It was 1974 when Irving M. Chase, Alpha Rho (University of California – Los Angeles) 1974 started working for ZBT International Headquarters as a traveling secretary. His role involved visiting different campuses to assist and educate existing ZBT chapters or help start new ones. Today the role Irv served in is known as a Chapter Development Consultant.
Immediately after the 1974 Convention in Washington D.C., Irv set out for his first chapter visit at Louisiana State University. “The LSU chapter was in really bad shape,” Irv recalled.
Irv’s role was to get the chapter back on its feet, starting with recruitment and helping supervise renovations of the chapter house. While at LSU, Irv forged close bonds with the current undergraduate brothers in the chapter, as he helped them grow their chapter.
When he thinks back on his time working for ZBT, his visit to LSU always comes to mind. “One of the greatest experiences of my life, I have to tell you, that trip,” Irv said.
Fast forward 45 years, to May 2019. Irv, his wife and some friends embark on a cruise down the Mississippi River, stopping at various towns and cities along the way. One of the towns that Irv visited was Greenville, MS.
While taking a tour of the synagogue in Greenville, Irv and his travel companions found a picture of the ZBT Chapter from LSU hanging in the temple.
“I said you have got to be kidding me – these are all of the guys that I’ve been telling you about all of these years,” Irv told his wife.
The docent in the synagogue overheard Irv reminiscing and mentioned that one of the men pictured, Barry S. Piltz, Pi (Louisiana State University) 1976, still lives in Greenville, right near the synagogue. Moved by everything Irv had to say about Barry, the docent takes Irv and his wife to Barry’s store to meet him – and it was a reunion decades in the making.
“We both had tears in our eyes, Irv said. “I was so taken back in time, I was lost.”
The two spent time catching up and filling each other in on what has happened in their lives over the last 45 years. It’s the true definition of brotherhood for a lifetime.