Letters From ZBT’s Leaders

Brothers, welcome to the Digital Deltan brotherhood magazine. Please read on for more from the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity and Zeta Beta Tau Foundation leadership. 


From the International President

As I begin the third year of my Presidency, I wondered what I would say to each of you. Were there any words of wisdom I could impart?  As I reflected upon this challenge it occurred to me that, while last year contained many challenges for ZBT and the Greek world, it also presented many opportunities to make our brotherhood stronger.

While we all have ZBT in common, each of our chapters, colonies and campuses are unique.  But whether we go to a small private institution or a large public university, we each have challenges and we each have opportunities.  How you react to both will have a lasting impact upon you and upon our fraternity.

So with that in mind, I am going to give you one simple piece of advice from our former Assistant Executive Director (and current Executive Director of Phi Kappa Sigma) Libby Anderson who would start each convention by reminding each in attendance to “make good choices.

It is a simple mantra but it applies to everything we do. The Greek world has a giant target on its back because others—some of whom were within our own brotherhood—made poor choices.

But making good choices is not enough.  You need to help others make good choices too and to let them know when they are making poor choices.  A simple way to test whether a choice is good or bad is to ask:  would I be proud or embarrassed if my mom/dad/grandparents learned what I did?

If you can consistently answer “yes” to these questions, then you and our historic brotherhood will have a phenomenal year!

Here’s to our fraternity; may it live forever.

C,, F. & S.,

Norman M. Waas, Esq., Alpha Omega (University of Miami) 1982
International President, Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity

From the Fraternity Chief Executive Officer

Dear Brothers:

What a summer it’s been!  Several hundred ZBTs gathered in Los Angeles for our International Convention where we came together to celebrate individual and chapter successes from the past academic year. We launched our Hall of Fame recognition program which brought together some of ZBT’s best and brightest for their success in their vocations while also continuing to address the topics most pressing to our industry. I’m always impressed when I get to hear the stories of our brothers and the impact they are making. A wonderful example of this is the Iota Chapter at the University of Denver who, once again, was the recipient of our Brummer Cup, which is awarded to the best chapter in ZBT.

Looking back over the last two years, we can all agree that it’s been an interesting and somewhat challenging time within our industry. We’ve seen national headlines of too many examples of fraternity done wrong. Personally, this motivates me, as the CEO of ZBT, to double and triple down even more on our efforts of ensuring we have a true one-tier membership at all our chapters. It motivates me to expand our innovative and award-winning programming focused on preventing issues like anti-Semitism and sexual violence on campus. It inspires me to identify more undergraduates and alumni who have the potential to make huge positive waves in the Fraternity, but just haven’t been asked yet. Perhaps you are one of those brothers, and if you are, please let me know.

This year we celebrate 120 years as a Fraternity with many opportunities on the horizon, but we can’t make that impact without the help and support of brothers like YOU.  Recently, a form was sent out to all ZBTs with multiple ways to get involved.  While I was thrilled with the response, I know there are many more brothers out there who have incredible talent they can bring to ZBT. It’s never too late to raise your hand and help.

I hope to see many of you in the coming academic year and, as always, it’s GREAT to be a ZBT.

C., F. & S.,

Laurence A. Bolotin, CAE, M.Ed., Alpha Zeta (University of Florida) 2001
Chief Executive Officer, Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity

From the Foundation President

Charity – One of the tenants of the Zeta Beta Tau Credo is “Social Responsibility”.  The Credo states that, “Fraternity requires the individual to commit himself and accept his responsibility to participate.”  While you may not believe that this relates to charity, in fact, it truly does.

As a young man, I was very fortunate in life to be given a number of opportunities.  These opportunities have made me into the person I’ve grown to be today.  First, I am the only one of five children to go to college.  Someway, I was able to actually get into UCLA.  This led to my second opportunity, becoming a brother of ZBT at the Alpha Rho Chapter.  Despite not knowing anyone at UCLA, my ZBT brothers became my second family.

Next, I decided that my path in life was to become the Chief Financial Officer of a major corporation.  Being a smart young adult, I decided that the best and quickest path to that was to become a CPA, and obtain my MBA.  Loyola Marymount University ran an ad in the Los Angeles Times about their new MBA program.  Fortunately for me, when I called, the lady on the phone told me that all I had to do was “fill out some paperwork—classes start that night”.   Never did it occur to me how I was going to pay for my MBA.  My opportunity came along when the Catholic Sister who ran the financial aid office told me not to worry about it, as she would help me pay for my MBA.  She did as she promised.

These opportunities were so profound on my life that I vowed that if I ever made enough money that I would give generously back.  Hence, my involvement with both ZBT and LMU.   My wife and I have been very fortunate in our lives and have pledged to help those who are in need.  To this end, we have committed our time, talent and treasure to ZBT.  Additionally, we have established a scholarship fund at LMU in our names.

Our lives on this planet are not about what we did while we are here, but what we leave behind.  It is only your Legacy that people will remember.  It is up to each of us to PAY IT FORWARD.  Each of us have gained from our time at our universities and ZBT.  It is up to each of us to make a difference.

C.,F. & S.,

Jerry N. Katz, CPA, Alpha Rho (University of California – Los Angeles) 1976
Zeta Beta Tau Foundation President

From the Foundation Chief Executive Officer

The 106th Zeta Beta Tau International Convention recently wrapped up in Los Angeles. It was another Convention for the history books, particularly with the launch of the Zeta Beta Tau Hall of Fame. The inaugural class included 15 brothers, all of whom have made incredible contributions in their respective industries.

As I was listening to the acceptance speeches, something one of the inductees said was an “ah ha” moment for me. Larry S. Flax, Alpha Mu (University of Washington) 1964, co-founder of California Pizza Kitchen said, “I haven’t always been involved in ZBT [since graduating], but ZBT has been involved with me.”

That is a statement that I hope resonates with many ZBT brothers. While the connection with ZBT has faded for some since their days as an undergraduate, the values of ZBT have remained with them.

The experiences. The traditions. The friendships. The values learned during the formative undergraduate years stay with us for a lifetime.

Whether consciously or subconsciously, they impact the decisions we make, the paths we take and the way we conduct ourselves in our daily lives.

The credo of ZBT was established during the 1960’s, a time of turmoil in the United States. Yet, the values are just as relevant today.

Intellectual awareness. Social responsibility. Integrity. Brotherly love.

I hope every brother uses the credo as guiding principles in their daily lives, just as Brother Flax has.

C., F. & S.,

Faron A. Lewitt, Psi (University of Alabama) 1997
Chief Executive Officer, Zeta Beta Tau Foundation