Indianapolis, July 6, 2017 – L. Gene Lemon of Phoenix, Arizona, is the 2017 recipient of the North-American Interfraternity Conference Foundation’s (NICF) Outstanding Volunteer Award. This honor, part of the NICF’s annual Awards of Distinction program, recognizes exemplary lifetime service to a fraternity or sorority organization and its foundation.
Gene joined Alpha Gamma Rho (AGR) Fraternity at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned a degree in agricultural economics and a Bachelor of Laws. He began his legal career in Chicago while volunteering with his chapter, the university and its Interfraternity Council. At the time, the national office was housed in the basement of then-Executive Secretary Maynard Coe’s nearby Chicago home, and Gene offered free legal and business services to AGR leadership. Gene also facilitated the move to its current National Home Office facility in Kansas City, and is known for stepping up at critical times in the fraternity’s history as it began the transition from a predominantly social organization to an admired nonprofit business model.
Gene assisted in establishing The Educational Foundation of Alpha Gamma Rho in 1965, launching his service to the organization from its very beginning. Since then he has contributed to several fundraising campaigns, including roles as Chairman of the Century Two Campaign that raised $7.4 million, and as an Executive Committee member of the AGRconnect Campaign that raised $2.4 million. Gene has also led by example and is one of the top five highest donors of all time with recognition in the Order of the Brotherhood for more than $500,000 in lifetime support.
In 1967, Gene was appointed as the fraternity’s Legal Counsel. He later served as Grand President and was the youngest brother ever elected since the founding. During his presidential tenure, he authored the rewrite and modernization of AGR’s National Constitution. He was promoted from Legal Counsel to General Counsel in 2002, and only recently retired from his duties. His service and selfless commitment to the fraternity has spanned over 50 incredible years.
“Many of our foundation’s establishment goals, directions and successes have been due to Mr. Lemon’s guidance and hard work,” said Doyle W. Jacklin, Past President of The Educational Foundation of Alpha Gamma Rho. “He is often referred to as Mr. Alpha Gamma Rho because of his wise counsel and philanthropic as well as personal efforts on behalf of the fraternity and its educational foundation.”
The Outstanding Volunteer Award will be presented on Tuesday, Aug. 29, during the NICF Awards of Distinction Dinner at the Indiana Roof Ballroom, held in conjunction with THE Foundations Seminar. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets for the dinner.
About the NIC Foundation
The NICF advances the fraternal movement by enhancing the sophistication of interfraternal foundation professionals and creating a culture of philanthropy. The NICF delivers strategies for foundation growth through educational programming and services focused on five key areas – communications, engagement, fundraising, management and stewardship. Visit the NICF online at nicindy.foundation or on Facebook and Twitter for more information.