Zeta Beta Tau History
Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity was founded on December 29, 1898, by Prof. Richard J. H. Gottheil, a professor of languages at Columbia University and a leader in the early American Zionist movement. In the early part of the 20th century, Zeta Beta Tau expanded rapidly. By 1909, it boasted 13 Chapters throughout the Northeast and a 14th at Tulane University at New Orleans. In 1913, ZBT established its first International Chapter at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Five years later, ZBT founded its first West Coast Chapter at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The Fraternity's rapid growth continued to include 30 chapters in 1945 and 80 chapters in 1969.
The Zeta Beta Tau Brotherhood has a diverse history, due to the relatively large number of mergers in its past. Zeta Beta Tau is what were once five separate fraternities, Phi Alpha, Phi Sigma Delta, Kappa Nu, Phi Epsilon Pi, and Zeta Beta Tau. In 1959, Phi Alpha merged with Phi Sigma Delta, and in 1961 Kappa Nu merged into Phi Epsilon Pi. In 1969-70, Phi Sigma Delta and Phi Epsilon Pi merged into Zeta Beta Tau, resulting in the current Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity that boasts a national brotherhood of 110,000. Today, Zeta Beta Tau Chapters and Colonies are established at over 80 campus locations in the United States and Canada.
Zeta Beta Tau at UVA
Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity began its proud legacy at the University of Virginia in 1915, when chapters of both Phi Epsilon Pi and Zeta Beta Tau Fraternities were founded here. Both houses were still thriving in 1970 when Phi Epsilon Pi nationally merged with Zeta Beta Tau. Because the two UVA houses were very different, no effort was made by ZBT national to combine them, and Phi Epsilon Pi continued at UVA as Phi Epsilon. In 1973, the Chi Chapter of Zeta Beta Tau folded, leaving Phi Epsilon as ZBT's only link to the University of Virginia until 1992, when ZBT national bought the Phi Epsilon house and the Phi Epsilon brothers chartered the Phi Epsilon Chapter of Zeta Beta Tau. Because of the history of mergers in ZBT's past, the current brotherhood fraternally extends an invitation to stop by the chapter house to Phi Epsilon Pi, Phi Epsilon, and Zeta Beta Tau alumni.