MacDonald’s Miracle: Fundraising Initiative by Housemother Patsy MacDonald Raises $12,000 for Phi Delta Theta Philanthropy

Group photo of Phi Delt men in front of their house.

Housemother Patsy MacDonald of the Missouri Beta chapter of Phi Delta Theta lives by the motto of founder Robert Morrison: “To do what ought to be done, but would not have been done, unless I did it, I thought to be my duty.”

“He single-handedly saved Westminster in 1879 and 1880 by selling $5 bonds,” MacDonald says passionately of Morrison’s initiative to address the College’s struggles 28 years after its founding.

Selfless hard work has always been the very foundation of Westminster’s success, and MacDonald’s name has just been added to the list of those who have made the biggest impact — and touched the hearts of many — at the historic small college.

Guided by Morrison’s spirit and a love for “her Phi Delts,” MacDonald embarked upon a 12-hour breakfast fundraiser for the fraternity’s Live Like Lou philanthropy, to which she is truly devoted.

MacDonald was determined to raise $10,000, a record-breaking amount for Missouri Beta that would propel the fraternity to the prestigious status of Iron Phi Chapter. So she carefully devised a plan to cook breakfast for hundreds from midnight to 12 p.m. on Sunday, April 15, 2024.

For each meal, she charged $18.80: the year Missouri Beta was founded at Westminster.

Alumni, guests, and current Phi Delts were offered four different menu options that MacDonald prepared all night, while members took orders, bussed tables, collected money, and cajoled one another into giving more.

Throughout the 12 hours, MacDonald remained undaunted by the fast pace and heat of the kitchen. She chuckles, “It was quite fun. The men would walk by me and shout, ‘You’re at $4,000 … a couple of hours later, $6,000!”

President Daniel Backer says he was ecstatic to learn Missouri Beta raised an astounding $12,001.40, surpassing MacDonald’s initial goal.

“The alumni came in droves, standing in line just to donate anything they could, not just to help our chapter but to give back to their house mom,” he points out. “At one point, there were so many alumni arriving, she told the actives, ‘I don’t want to see any of them unless they donate something crazy, like $500!’”

Matthew Link, ’11 ΦΔΘ, immediately stepped up and donated exactly that amount.

Backer adds that alumni such as Link donated just to have a conversation with “their mom,” who is the actual mother of three children. Originally from Pittsford, New York, MacDonald moved to St. Louis more than 40 years ago and then came to Fulton in 2001. She worked various jobs in the culinary industry, including Westminster’s food service company at the time, AmeriServe.

MacDonald then began working at the Phi Delt house in 2009, and the rest is Missouri Beta history, which makes MacDonald proud.

“I truly feel the uniqueness of Greek life at Westminster College is like none other,” she emphasizes, adding, “This brotherhood has taught me our future is in very good hands.”

Backer counters MacDonald’s claim by emphasizing it’s MacDonald’s support that makes a difference for the Missouri Beta chapter.

“I came to Westminster College my freshman year knowing that when I joined fraternity life, it was to become the greatest version of myself, but what I did not know was that I would gain a second mom, and college would become home,” he explains. “Patsy has shaped the chapter, the brotherhood, and the alumni in unimaginable ways.

For more information on Fraternity & Sorority Life at Westminster, please contact Payton Cooley at 573-592-5942.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.