Phi Sigma Sigma sisters to achieve excellence, impact their communities, and change the world.
Leading by our Founders' values.
A message from the Foundation President
Thank you for your support of the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation. For over 50 years, the Foundation has worked with chapters to instill a philanthropic mission within our membership and support several causes on a local, national and international level.
I am honored to serve as Foundation president and look forward to furthering our cause and increasing our impact. From a young age, my parents encouraged me to get involved with volunteering and fundraising, which instilled a love for philanthropy within me. Their encouragement was an inspiration for my career in fundraising.
As a founding member of the Theta Rho Chapter at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, I was drawn to Phi Sigma Sigma’s commitment to philanthropy and service. I look forward to influencing future generations of Phi Sigma Sigma sisters in ensuring they become “women of substance, character and influence.”
The Foundation plays a crucial part in Phi Sigma Sigma’s advancement of womanhood. Through scholarships, grants and underwriting Fraternity leadership programming, we enhance the lives of our members by assisting them to Aim High and achieve their very best. The Foundation’s impact is felt not just within the walls of our sisterhood, but throughout our campuses and communities, as our sisters donate time and contribute funds to make a positive, lasting impact on themselves and those around them.
This would not be possible without our generous donors who help us support the personal development of our sisters and further our philanthropic cause of school and college readiness on a local, national and international level.
I hope you will join us as we continue to Aim High!
Vanessa Freeman Zerhusen
The Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation, Inc. was announced in the Spring 1965 issue of The Sphinx.
“The Foundation will incorporate all of Phi Sigma Sigma’s philanthropy funds such as the Dollars for Scholars Fund (loans to graduates and undergraduates of Phi Sigma Sigma), the National Scholarship Fund (gifts to undergraduates who aid as colonizers and to graduates who aid as resident advisors), and the Philanthropic Grant Fund (to universities and institutions for scientific as well as cultural advancement). The first board of directors included Ann Reiter (Iota, ’39), Past Grand Archons Veachey Rudolph Bloom (Xi, ’46) and Ruth Cooper Breslauer (Kappa, ’45) (also the Fraternity’s legal advisor), and Grand Archon Dr. Florence Denmark (Nu, ’52)."
The Foundation was formally incorporated on November 15, 1969. The first chair was Ilene Olansky (Zeta, '52).That year the Foundation awarded $2,000 in scholarships and educational grants, the Arthur Markowitz Book Award to one law student for $50, and six $250 educational grants.
Since 1969, the Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation has raised tax-deductible donations to directly benefit Phi Sigma Sigma sisters through leadership programming, scholarships and need-based educational grants, and more recently, through compassion grants for those facing catastrophic events. The Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation also supports disaster relief worldwide and facilitates volunteer projects in our local communities to help the disadvantaged achieve readiness for school and college entrance.