Alumni & Chapter News

Celebrating 100 Years

By Risa Morris —

Every year, hundreds of brothers and friends of ZBT gather for the International Convention. Convention is the premier education and leadership program in Zeta Beta Tau and a time for brothers from around the world to come together to share in the truest sense of brotherhood while learning skills that will benefit them far beyond their college years. While the Fraternity provides other forms of face-to-face education for brothers, this is one of our only events which brings undergraduate and alumni brothers alike together for meaningful interactions. It serves as the single largest gathering of brothers and provides a wide lens from which to see the Fraternity. At International Convention, the Fraternity recognizes individuals (undergraduate, alumni and friends of ZBT) for achievements in the interfraternal world and greater community. One of the most exciting parts of International Convention is the chance to recognize and honor those chapters that have reached the centennial milestone, recognizing the 100th anniversary of founding.

At our 2020 International Convention in Washington DC, we will have the chance to honor 3 centennial chapters: the Beta Zeta Epsilon Chapter at the University of Maryland, the Eta Tau Chapter at the University of Iowa and the Lambda Chapter at the University of Texas.

“Joining a fraternity is all about tradition. I couldn’t have more respect for our founders who laid the groundwork for my Chapter 100 years ago! I lead such a great group of men who I know have my back all the time. Hopefully I can come back to Maryland in 100 years to celebrate BZE’s 200-year anniversary,” Beta Zeta Epsilon Chapter President Spencer Friedman, Beta Zeta Epsilon (University of Maryland – College Park) 2022 said.

“Being elected President of the Lambda Chapter of ZBT at The University of Texas was an amazing achievement. I am a third-generation legacy of the Lambda Chapter with my grandfather, father and uncle all being members of this Chapter. Leading this Chapter which is the largest ZBT Chapter in the nation and the largest Greek Chapter at The University of Texas was something that I wanted to do ever since I stepped foot onto this University and was lucky enough to join the ZBT brotherhood. The Lambda Chapter is deeply rooted in history and tradition that makes this 100th year anniversary so special to be a part of. I look back on the composites from the Chapter’s first year and slowly see the change between years. It is crazy to think about how far we as a Chapter have come since 1920 and have made it all the way to 2020 and are still going strong. This shows perseverance, a love for the brotherhood, and a long-lasting respect for one another. This shows that ZBT Texas is one of the most tightly knit organizations around the nation and having a Chapter like Lambda make it to their 100th year anniversary shows that our brotherhood is second to none. I hope this milestone helps carry on the legacy of ZBT and we as a Chapter continue to be leaders on campus. I hope that we continue to have legacies come in every single year to carry on the traditions that their fathers have experienced. I hope that our Chapter will continue to excel and be the best Chapter and men we can possibly be. I hope that the Lambda Chapter legacy carries on forever so that the rest of my life I will be able to tell everyone that I was lucky enough to be a brother. Lastly, I will close this off by saying one more thing. I am proud to be a ZBT and wish that every single person could experience what I have because it has changed my life for the better and made me into a better man since stepping foot on campus 3 years ago as a freshman,” Lambda Chapter President Colby Davis, Lambda (University of Texas at Austin) 2021 said.

“In 1920, ten young men met with common interest to form a fraternity with high morals and my father, William J. Koen, Lambda (University of Texas at Austin) 1924 was part of that first class! That was the birth of Lambda Chapter at the University of Texas. Today, I am proud to say that 250 young men in Lambda Chapter are carrying on their legacy one hundred years later,” Lambda Chapter Advisor William J. Koen, Jr., Lambda (University of Texas at Austin) 1959 said.

“Legacy is the law, that’s why I’m here. My dad, Steve, myself and my son Bennett are 3 generations of Lambda guys. At the Lambda Chapter at the University of Texas, tradition and legacy is held in the highest regard. I couldn’t be any more proud of the legacy and institution that ZBT Texas has evolved into where today, unequivocally, we are one of the top Jewish fraternities in the country and have built a dynasty that will sustain time in all facets of campus life and the support and bond of our valued alumni brothers who built the Fraternity for all of us. A successful chapter begins with the timeless support of their alumni. Several of us advisors attribute the success of Lambda to the debt that we owe the Chapter for what Lambda gave all of us back in our day,” Lambda Chapter Advisor Todd S. Aaron, Lambda (University of Texas at Austin) 1984 said.

We are inviting all brothers to join us in celebrating the amazing accomplishment for these Chapters at the 2020 International Convention from July 23-26 in Washington DC. Learn more at