It’s great to be a ZBT at NYC Convention

Zeta Beta Tau brothers and guests had an incredible time of brotherhood bonding and learning at 2023 International Convention. ZBT was thrilled to return to New York City, founding birthplace of the Fraternity, for the first convention in the City since 1981.

Thank you to the many brothers and guests who attended and supported ZBT’s historic International Convention, kicking off the 2023 celebrations of the Fraternity’s 125th anniversary, from August 10 to 12 in Times Square, Manhattan. The educational programming at the 2023 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 at zbtfoundation.org.

Brothers had the opportunity to connect for the first time or reconnect after many years. Programming for undergraduates focused on officer and leadership development and accountability and integrity among all ZBTs.

“It was an incredible conference. Lots of learning opportunities, really well-organized and run. Truly a weekend to remember,” said Philip Eigen, Beta Psi (American University) 2025.

The 2023 International Convention delegation

Featured Speakers, Guests

2023 International Convention was presided over by International President Jonathan D. Frieden, Phi Epsilon (University of Virginia) 1994.

Featured keynote from Dr. Lori Hart educated undergraduate delegates on fraternal risk prevention and accountability. Dr. Hart’s session was the annual Zeta Beta Tau Foundation Sponsored Program, made possible by a gift from Harold and Nadine Davidson. Past International President Harold A. Davidson, Ph.D., is a 1965 alumnus of Alpha Delta Chapter and the University of Southern California. Brother and Mrs. Davidson were in attendance and participated in the session.

A special keynote featured antisemitism prevention education, highly targeted to today’s campus climate. Brother Ryan P. Woloshin, Phi Epsilon 2013, delivered the Unlearning Antisemitism keynote, and a special extra presentation by Matt Berger of the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism on their #StandUptoJewishHate campaign followed.

The annual Ronald M. Mankoff Alumni Panel, a leadership program set in a talk show-style format engaged both ZBT undergraduates and alumni through the panelists’ career and life stories and advice. Attendees interact with the panelists through a question and answer dialogue. Speakers in this popular panel for 2023 were:

  • Bret W. Hrbek, Delta Xi (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University) 1996
  • Seth D. Rosensweig, Epsilon Theta (University of Delaware) 1992
  • Robert (Bobby) F. Smith, Delta Omicron (University of Tampa) 2017
  • Moderator Devon M. Schad, Beta Alpha Theta (University of Colorado Boulder) 2004

“I thought it was very interesting how fraternities operate similarly to major businesses, ”said Charles P. Lambert, Gamma (Northwestern University) 2026.

A strong volunteer contingent helps make International Convention a success each year. The event faculty worked with students in small group settings in a series of education centered around the tenets of the Credo. Thank you to these alumni leaders:

  • Leonard J. Cheah, Beta Lambda (San Diego State University) 2015
  • Nicholas E. Carr, Phi Alpha Alpha (The George Washington University) 2016
  • Matthew I. Gutkin, Beta Phi (University of Pittsburgh) 2023
  • Jason A. Peiser, Omega (University of Missouri) 2018
  • Brian A. Hoffman, Sigma (Tulane University) 2009
  • Owen R. Davies, Delta Lambda (Monmouth College) 2023
  • Fred E. Levinson, Alpha Omega (University of Miami) 1986
  • Laitin W. Beecham, Gamma Mu (University of Memphis) 2015
  • Jason J. Colombini, Eta Mu (California Polytechnic State University) 2014

Four undergraduates served as event interns, working as peer ambassadors to delegates. Thank you to:

  • Will H. Fleck, Alpha Omega (University of Miami) 2024
  • Finnian K. Carpenter, Eta Mu (California Polytechnic State University) 2025
  • Daniel M. Cianchetti, Eta Mu (California Polytechnic State University) 2025
  • Jacob T. Rathgeb, Delta Lambda (Monmouth College) 2023, who was named ZBT’s Roswell (Buddy) Messing Undergraduate of the Year for 2023 (pictured below with International President Frieden)

Brotherhood Events

Hundreds of undergraduates, alumni and guests took advantage of the finest opportunity in ZBT to learn new ideas from experts in various fields and grow together as a family. International Convention is a three-day event that includes educational programming, social time, hands-on workshops and seminars for both undergraduate and alumni brothers.

Alumni brothers from the New York City area joined the undergraduate delegates for a brother-to-brother mentoring reception on the first night of the event. Thank you to everyone who participated in that wonderful session.

Alumni and guests also were able to take advantage of exclusive opportunities such as a New York foods walking tour and a donor reception at the Rockefeller Center

Top Honors

Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity is proud to recognize those who commit to the success of our Brotherhood through our International Awards program. The International Awards celebrate the best of the fraternity, honoring chapters and prospective chapters and brothers for their commitment to brotherhood and fraternal success. 2023 honors were celebrated at 2023 International Convention.

The 2023 Brummer Cup for Best Chapter was awarded to Eta Mu Chapter California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. They earned several of ZBT’s top awards this year. Read more here.

The Man of the Year award honors those brothers who stand forth above other brothers and fellow citizens in living the Credo and honoring ZBT’s Ritual from a position of leadership and service. Brother David S. Wax, Alpha Rho (UCLA) 1977, is the 2023 Man of the Year (pictured left).

The Stephen P. Ehrlich Award for Fraternity volunteerism honored Steven E. Gold, Alpha Omega (University of Miami) 2000, Immediate Past President of the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation.

The Heritage Award was created in 2005 to be presented occasionally, but no more than once per year, to a member of the Jewish community who distinguishes himself or herself in a communal, philanthropic, artistic or professional endeavor. For the first time, ZBT’s Heritage Award was presented to an organization, Foundation to Combat Antisemitism. Known for its #StandUptoJewishHate campaign, FCAS was founded by Brother Robert K. Kraft, Delta (Columbia University) 1963.

Honoring interfraternal leadership, ZBT’s Riegelman-Jacobs Award went to Kristin Torrey from the Office of Greek Life at Vanderbilt University for her great support of our Alpha Gamma Chapter and her work against the Abolish Greek Life movement.

ZBT’s Gottheil Award memorializes our spiritual founder, the late Professor Richard J.H. Gottheil, and is awarded periodically to “that individual or group that has advanced human understanding among all people.” Marking 10 years of partnership with ZBT and their 125th anniversary as an organization, Jewish Women International (JWI) accepted the Gottheil Award in December 2023.

Read more on ZBT’s Special Awards here.

Grand Awards Banquet was enjoyed by hundreds of brothers and guests. Thank you to Masters of Ceremonies Past International Presidents Ronald A. Pardo, Alpha Omicron (University of Arizona) 1988, and Norman M. Waas, Esq., Alpha Omega (University of Miami) 1982

See you in the Nation’s Capital!

Next up: We have a powerful slate of activities in the works as part of 2024 International Convention. Save the date for July 18 to 20 in downtown Washington, D.C. We are excited to see brothers, friends and guests next year!