October 23, 2001

Co-Ed Alpha Zeta Turns 100

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The Alpha Zeta fraternity celebrated its 100th birthday over the weekend with a banquet and an awards ceremony at the Clarion Hotel.

This co-ed fraternity, known for promoting achievement and producing leaders in agricultural studies, reflected on their accomplishments and stated their goals for the next century.

According to Chris Marshall ’03, president of the Alpha Zeta fraternity, during the past year the members have adopted a highway along a stretch of Route 96B, organized a barbecue for the annual livestock show, and volunteered at local farms. They are currently planning a haunted house around Halloween and all of the funds raised from it will be donated to charity.

The house also hosts an annual “Cow Tip Bingo” on the Arts Quad.

“This event basically consists of a large bingo board on the Arts Quad and a real live cow. The cow is free to roam around the board and wherever it does its business is the number that is picked,” said Marshall.

Alpha Zeta said the group prides itself on the tremendous support it receives from faculty members. They frequently invite professors for discussions and projects involving farm work and research.

“I was impressed by the number of people involved in the house and the dedication of the faculty,” said Suzy M. Nelson, associate dean of students for fraternity and sorority affairs. “It really merges academics and out of class projects.”

The fraternity recruits its members from a list of students in the top two-fifths of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, as reported from the Registrar’s Office. The house currently has 22 active members and seven pledges.

The group said they would like to expand their recruitment to include all students enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The members said they hope this will increase membership.

“It is really a challenge to get the kind of dedication and leadership that this house needs from such a short list. The leaders in agriculture are not always the smartest,” said Marshall.

Its pledge process is organized around fun activities that foster getting to know one another. The members usually set up a scavenger hunt, in which the pledges find random items around the house and tell the members stories about the items. Many of their pledge programs have been adopted by other fraternities on campus.

Several of the pledges said they decided to join Alpha Zeta for the interaction with people of similar career interests.

“I thought it would be a nice opportunity to meet people that are interested in agriculture, but in a more social atmosphere than in classes,” said Karin Rosberg ’02.

Archived article by Seth Harris