It’s Showtime!

By Risa Morris —

In July, nearly 350 undergraduate brothers, alumni and guests convened in Los Angeles for the 2018 International Convention. The three-day event was packed full of networking, educational programming, social events and hands-on learning.

While the Fraternity provides other forms of face-to-face education for brothers, this is one of our only events which brings undergraduate and alumni brothers alike together for meaningful interactions. This program allows undergraduates and alumni to play a key role in the development and future of the International Fraternity. Through educational programs, operational training and organizational management, brothers can gain a deeper understanding of the Fraternity and gain and exchange best practices while learning valuable skills regardless of their geographical location. It serves as the single largest gathering of brothers and provides a wide lens from which to see the Fraternity.

The educational programming of the 2018 International Convention for undergraduates was funded, in part, by a generous grant from the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation. Learn more about how you can support the Foundation.

“I would not have attended the International Convention if it were not for the support and encouragement of my brothers. I am fortunate and grateful to be part of a Fraternity that impacts my life on a daily basis, inspiring me to maintain my passion for ZBT, its many partner organizations and the Jewish community. The least I can do is pass on what I have learned by serving as a campus leader and encouraging my peers to follow the gentleman example set by our Fraternity,” E. Brandon Kelly, Alpha Pi (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill) 2019 said.

Our 2018 theme was “It’s Showtime,” which both reflected our host city and the current climate surrounding Fraternity life. As fraternity men, we are always representing the fraternity, whether in private or public. We have dedicated ourselves to adopting the tenets of our Credo: Intellectual Awareness, Social Responsibility, Integrity and Brotherly Love. We must always live by those values. As a fraternity man, it’s always showtime. We are setting the example for our organization on our campuses, in our hometowns and wherever we travel. Whether we are being watched or we are in private, it’s always showtime.

The annual Ronald M. Mankoff Alumni Panel, a leadership program set in a talk show-style format, engaged both ZBT undergraduate and alumni through the panelists’ career and life stories and advice. Attendees interact with the panelists through a question and answer dialogue.

Featured speakers included:

  • Brother Dr. Robert (Bob) E. Fischell, Alpha Upsilon (Duke University) 1951, prolific inventor, scientist and innovator
  • Brother James Hirsch, Alpha Kappa (Wisconsin) 1969, TV writer-producer
  • Brother Branden Engorn, Beta Zeta Epsilon (Maryland) 2004, Pediatric Anesthesiologist and Pediatric Critical Care Intensivist
  • Brother Ronald M. Mankoff, Esq., Beta Iota (Minnesota) 1954, retired tax attorney and moderator of the panel

At our 2018 event, ZBT celebrated the centennial anniversaries of two chapters — Alpha Delta Chapter at the University of Southern California and Alpha Gamma Chapter at Vanderbilt University — and closed the program with the Grand Awards Banquet.

The 2018 Brummer Cup for Best Chapter was awarded to Iota Chapter at University of Denver. See the full list of award recipient chapters and individual trophies here.

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

Honored were:

Zeta Beta Tau also inducted our first class of Hall of Fame inductees. The Zeta Beta Tau Hall of Fame serves to formally honor and recognize brothers of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity who excel in their chosen vocations and/or avocations and exemplify the precepts of our Fraternity.

2018 Inductees:
Science & Technology:

  • Dr. Robert (Bob) E. Fischell, Alpha Upsilon (Duke University) 1951
  • Herbert A. Gilbert, Alpha Iota (University of Kentucky) 1951


  • Larry S. Flax, Alpha Mu (University of Washington) 1964
  • The Hon. Denis A. Bovin, Xi (Massachusetts Institute of Tech.) 1969
  • Barton L. Kaufman, Beta Gamma (Indiana University)1962
  • Douglas L. Maine, Alpha Beta (Temple University) 1970
  • Marc B. Nathanson, Iota (University of Denver) 1967

Political, Legal and/or Government Affairs:

  • Robert L. Shapiro, Alpha Rho (University of California, Los Angeles) 1967
  • Jonas (Martin) M. Frost, III, Omega (University of Missouri) 1964
  • Neal M. Sher, Esq., Beta (Cornell University) 1968


  • Al Schwartz, Alpha Kappa (University of Wisconsin) 1954
  • Jerry L. Bruckheimer, Alpha Omicron (University of Arizona) 1965
  • Walter Mirisch, Alpha Kappa (University of Wisconsin) 1942

The Fraternity hosted a Brotherhood Casino Night for the first time, bringing undergraduates and alumni together to bond and raise money for ZBT’s partners: the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Jewish Women International.

We also featured a very special moment at International Convention with our partners at Gift of Life Marrow Registry. One of our brothers was able to meet a woman whose life he saved by donating bone marrow through Gift of Life. Watch the reveal here.

A photo gallery from the 2018 International Convention is available online.

The 2019 International Convention is scheduled for August 1-4, 2019, in Denver, Colorado.