What’s next for ZBT?

Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity is forward-thinking, yet mindful of our traditions. We are proud to have celebrated 125 years of Jewish fraternal excellence over the last year.

But we stopped to look ahead and wonder — what’s next?

We asked brothers to share their ideas, insights and perspectives on the ever-changing college campus, development as alumni and the ZBT experience, specifically in 2048 for our 150th anniversary (so, 25 years from now) and again in 2098 for the ZBT bicentennial, which is in 75 years.

Where will ZBT be? What will brothers be like, what will interest them? How will things change, and stay the same? What do you see college in general being like?

Brothers had thoughtful and also fun responses. Many see a greater role for artificial intelligence and technology in the campus experience, giving ZBT a place to fill in educational and career development gaps that such a deeply digital campus creates.

  • “It will read like science fiction,” said Brother Milton from the Psi Chapter at University of Alabama.
  • “In 25 years, students may be learning not from professors, but almost totally from computers. Fraternities will have to cope with a student body spread around the world,” Brother Robert from the Theta Chapter at University of Pennsylvania posed.
  • “Our brothers will need to be encouraged to cope with AI and a lot of misinformation,” Brother Marv from Beta Phi at University of Pittsburgh said.

Bureaucracy changes or restrictions from the university structure is also a concern for many.

  • “With the cost of a college education becoming so expensive, fraternity chapters are going to provide more educational support to their members and less social activities. Faculty will be invited to give lectures or seminars at the houses,” Brother Joel from Alpha Kappa at Wisconsin thinks.
  • “Much depends upon the cycle of the colleges and universities that allow fraternities on campus. Will it be an up or down cycle? Social fraternities need to police themselves so as to not harm members or guests,” Brother Jeffrey from Gamma Beta at California State University-Northridge wonders. “That is where universities bring in restrictions that cause fraternities to wither and die. Hopefully, ZBT will rise above the fray and thrive!”

All the alumni who offered a suggestion for this article share a common theme: They want ZBT to thrive, to grow, to be there for future generations just like it was for them.

  • “I hope to see ZBT more international and with greater alumni participation in all its activities,” Brother Maurizio at Gamma Alpha Chapter at Washington & Jefferson College. In 75 years, in 2098, he “can see ZBT being less connected with university life per se and more of a life-long support and volunteering network of community-focused like-minded individuals, complementing their career and professional development with activities focused on helping others.”
  • “I see ZBT thriving as the premier inclusive Jewish fraternity on 150 campuses,” said Brother Laurence from Alpha Zeta at University of Florida, expressing his wish for ZBT to double in size.
  • “Since I’ll be 91 then, I’m just hoping I’ll be around to see it!” joked Brother Peter from Alpha Epsilon Chapter at Washington and Lee University.

ZBT always has been a forward-thinking organization, and part of that is due to the excellence and support of our brothers. Brotherhood for a Lifetime!