We, the members of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity, believe that the development of the individual as a responsible, mature member of society is the primary goal of the university today. We believe that fraternity offers to the university community a unique, desirable and successful means of achieving this goal. In fulfilling the purposes of fraternity, we dedicate ourselves to the principles of:
Fraternity creates an atmosphere conducive to the expansion of the individual’s intellectual horizons, the interchange of ideas within the academic community and the pursuit of scholastic excellence.
Fraternity requires the individual to commit himself and accept his responsibility to participate.
Fraternity generates a standard of personal integrity–a framework for the individual to maintain honesty, exhibit loyalty and retain a sense of self-discipline.
Fraternity inspires and express the interrelation of the individual with his fellow, his pride in the institution and respect for the wisdom of its tradition. This simple statement of principles and beliefs evolved relatively late in the life of the Fraternity.
At the 1963 National Convention in San Francisco, a dozen or so chapter presidents were concerned about the wave of anti-establishment feeling which was then emerging throughout the country, particularly as this manifested itself on college campuses in growing anti-fraternity sentiment. They determined to draw up a resolution that would serve as an effective response – at least so far as ZBT was concerned – to those who claimed fraternities were irrelevant and had outgrown their usefulness.
The resolution, which the Convention adopted overwhelmingly, became so widely quoted during the turbulent years of the 1960’s that it became known as the “Credo” of Zeta Beta Tau.