Leaving a Hall of Fame Legacy - Claire and Mark Roberts

Mar 16, 2022 – Baseball great Willie Mays, in summarizing his career, once said “Maybe I was born to play baseball.”

Like their Hall of Fame hero, maybe Claire and Mark Roberts were born to a dedicated Deltasig destiny. Long ago each notching a DSP MVP season, these perennial Fraternity All-Stars keep stepping up to make Delta Sigma Pi a winner. There is no quit in these baseball loving brothers! 

While their beloved hometown San Francisco Giants didn’t capture the crown this last season, the Roberts continue to build for the future—while remaining strongly competitive. With a significant gift to the Leadership Foundation, the Roberts have helped ensure Delta Sigma Pi will remain competitive—and continue to meaningfully impact young lives. The Claire and Mark Roberts Training for Volunteer Leaders Fund will annually provide financial support to alumni volunteers. As Claire envisions, “Our goal with the new Fund is to enable the Fraternity to prioritize alumni training, showing an on-going commitment to it. This investment in tools and resources should increase alumni engagement through training that will help volunteers professionally and ensure they are successful and enjoy their leadership contributions.”

This recent legacy gift is nothing new for Mark and Claire. They have strongly supported the Leadership Foundation for decades, reaching the Centurion donor level ($100,000) in 2019. This new gift elevates them to the Foundation’s Sustainer level, with substantially more support planned. Most notably, the dedicated Deltasigs have generously included the Fraternity in their estate plans.

As Mark explains, “Planned giving doesn’t necessarily mean making a significant donation after your passing. It means thinking about ways you can give now from assets rather than just cash flow. Donations of appreciated stock, which can provide significant tax benefits to the donor, are a great way to make a major gift – AND you get to see the good your gift is doing!”

Always looking to encourage young brothers, the Roberts realize not everyone is able to contribute financially at their current high level. Yet, as Claire likes to say, “It took us 40-plus years to get here! We started small. The Fraternity has always been important to us, so it has always been a part of our giving—even when $25 a month was a stretch.”

It’s not just young brothers they seek to encourage toward Foundation support. Claire and Mark created still another new endowment fund, hoping to load the bases with other successful alumni, resulting in a grand slam for DSP!

“This ‘Legacy Fund’ is intended to be the foundation of the Foundation, so to speak,” says Mark. “Distributions will be used to pay for the business side of running the Leadership Foundation, so we can continue to raise and distribute more dollars for scholarships and grants. Ideally, we’d like to see the elimination of management fees for endowment funds—allowing them to go 100% toward intended purposes.”

The new concept has been received enthusiastically with several brothers already offering their support as Fund Founders— which entails a $25,000 commitment over five years or less. This inspiring group so far includes the Roberts, Joelle and Jeff Berlat, both Houston, Sandy Shoemaker, Missouri State, Russ Iddings, Kent State (OH), Shawn Gregory, Tampa (FL), Jennifer Aichele, Cal State-Sacramento, and EVP Bill Schilling. For more details on becoming a Founder please contact EVP Bill Schilling at bill@dsp.org or Mark Roberts at cmroberts.aol.com. Our goal is to add many more Fund Founders before GCC this summer.

Over decades of Deltasig involvement and volunteer leadership, countless brothers have come to know Claire and Mark. That influence extends beyond the Western Province, with a combined 40 GCCs between them. This (admittedly biased!) writer, first came to know Mark when he was chairman of the Leadership Foundation Board of Directors during my interview for Executive Director back in 1995—so he was one of the first brothers I ever met! That interview and the ensuing decades turned out reasonably well and we have been friends and Deltasig co-supporters ever since.

Mark’s fraternal service began well before then. Initiated at San Francisco in 1977, the eager youngster headed east to Oxford, Ohio, joining staff as a Chapter Consultant in 1980. In his own words: “My four years as a member of the Central Office staff were among the most meaningful and enjoyable of my career. Oxford was a BIG change from the San Francisco Bay Area but I loved traveling across the country, working with more than 100 chapters and meeting many brothers who have been great friends for more than 40 years. Now Claire and I want to focus on providing the Fraternity with financial resources to help it continue to grow, prosper and make an impact on the lives of even more brothers.”

Claire, initiated in 1979 at San Francisco State, never worked professionally for the Fraternity, but her record of service is Willie Mays worthy. (See sidebar.) In no way content to rest on prior laurels, she continues to keep setting an example, currently serving as the National Professional Development Chair for Delta Sigma Pi. Her non-Fraternity career has focused on risk management and compliance in the ever-changing banking and financial services sector. For nearly seven years prior to her recent retirement, Claire was VP risk & compliance for Marqeta, Inc., a fintech start-up that grew quickly and had its IPO last summer.

With ‘service motors’ that won’t quit, both brothers are full Service...with a capital S! Rotary International has also been the beneficiary of their leadership time and talents—Mark was chosen to lead a Northern California District of Rotary International as Governor in 2020-21. Claire will follow in that prestigious role in 2023-24. While Rotary’s current motto is “Service Above Self,” it was previously “He Profits Most Who Serves Best.” That may explain why Claire and Mark are among the hundreds (or thousands) of Deltasigs who have found kindred spirits and great satisfaction working with fellow Rotarians, with many serving as club presidents, district governors or even on the RI Board of Directors.

So there you have it—these retired youngsters are clearly hitting for the full cycle. The recent major giving certainly qualifies as a home run for Team DSP. Their early giving base hits, on-going Deltasig For Life Donor support, stock gifts and adding the Foundation to their estate plans complete the sweep. No matter how you say it, or the criteria you use, Claire and Mark Roberts are Deltasig Hall of Famers who have earned—through hard and devoted work—every bit of our thanks and admiration

Say HEY! Thank you!!!

  • Brothers of Delta Sigma Pi