Yesterday morning, anonymous tipster outed a few student leaders at Georgetown as members of the Stewards—a storied secret society that used to be exclusively conservative and Catholic. The informant, styling himself “Steward Throat,” also brought attention to the organization’s most recent 990 form, a publicly available annual report that charitable organizations must file yearly listing certain contributions and expenditures.
Reports for the foundation list “Stewards Charitable Trust (Second)” as its full name, lending credibility to the contention that there are more than one society labeling themselves “Stewards.” The organization files as a 4947(a)(1) non-exempt charitable trust, which are for charitable organizations which don’t meet the requirements to file as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt private foundations or choose not to file as one.
Georgetown alumni have been running the organization since it started filing in 2004. Terence W. McCormick (SFS ’85) was listed as president or director of the society from 2004 to 2006, after which Alexander Henlin (COL ’01) was listed as president. According to the documents, the NSSV Corporation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization which functions solely as a trustee for the Stewards Charitable Trust. “NSSV” refers to the Stewards’ motto, the Latin phrase Non scholae, sed vitae discimus, which means “Not for school, but for life.” As of this posting, Vox can’t find more information on the NSSV Corporation.
According to the undergraduate leader of the Stewards Sam Schneider (COL ’13), funding for the Stewards Charitable Trust comes from member and alumni donations and are used exclusively for charitable purposes, a fact which the documents support. The foundation has consistently donated a few thousand dollars to the University and related groups every year, over nearly the past ten years. Most of the remaining wealth of the organization is invested in stocks and bonds through Brown Advisory Services.
Read a full rundown of where the Stewards donated their money after the jump.
2004: $28,302 in total assets
• $4,500 to the Richard Gordon Trust to benefit university debate at Georgetown University
2005: $40,091 in total assets
• $500 to GU Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
• $200 to Walter Benson Memorial Entrepreneurship Summit
• $900 to Habitat for Humanity
2006: $57,553 in total assets
• Italian Department: Funding of archival research regarding Cesare Beccaria
• GU Day of HOPE received $400 to subsidize promotional event for students, faculty in connection with community service projects for undergrad students in DC
• Gave Georgetown University $20 to subsidize a student needs survey
2007: $80,747 in total assets
• Davis Performing Arts Center received $4000 for new seating system in undergraduate theatrical performance space
2008: $91,263 in total assets
• Tocqueville Forum: $1000
• Georgetown University Library: $2000 to purchase computers for use in tech center
• English department: $1000 to fund department fellowship for research in English
• Theology Dept: $1000 to fund research fellowship
2009: $70,956 in total assets
• Tocqueville Forum: $2000 for “funding activities of a student and faculty group that promotes the study of Tocqueville works and theories”
• Georgetown Edu-Effort: $2000 for funding a day long program aimed at current students at Georgetown with the goal of allowing them to learn about careers in education
2010: $103,540 in total assets
• Gave Georgetown University library $1100 to purchase HD video for general use at media center
• Gave the Georgetown Academy $871 to permit a 1500 copy press run of student newspaper at Georgetown University
2011: $137,764 in total assets
• Gave Georgetown University library $5,500 for archival activities for Philodemic Society documents
• Donated University $50 with no specification.
2012: $147,966 in total assets
• Gave $5,000 to Georgetown University to permit renovations of Mask and Bauble dramatic society’s facilities.
Additional research by Caitriona Pagni
Photo: Alan Cleaver via Flickr