As a practicing trial lawyer, my schedule is not my own. Cases get set for trial by the Court and, more often than not, they get set without consideration for the schedules of the lawyers. From time to time, trials get set when I have already committed to attending a chartering of a new chapter or to attend meetings of the Supreme Council, the ZBT Foundation or the ZBT National Housing Board.
In those cases, I have to file a motion with the court and explain the reasons for needing to move our case to another trial docket. As a result, I sometimes get asked why I am still involved with my fraternity 40 years after my initiation.
First and foremost, I tell them that being a ZBT doesn’t end on the day of graduation; it is a lifetime commitment. Second, I give back because brothers like Michael Tryson and Lew Freeman generously gave their time to my chapter when I was an undergraduate.
Third, I love spending time with my brothers on the Council, the Foundation and the Housing Board. Some of them have become my closest friends and I love spending time with them and their families as I travel around the country. Fourth, I give back because I love spending time and connecting with my undergraduate brothers.
I love that social media has allowed me to celebrate their successes (Congratulations to the voice of UNC Pembroke Sports, Jonathan Gross; congratulations to Matt McCoy and Noah Nussbaum on starting law school at The U; and congratulations to the NIC’s Undergraduate Award of Distinction Award winner, Josh Chodor).
Even in challenging times, my undergraduate brothers can lift my spirits. During the spring semester, I had to perform the most difficult task I have faced as International President; closing down my chapter after 73-years at the University of Miami. The meeting with my brothers was painful for all involved. Following the meeting, I received a Facebook message from the then acting President; Emad Siddiqui.
In Emad’s words: “I’ve been in ZBT since Fall 17 and it has made me a better man. I can only imagine what 40 years does….If there is anything I can help with, please let me know. I’ll always be a Zeeb.”
Let’s all embrace Emad’s words. In the best of times and in the most difficult of times, let us pledge to “always be a Zeeb.”
Cordially, Fraternally and Sincerely,
Norman M. Waas, Alpha Omega (University of Miami) 1982