Two Families. One Story.

By Brian A. Hoffman —

Legacies keep the ZBT tradition alive, from generation to generation, school to school. But every once in a while, stories intertwine and create something special. The Selig and Bernstein families are one such story.

Scott B. Bernstein and S. Scott Selig are Alpha Omicron Chapter brothers from the University of Arizona, with Bernstein graduating in 1991 and Selig in 1993. Both Scotts had ZBT connections prior to their joining Alpha Omicron. Scott Selig is the son of Brother S. Stephen Selig, III, Mu of Phi Epsilon Pi (University of Georgia) 1965, and grandson of Simon S. Selig, Jr., also an alumnus of Mu Chapter, 1933. Scott Bernstein is the son of Stuart Bernstein, Beta Phi (University of Pittsburgh) 1963.

[Pictured top: S. Scott Selig (right) and S. Stephen (Steve) Selig, III (left). Pictured bottom: Zack R. Bernstein (left) and Scott B. Bernstein (right)]

Scott and Scott became close as undergraduates, with Bernstein recruiting Selig into Alpha Omicron and watching him grow into a strong leader of the chapter. While they didn’t keep in close touch after graduation, they followed each other’s successes and knew they were only a call away. This became particularly relevant when Brother Selig was diagnosed with lung cancer. Brother Bernstein said “you learn about the measure of a man by the people he inspires.”

After Brother Selig’s diagnosis, the #ScottStrong movement brought the early ’90s Alpha Omicron brothers together. Brother Scott Bernstein’s father Steve recalled that brothers would come to Atlanta from all over the country to visit
[Scott], and it “was absolutely one of the most moving things of the whole experience.”

Following Scott Selig’s passing in 2017, the brothers worked to establish the S. Scott Selig, Alpha Omicron (University of Arizona) 1993, Memorial Scholarship Fund through the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation in his honor and loving memory. As Brother Scott Bernstein said, “The best way to keep Scott’s memory alive was through ZBT because that was the common bond between all of us; we are brothers.”

Fast forward from spring 2018 to spring 2021, and we find Brother Zack R. Bernstein, Alpha Omicron (University of Arizona) 2023, a then-sophomore and now junior, applying for a Zeta Beta Tau Foundation scholarship for the 2021-22 academic year. Zack is a third-generation ZBT and second-generation ZBT at Arizona, where he sees a plaque of Scott Selig in the entryway of the Alpha Omicron Chapter house. Zack, his father and grandfather all share stories about their ZBT experiences and enjoy knowing they are connected in this unique way.

On June 22, 2021, the Selig and Bernstein families were reunited by a special surprise as the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation brought them together on Zoom to inform them that Zack was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Selig Memorial Scholarship. During the Zoom, Zack talked about his leadership experiences and professional goals, to which Steve Selig said, “Scott would be very proud of you being the inaugural recipient. He loved ZBT and he loved the University of Arizona, and we are delighted that [Zack Bernstein] is the first recipient.”

When Scott Bernstein found out on Zoom that his son Zack would be receiving this scholarship, he talked about how his support for the Selig Memorial Scholarship wasn’t about his son at Arizona, but he is so happy the stars aligned for it to be possible.

“This whole experience shows you everything good about being in a Fraternity,” Brother Scott Bernstein said. “And it reminds me of conversations with my dad about joining ZBT: ‘When you join ZBT, not only will you be my son but you’ll be my brother.’”

We keep the late Brother S. Scott Selig in our hearts and minds as his spirit lives on in ZBT through his namesake scholarship and at the University of Arizona. Thirty years ago, Scott Selig and Scott Bernstein became chapter brothers as ZBT legacies. Now, the Bernstein and Selig families, two multigeneration ZBT families, will be forever connected.