“Service to others was always the spirit of the SAE fraternity,” says Paul Marcus, ’81, adding that every year the house organized a party to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Society, raising thousands of dollars, and often on Saturdays, they would organize the clean-up of a whole neighborhood block.
“Giving back to the community was an important theme in our lives,” he says, adding that over the years the spirit to serve has remained strong.
Recently, the two brick townhouses in Boston’s Back Bay that were home to SAE alumni for more than 100 years were sold, and now Marcus, along with 700 other SAE alumni, has decided to share the wealth not only with MIT but with those in the wider community. Recently the fraternity brothers established an educational foundation with the proceeds from the houses and have pledged $100,000 to MIT’s Community Service Fund. They also have pledged $40,000 to create an MIT athletics program that will benefit Cambridge schoolchildren, two summer scholarships for Cambridge children to attend Berklee College of Music, and a $15,000 grant to Tutoring Plus, a Cambridge service organization.
“We wanted to give back as an organization, and we wanted to help the MIT community,” Marcus says. “The mission of the house was always to make a difference.”
The fraternity houses may be gone but the bonds between SAE members, MIT, and the wider community remain strong. “Living in a fraternity was a great experience,” Marcus says. “We met our best friends here. We’ve given a lot over the years, and we established deep con nections.
“Giving back was always the flavor of SAE. Now we’re working hard to say, look, let’s not work alone but let’s work together to make the world a better place.”