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What Parents Can Do

Parents and guardians are valuable partners in this dynamic fraternity experience. Although geographically scattered, ZBT parents share a central value: they want their sons to have the best ZBT experience possible. Any family member can be supportive of a positive attitude.

  • Support from home is important. Students find calls, packages, emails, etc. critical in helping them stay in touch with family and friends. Your openness, as a parent, talking with your son about the ups and downs of college life helps him to adjust to the university/college environment.
  • Encourage your son to take responsibility for his actions. Making choices and living with the consequences, whether good or bad, can be empowering. Mistakes can be one of our greatest learning tools. Ultimately, the decisions your student makes is theirs to own — such as the decision to join a fraternity, the choice of where they live, behavior on campus and at events — and the outcomes and consequences (positive and negative) are theirs as well.
  • Remind your son to take charge of his health, sleep and nutrition. Students who do not set limits risk exhaustion and illness often resulting in poor grades.
  • Encourage your son to balance his social and academic life. Many students mistakenly think that college will be the same as high school academically. Initially, less attention paid to academics can create a crisis mid-semester as students receive disappointing grades.
  • Prepare your son for actual versus assumed college “norms.” Students consistently misperceive the norms on a college or university campus. Of those who drink, the majority have four or fewer drinks. Most do not drink heavily.
  • Encourage socializing without alcohol. Meeting people can be done in a variety of ways. Clubs and organizations, as well as the recreation center, offer plenty of opportunities to meet people and to learn something new.

The Fraternal Health and Safety Initiative provides a guide for parents on helping your college student engage in a safe and enjoyable fraternal experience.



Parents Clubs at the Chapter level

Your involvement in the creation of and/or support of a local chapter parents club will greatly assist ZBT in our efforts to provide your son with the best opportunity for a quality fraternity experience. We encourage you to ask your son if his chapter already has a parents club. If not, we encourage you to form one! Learn more.

Refer a future brother

Please share with us the names of any young men you know who would make great ZBTs. Your recommendations directly improve our fraternity.

Zeta Beta Tau Foundation’s Parent Club

Parents are valuable partners in this dynamic fraternity experience. Your financial support makes this possible through scholarships, educational programming and more. Gifts to Zeta Beta Tau Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent the law allows. Donate now.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to ZBT with additional questions.



  • “As parents, we cannot thank you enough for seeing something in (our son) and forcing him out of his shell. Starting a chapter and becoming the chapter president was so beyond the boy we knew. That really turned him into a leader and instilled a sense of confidence in him. I know for a fact how much the fraternity means to him.”

    David Zwierz

    University of Iowa

  • “While college helped my son Evan learn about history and psychology, ZBT taught him about life! Being a Founding Father and president of Elon’s ZBT chapter gave Evan a hands-on experience in leadership. Through ZBT, Evan honed his skills in public and motivational speaking, event planning, group dynamics, and running an organization. On top of that, ZBT’s emphasis on community service gave Evan many opportunities to help others, and more importantly, to make helping others part of his life. ZBT helped Evan gain life skills that will help him in any career path he chooses.”

    Joan Skloot

    Elon University

  • “It is through the special bond of father and son, uncle and nephew, brother to brother, grandfather to grandson that our Fraternity withstands the test of time and survives from generation to generation. The importance of legacies to the life and longevity of ZBT cannot be overstated. I hope to raise my family with the same precepts and values taught to me by my father and one day witness my son take part in the same Initiation Ritual I did. I want to leave the same legacy my father has created.”

    Nathan D. Fox

    Beta Alpha Theta
    University of Colorado Boulder 2009