Beta Brothers Endow Scholarship, Earn Permanent Place on Campus

A group of Beta brothers meet up for a mid-winter gathering in Cocoa Beach, Fla., in February. From left to right are Jerry Esposito ’70, Tom Lewis ’70, James “Bat” Goodall ’69, Jon Christie ’68, Bill Herlihy ’70, Stan Gardner ’70, Daryl “Doit” Chesebro ’72 and Jim Gemza ’70.

A group of Beta brothers meet up for a mid-winter gathering in Cocoa Beach, Fla., in February. From left to right are Jerry Esposito ’70, Tom Lewis ’70, James “Bat” Goodall ’69, Jon Christie ’68, Bill Herlihy ’70, Stan Gardner ’70, Daryl “Doit” Chesebro ’72 and Jim Gemza ’70.

In 2015, a group of Beta Tau Epsilon brothers decided to establish an endowed scholarship at their alma mater. In doing so, they would support a current Greek student and—equally important—keep the name of their now disbanded fraternity alive on campus.

To endow the scholarship, the group needed to raise $25,000, an ambitious goal for the approximately 300 brothers who have stayed in touch through email. They had hoped to raise that amount by Dec. 31, 2016. But less than a year after announcing their goal, 150 brothers and friends have made gifts to the Beta Tau Epsilon Scholarship totaling $63,000.

“I am proud of how my Beta brothers stepped forward to support this scholarship,” said Jerry Esposito ’70, Oswego Alumni Association board member and Beta brother. “Together, we have ensured the name of Beta Tau Epsilon will live in perpetuity at Oswego.”

During Reunion 2015, Davis Parker ’47, Mike Andolina ’67 and Esposito presented a check for $28,742 to the college, establishing the first endowed fund by any Greek group at Oswego. Now, the Beta brothers hope to reach $100,000 to increase the payout of the scholarship or possibly support more students.

The inaugural scholarship will be awarded during the 2016-17 academic year to a student (male or female) who is in good standing with SUNY Oswego and with a Greek organization, demonstrates financial need and is engaged in some type of service to the college community.

Beta Tau Epsilon was founded in 1939, and remained active hosting many annual formals, social events and service projects until it disbanded in 1973. Today, as the youngest remaining Beta brothers enter their 60s, the members remain connected through several annual events held in Oswego, New York City and Florida.

“I am happy knowing that the organization that played such an important role in my development as a young adult will help support future generations of Oswego students through this scholarship,” Esposito said. Gifts to the Beta Tau Epsilon Service Scholarship can be made by phone at 315-312-3003, email develop@oswego.edu or online at alumni.oswego.edu/givenow. The family of Dr. Fred Ratzeburg, the long-time advisor of Beta Tau Epsilon who died in 2015, is encouraging gifts to the BTE scholarship in his memory.

—Margaret Spillett

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