Bryce Starner, Alpha Psi (Pennsylvania State University) 2019, an ambitious and eager 17-year-old from Pennsylvania had his plan set. It was falling into place just as he had imagined it. He was preparing for the next chapter of his life and heading off to his dream university, Penn State.
Starner’s spark for life was undeniable, but shortly after starting school, his spark was extinguished.
Starner says he felt like a small fish in a big pond and found himself feeling heavy with pressure. He didn’t recognize himself and started to withdraw from the people and things he loved.
One day, while at a business program, a guy sitting next to Starner mentioned that he looked sad and asked how he was doing. A friendship between the two began to form and the fellow student told Starner that he had been in his shoes too. He understood the overwhelming feeling of school, being in a new place without his friends, and invited Starner to hang out with him and his friends.
Starner came up with excuse after excuse as to why he couldn’t hang out with him, but eventually he gave in. Starner started spending time with his new friend, who also happened to be a brother of Zeta Beta Tau.
The friendship continued to develop and Bryce W. Starner, Alpha Psi (Pennsylvania State University) 2019 became an initiated brother of ZBT in 2016. Starner credits this friendship, and the subsequent friends [brothers] and sense of belonging he found, for pulling him from a dark place he was stuck in. Brother Starner graduated in May with a triple major in Business, Spanish and Comparative Literature. He also landed his dream job in baseball operations with the Baltimore Orioles.
The impact Zeta Beta Tau has had in Starner’s life may seem inconsequential to some, but to Starner, it is transformative. It is a brotherhood that he will have for his lifetime. Brother Starner now gives back to the Zeta Beta Tau Foundation to ensure support and experiences like this continue to happen for others. Without the Foundation’s support, the brothers of ZBT may not have opportunities to bond or learn how to support each other.