Endowing a Legacy

Thomas Harney, San Jose ’52, was looking for a way to honor his father, Roy. 2017 marks 100 years since Roy was initiated into Delta Upsilon’s Nebraska Chapter. He wanted the gesture to be meaningful, something to honor his father and their shared love of DU.

Thanks to Thom, there are now two endowed scholarships in his father’s name through the Delta Upsilon Educational Foundation: the Roy James Harney – Four Founding Principles Scholarship Award. One benefits his father’s chapter, Nebraska, the other his own chapter, the San Jose Chapter, for which his father had also served as an advisor.

Thom first created a scholarship to honor his father for the San Jose Chapter in 2009. A year later, he did the same for the Nebraska Chapter. Each year, Thom would provide the funds needed for the scholarship awards. By making them endowed scholarships through the DU Educational Foundation, Thom’s money is being invested, and the income earned on that investment is used to keep the scholarship going.

“Delta Upsilon is very important to me,” Thom said. “I feel very good that I was given the opportunity to make these awards, and Justin Kirk and the Foundation certainly made it easy for me.”

At Thom’s request, both scholarships are given to undergraduate men who have most successfully demonstrated the ability to carry out the Fraternity’s Four Founding Principles. As in the past, at both chapters, applicants will write essays for the scholarships that show how the men have lived their lives in the chapter through the Principles and have been contributing members of the Fraternity since joining.

“The Four Founding Principles, I think, are the defining part of what makes Delta Upsilon special among all the fraternities,” Thom said. “The friendship, the character, the liberal culture and advancement of justice. I think those are the principles that will lead a person to live a better life. And a better life for Delta Upsilon.”

Thom, who has who has had careers in the U.S. Air Force, as a teacher and as an attorney, is dedicated to making an impact in the lives of others. In addition to his Delta Upsilon scholarships, he and his wife, Carol, have multiple scholarships set up at other schools. Schools they either attended or taught at.

“I think above all, young people need recognition for what they do,” Thom said. “It just gives them a whole new boost going out into the world … I hope that these young people, as they go forward after they receive the award, go on to great things.”


Donors wishing to provide a gift of support that will have an impact year over year can establish an endowment fund. An endowment provides ongoing funding for a specific purpose through the income generated by the endowed asset. The original asset is kept intact and only the income generated is utilized.

If you are interested in setting up an endowed fund, contact Executive Director Justin Kirk at kirk@deltau.org.