Martha Watkins Mast


(Beta Nu-Duke) 

A graduate of Duke University, Martha would more than prove to uphold her "solemn pledge to lend a helping hand" in her work for Alpha Phi, as Sally McCall Grant observed.  She served six years on the Executive Board before becoming chair of the Foundation in 1976. She would serve as chair for 12 years, stepping down in 1988 after making a tremendous impact on the Foundation. When she assumed her role as chair, the Foundation staff was comprised of one part-time employee. As her work to build up a languishing Foundation yielded results, not only was the Foundation staff increased, but also the volunteer force, as Martha personally focused her time to train and support volunteers. She was known for bringing a "personal touch" to her work, and at one point held a record for the most frequently answered (often in the form of a handwritten note) correspondence.

At the outset of her work for the Foundation, its assets amounted to $287,000. By the time she retired in 1988, those assets reached $1,000,000. Her work to build the Foundation saw her launching numerous new programs including "phonathons" and direct mail appeals. At the beginning of her tenure, the number of Foundation donors listed in the Alpha Phi Quarterly was 86; by the time of her retirement in 1988, 24 pages of the Quarterly were required to list the donor ranks that had swelled under her leadership.

In 1988 Martha was awarded the Ivy Vine Award. In honor of her tremendous work, the Fraternity created the Martha Mast Award for Service.

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