Let us start out by defining the term “legacy.” According to ZBT’s code, a legacy is considered the son, grandson, or brother of a brother of ZBT. The brother of a ZBT may have a legacy in ZBT or go to college and join ZBT. This alumnus may be a legacy as well. Still, the alumnus is not a legacy of ZBT if his brother, father, or grandfather is not a brother of ZBT, including Phi Alpha, Phi Epsilon Pi, Phi Sigma Delta, and Kappa Nu. Below, you will read the story of a father and son and how legacy helped the two of them to choose ZBT.
Lane Stephens, Alpha Sigma (University of Mississippi) 1985, has a long history of Ole Miss alumni in his family. Growing up in Florida, Lane was pushed to attend either the University of Florida or the University of Georgia. They were significantly closer to home than Ole Miss; however, Lane received a scholarship to the University of Mississippi’s Music School.
From what he had heard from his family, he knew also being part of the Greek community at Ole Miss would enhance his student experience.
During orientation, he met many of the fraternities on campus, but ZBT had not been one of them. He knew he had not found what he was looking for, but remembered that his cousin was a founding father of the Alpha Sigma Chapter of Phi Epsilon Pi, which by the time Lane started college, had become ZBT at Ole Miss. His cousin was no longer in college at that point, but after meeting the brothers of ZBT at Ole Miss, he knew he had found his community.
Fast forward 30+ years, and Lane’s son Slater Stephens, Delta Iota (University of Central Florida) 2022 began attending Concordia University on a football scholarship. Concordia University does not have a Greek community and being a part of a football team is arguably similar to a fraternity.
Slater never thought joining a fraternity was for him; he said he wanted nothing to do with fraternities. However, after a career-ending injury, Slater moved back to Florida to attend the University of Central Florida.
Since COVID-19 hit the country just as Slater was getting ready to start at University of Central Florida, he realized he would not have many opportunities to meet new people due to everything being moved online.
At that point, his mother said, “there is a ZBT chapter on campus, which is the same fraternity your father was in at Ole Miss.” Still hesitant about Greek life, even though all his friends had joined fraternities, Slater attended an unusually formatted recruitment event due to COVID and decided to join ZBT. He said he realized during the Zoom meeting that the guys in the Chapter reminded him of his football teammates at Concordia.
Lane and his chapter brothers have talked for years about which of their sons would be the first to continue the ZBT legacy. While the Alpha Sigma Chapter has closed since Lane graduated, he was excited to share that his son has been able to carry on the legacy.
Lane shared that Slater called him the night of his initiation and said, “Hey, brother.”
Lane didn’t realize how happy it would make him to hear those words come out of his son’s mouth. Even more so, they were able to share the Fraternity’s grip with one another over Thanksgiving break.
This is a common story, maybe more common than people realize. Brother Lane was glad that he is able to share the bond of ZBT with his son because he knows Brother Slater will be able to create the lifelong brotherhood/friendships that Lane had the opportunity to create in the 80’s and still holds on to today.
Being a brother of ZBT does not stop when you graduate. Being a Greek member can be one of the most valuable experiences of a student’s experience but sharing your fraternity story and your fraternal experience with your brother, son, grandson, nephew, cousin, etc. can only help grow your connection and your fraternity’s legacy.
As you learn about students starting college and exploring involvement on campus, please encourage them to check out ZBT. Whether ZBT has a chapter on campus or not, share their contact information with ZBT International by filling out the referral form at zbt.org/refer. Having your brother, son, or grandson join ZBT is one way of building legacy, but starting a chapter takes legacy to an entirely new level.