ZBT Celebrates in Atlanta

Nearly 350 undergraduates, alumni and guests took advantage of the finest opportunity in ZBT to learn new ideas from experts in various fields and grow together as a family.

The world’s first Jewish Fraternity converged in Atlanta, Georgia, from July 21 to 24 for the 2016 International Convention. Zeta Beta Tau International Convention is a four-day event that includes educational programming, social events, hands-on workshops and seminars for both undergraduates and alumni brothers. The 2016 International Leadership School section of the 2016 International Convention for undergraduates was funded by a generous grant from the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation. Learn more about how you can support the Foundation.

The 2016 event had a focus on the legislative business of the Fraternity. Brothers elected the 2016-2018 Supreme Council, passed an amendment to the Zeta Beta Tau International Constitution and engaged in discussions of the Fraternity’s future through topical commissions.

Feedback from participants was universally positive.

Participants said:

“International Convention is a great opportunity to interact socially, as well as help students to debrief and explore improvements for the upcoming school year.”

“International Convention is a great networking event, as well as a chance to catch up with brothers I haven’t seen in a long while. It’s almost like a reunion.”

“As a new brother aspiring to be an executive board member, I’ve learned an effective approach to dealing with difficult situations which inevitably arise.”

“I learned what it means to be a leader and coach. We learned how to set reasonable goals that my chapter can attain.”

Highlights of the event included the opening speech from brother Michael (Mike) E. Luckovich, Alpha Mu (University of Washington) ’84, a nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a two-time Pulitzer Prize recipient. ZBT celebrated the centennial anniversaries of three area chapters — Mu Chapter at the University of Georgia, Xi Chapter at Georgia Institute of Technology and Psi Chapter at the University of Alabama — and closed the program with a tour of Atlanta’s Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Other featured speakers included:

  • Brother Jon K. Hirschtick, Xi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) ’83, tech entrepreneur and Founder of Onshape
  • Brother Walter L. Sutton, Jr., Ph.D., Iota (University of Denver) ’67, internal advocate and external voice for the diversity initiatives of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
  • Brother Jeffrey W. Mankoff, Sigma (Tulane University) ’84, electronic and card-linked promotions/loyalty industry pioneer, Founder and CEO of vPromos
  • Brother Barry M. Aarons, Gamma Tau (Arizona State University) ’71, Zeta Beta Tau Foundation Past President
  • Sam Olens, Attorney General for the State of Georgia
  • Dr. Lori Hart, student leadership and fraternity advocate
  • Brother Sean T. Sullivan, Eta Lambda (Emory University) ’04, attorney at Arnall Golden Gregory LLP, former U.S. Army JAG Officer
  • Brother David M. Hudson, Ph.D., Rho Iota (University of Rhode Island) ’05, Assistant Professor of Physiology and Neurobiology at Atlanta Metropolitan State College
  • Brother Jason K. Peiser, Omega (University of Missouri) ’18, Chapter President
  • Brother Samuel D. Schutt, Eta Tau (University of Iowa) ’17, Chapter President
  • Brother Zachary C. Brown, Colony at Northern Arizona University ’17, Brotherhood Development Director

Zeta Beta Tau also honored several influential brothers for their commitment to the Fraternity and their communities over the course of the Convention.

Honored were:

  • Dr. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, Delta (Columbia University) ’59, President Emeritus of The George Washington University, with the Man of the Year Award
  • Dr. Robert Witt, Honorary Brother, Chancellor of the University of Alabama System, with the Riegelman-Jacobs Award
  • Sam Massell, Mu (University of Georgia) ’48, former Mayor of Atlanta, with the Man of Distinction Award
  • Michael S. Wien, Alpha Eta (Colorado State  University) ’73, with the Stephen P. Ehrlich Award
  • Past International President Michael (Mike) D. Cimini, Kappa (Cornell University) ’92, with the Edwin N. Sommer Award
  • The Aronov family — Brothers Owen W. Aronov, Psi (University of Alabama) ’74, Jake F. Aronov, Psi (University of Alabama) ’70, and their father, the late Aaron M. Aronov, Pi of Kappa Nu (University of Alabama) ’42 — with the Heritage Award

The 2016 Brummer Cup for Best Chapter was awarded to Iota Chapter at the University of Denver.

Norman M. Waas, Esq., Alpha Omega (University of Miami) ’82, was elected and installed as International President effective August 1, 2016, for a two-year term.

“As ZBTs we have a great legacy to uphold,” International President Waas said. “Our Fraternity was founded in 1898 because our forefathers were not allowed to join other Greek letter fraternities. Given our history, we all are mindful that ZBT is not just another fraternity. My brothers honor our founders by living the Credo each and every day of our lives.  In doing so, we are transforming the fraternity world again by ensuring that our fraternity membership is not limited to four years. Rather, we are a brotherhood for a lifetime.”

See more on International President Waas’ election and read his full installation speech. See more information on the 2016-2018 Supreme Council here.

A photo gallery from the 2016 International Convention also is available at the ZBT Facebook page.

The 2017 International Convention is scheduled for July 20 to 22, 2017, at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown in Indianapolis, Indiana.