Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation: Summer 2021

Noted Correction from the Printed Summer 2021 Octagonian: Dave Phillips (Westerville, OH) and Ron Katch (Highland Park, IL) were both incorrectly left out of the list of Foundation Directors on page. They are both actively serving the role of Foundation Director.

A Message from Foundation President, Bob Weiss (Oklahoma, ’75)

Dear Fratres & Friends, in the short time that I have been President of the Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation, I have learned about the positives and negatives of asking people for donations to the Foundation. Everyone of us works very hard for our money and there is no shortage of people and very worthy organizations trying to get their hands on it. To be totally honest, I am one of those people that is very reserved with my discretionary income and how I am going to spend or donate it. Saying it another way, I am not very good at asking people for money which is a strange position for me since I am president of a non-profit charitable organization.

 Then, I read letters from recipients of our many scholarships or grants that we give to our fraters to help them with their college education. One said, “Thank you for awarding me this scholarship. I did not know if I would have been able to afford to stay in school this year. With this assistance, it will afford me the opportunity to get back on my feet while I continue my education. Sigma Alpha Mu was one of my best decisions when I entered college.”  That’s what it is all about. 

It is said that when we leave this world, we should strive to leave it in a better place than we found it. Sigma Alpha Mu is the same way. We need to invest in the Foundation to help today’s students to make Sigma Alpha Mu a better place for tomorrow’s members.  With your help, we can achieve this goal. Please give to your Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation.

Bob and his wife, Tammy live in Edmond, OK. They have two daughters, Nancy and Jennifer. Bob also serves as the Board President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City. 

Sidney Guller’s Lasting Legacy: The Guller Young Scholar Program

Written by Nancy Dietmeyer, Foundation Director of Programs & Administration

2020-2021 marks the 20th year of the Guller Young Scholars Program so we wanted to take a look back at the program’s history in honor of Fra Sidney Guller (WashU, ’43), who passed away in October of 2020.

Sidney was always happy to talk about the Guller Young Scholars Award which he started  during his tenure as a Director of the Foundation. Since the program began in 2002, more than 1,496 Guller Young Scholars have been named across 82 ΣAM chapters with more than $550K in awards disbursed. Starting with a modest 8 awards the first year by 20201 we had grown to 170 Guller Young Scholars, our biggest year ever.

Sid understood the value of hard work in getting an education. In a 2019 interview, he shared his own experience of working for a year after high school to earn enough money so he could attend Washington University. He then joined Sigma Alpha Mu and persevered in his studies to graduate. A seed for starting the Guller Young Scholars Award was planted.

 “I thought that if they make the grades to receive the award they will be working toward a goal, so this is to encourage that. And, it strengthens the fraternity and the brotherhood.” Another benefit Sid saw was that the universities would recognize that the Fraternity placed a priority on academics. And the letters he received from parents over the years confirmed that they were appreciative and often pleasantly surprised that a fraternity would incentivise good grades. 

In establishing the parameters for the award, Sid noted that another fraternity had a similar award, but he thought their GPA requirement was too low. To qualify for the Guller Young Scholar Award, Sammy members must be fully initiated, and have achieved a 3.75 or higher GPA during their candidate semester. Those who qualify receive a check for $500 and a special certificate. 

Sidney said that once the program caught on with chapters, he decided to add an additional incentive by providing an award for the chapter with the most Guller Young Scholars during the year. The winner for both large and smaller chapters receives a $1,000 check, which he enjoyed handing out at the annual ΣAM Leadership Convention. 

We continue to receive nothing but positive feedback from university officials, parents, chapter advisors, and the recipients themselves about the program and its ability to attract and inspire Sigma Alpha Mu’s newest members to strive for academic excellence. We are forever grateful to Fra Sidney Guller for his vision and generosity to establish the Guller Young Scholars Award, and to the Sidney & Bobette Guller Family Foundation, for their continued commitment to the program.  

Sidney also appreciated the thank you letters and photos he received from recipients over the years, and delighted in sharing them with family members. Here are just some of the heartfelt messages of thanks from past recipients of the Guller Young Scholars Award: 

“In 2008, I was fortunate to have received the Guller Young Scholar Award which inspired me 

to be the best version of myself throughout my Sigma Alpha Mu experience. As a result, I held various leadership roles including Vice Prior and Recruitment Chair. In my recruitment role, I was constantly sharing the values of ΣAM with potential members and creating scores of new friendships along the way. Sid would have been proud of that and the much larger legacy that he left behind. After he passed, I took it upon myself to learn more him. I was touched, but not surprised, to learn that ΣAM was just one of the organizations he supported. He always put his Jewish community, Jewish organizations, and Jewish ideals so high up on his priority list. I look up to that and hope to continue his style of leadership well into the future.”  – Jon Basha, Arizona State, ‘08 

“I was so sorry to hear about his passing, but also very grateful to know that I was part of his legacy. He helped fund my college experience and ensured that I had a great foundation to be able to do anything I set my mind to. His support helped me achieve a degree in engineering management. He also instilled in me the confidence to apply for things, try my best, and ultimately helped me win Outstanding Senior for my major. I am forever grateful for Fra Guller, and now that his legacy lives on in me and all the others that we helped support and cheer on.” – Blaine Light, Arizona, ‘08 

“Meeting Sid at convention was a special moment…it was an honor to meet him and see what the fraternity and all its members meant to him. I do believe receiving the award impacted my motivation in my collegiate career, especially in regard to fraternity involvement. It instilled within me an increased understanding of the values this fraternity stands for and what the brotherhood and greater involvement can mean.

 I think receiving the award changed my focus as to what I thought my role in the fraternity could be. This was no longer just a social organization with an opportunity to make friends in my eyes, it was an organization that clearly supports the academic aspect of the college experience and promotes excellence and leadership within. The next semester I held multiple lower-level positions within the fraternity (something that was never my goal when I initially joined), and each year thereafter I increased my roles, eventually becoming prior of my chapter. I have no doubt that part of the motivation to be this involved had to do with the realization that the award shows that the Sigma Alpha Mu national organization supports and encourages each of its members to thrive in academic and social success. My involvement with the fraternity spawned an interest to get involved in organizations outside of it as well, holding president positions in three other on campus groups, which I believe eventually helped me land my job at Boeing after graduation.” – David E. Parker, Alabama, ’15

“The award shows Sigma Alpha Mu’s commitment to academic achievement, which is one of the main reasons I joined this great brotherhood.” – Jake Ettinger, USC, ‘14 

“You not only help motivate young scholars such as us, but inspire us to one day be successful enough to be able to give back to this great organization as you have.” – Ethan Barath, Texas, ‘14 

“Thank you for sponsoring a scholarship that promotes academic excellence during a candidate’s pledgeship. This scholarship served as an additional motivator to keep our grades up, helping us strive for success.” – Jarett Rovner, Emory, ‘16 

 “…it fills me with pride how seriously we take education and grades in our chapter as well as nationally. Not only did I strive to keep my 4.0 GPA, I strove to be an active member of the chapter during my education.” – Josh Feldman, Texas A&M, ‘18 

“With my brothers’ help, I was able to achieve a GPA of 3.91 during my candidate semester. I am grateful for Sigma Alpha Mu’s commitment to academic excellence.”

 – Leonardo Bueno, Drexel , ‘20 

“I sincerely thank you in maintaining this award to inspire students to seek greatness. I truly believe that the Guller Young Scholar Award is what helps draw a lot of us to Sigma Alpha Mu.” 

– Reid Campalong, Delta Omega, ‘20 – R.I.T.

“…being selected for this award exemplifies the focus that Sigma Alpha Mu places on the hard-work and academic excellence of its members, no matter the conditions.” – Salvatore Carreon, Oklahoma, ‘20 

“It means a lot to have my hard work in my studies validated, and this reaffirms that my decision to become a member of Sigma Alpha Mu was definitely the right one.” – James Doft, Pennsylvania, ‘20 

“I am very proud to be a member of a fraternity that values and rewards academic achievements.” – Lyle Yaggy, Miami OH, ‘20 

Fourth Successful Foundation Day of Giving

Written By Kristi Tucker, Foundation Annual Appeal Coordinator

On Wednesday, April 28, the Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation held its fourth annual Day of Giving. With COVID-19 still affecting our lives, we were unable to meet in person, but the day was another popular, all-virtual event. And I am proud to say it was very successful too, with 197 donations totaling $46,584.

Beta Sigma/University of North Texas led the way by donating $10,608, and the chapter with the most donors was Delta Eta/University of West Florida with 15 total gifts. 

Thank you to all alumni, undergraduates, volunteers, and friends of ΣAM for providing their support through social media promotions and generous donations! If you didn’t get the chance to participate, we can still use your support. While the Day of Giving event is over this year, you can still make a tax-deductible donation towards unrestricted giving.

Thank you to all for helping ΣAM Foundation with yet another successful Day of Giving!

Save the date for the annual Day of Giving on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. We hope we can count on your involvement and participation at that time. A full listing of donors to the 2021 Day of Giving is published on the Foundation website at  

Honor and Memorial Contributions May 2020 to December 2020


Donald W. Aaronson (Illinois, ‘51)     

By Ronald S. Katch (Illinois, ‘51)

Joel H. Allen (Oklahoma, ’56)

By Joel L. Carson (Oklahoma ’56)

Kenneth A. Benjamin (Wayne State, ’62)

By Daniel T. Berkley (Wayne State, ’66)

Laurence L. Berman (San Jose State, ’65)

To the Larry Berman Beta Delta Alumni 

Scholarship Fund

By David N. Loew (San Jose State, ’68)

Ronald L. Bumpus (Massachusetts, ’65)

By Albert H. Belsky (Massachusetts, ’65)

Brandon C. Devitt (Stony Brook, ’05)

To the Delta Theta Educational Fund

By Liam Joseph Ray (Stony Brook, ’12)

Andrew C.  Dickson (Washington MO, ’83)

To the Andy Dickson Memorial Scholarship Fund

By Elana Grissom

Michael Amir El-Far (Rutgers, ’19)

To the Michael El-Far Memorial Scholarship Fund

By David Scott Brooks (Rutgers, ’87)

By Robert Raskas (Rutgers, ‘88)

By Michael P. Stapleton (Rugers, ‘85)

Randy M. Feldman (Ohio State, ’72)

By Leslie R. Spiegel (Ohio State, ’73)

Marshall M. Gelfand (Syracuse, ’45)

By Robert B. Fagenson (Syracuse, ’67)

By Stanley M. Lefco (Virginia, ’68)

Robert J. Goffstein (Missouri, ‘65)

By Richard Halpern (Missouri, ‘65)

Gary I. Gotlieb (Texas, ’86)

To the Gary Gotlieb Memorial Scholarship Fund

By Roger A. Baumann (Texas, ’86)

By Jeffrey S. Bell (Texas, ’87)

By Scot C. Farber (Texas, ’85)

By William K. Feinstein (Texas, ‘86)

By Gary M. Jacobson (Texas, ’86)

By Jeffrey T. Kaye (Texas, ’86)

By Steve D. Levine (Texas, ’86)

By David J. Levy (Texas, ’86)

By Craig M. Loewenstern (Texas, ’86)

By Kevin W. Margolis (Texas, ’86)

By Steven A. Rosenblum (Texas, ’86)

By Steve M. Rutman (Texas, ’86)

By Marty A. Shellist (Texas, ’86)

By Mark Shrayber (Texas, ’98)

By Daniel S. Spier (Texas, ’86)

By Alon A. Steinberg (Texas, ’86)

By Andrew J. Sweet (Texas, ’86)

By Stuart B. Wallock (Texas, ’88)

By Stephen J. Weinberg (Texas, ’86)

Bernadette, Ida &, Nelson Grimm

By Orrie S. Grimm (Case Western, ’68)

Sidney Guller (Washington MO, ’43)

To the Bobbi & Sidney Guller Leadership 

Development Fund

By Robert A. Rosenthal & Missy Leggat (Missouri, ’50)

To My Uncle and the Bobbi & Sidney Guller Leadership Development Fund

By James N. Guller (Pennsylvania, ’81)

To Guller Young Scholars

By Maria Mandel

Leonard M. Helfgott (Maryland, ‘56)

By Hillard W. Cohen (Maryland, ‘56)

Kenneth N. Ishida (Berkeley ’96)

By Derrick D. Chi (Berkeley, ’96)

Harvey L. Katz (Pennsylvania, ’63)

By Alan C. Staller (Pennsylvania, ’63)

Former Chief Justice Norman M. Krivosha 

(Nebraska, ’54)

By Marc E. Perlstein (North Texas, ’71)

By Stanley M. Lefco (Virginia, ’68)

Eileen Leffler

By Merrill Leffler (NC State, ‘60) 

Jeff S. Levy (Texas, ’81)

To the Jeff Levy Sigma Theta Scholarship Fund

By Jessica and Michael Meyer

Martin (Marty) B. Levinson (Texas, ’84)

To the Marty Levinson Memorial Scholarship Fund

By Michael K. Hurst (Texas, ‘84)

By Evan A. Remer (Texas, ‘02)

By Danny S. Spier (Texas, ’86)

By Gary M. Chetzron (Texas, ’95)

Jerry Miller (Miami OH, ’76)

To the Mom Keene Mu Psi Scholarship Fund

By Maria Mandel

Sanford M. Naiditch (Ohio State, ’41)

By Thomas H. Lipschultz (Minnesota, ’68)

Ronald W. Rapchik (Long Island, ’66)

To the Mu Phi Ron Rapchik Memorial Scholarship Fund

By Howard Rapp (Long Island, ’67)

Larry J. M. Riklin (Texas, ’67)

By Philip G. Brant (Texas, ’67)

Jack “Rocky” Rogers (NC State, ’74)

By Kimberly Davis

Jonathan A. Schmidt (Stony Brook, ’06)

10 years Chapter Eternal

To the Delta Theta Educational Fund

By Yovan Kumar (Stony Brook, ’15)

By Christopher George Smith (Stony Brook, ‘16)

Raphael I. Schenk (Columbia, ’56)

By Stephen V. Berzok (Columbia, ’57)

Norman L. Schwartz (Ohio State, ‘50)

By David N. Worshil (Ohio State, ’54)

William P. Schwartz (Oklahoma, ’44)

By William L. Frischman (Miami OH, ’74)

David J. Stern (Rutgers, ’60)

By Paul Frieder (Rutgers, ’64)

Joe Weisberg (Toledo, ’61)

A one of a kind, and there will never be another like him

By Philip M. Weisberg (Toledo, ’61)

Seymour D. Weiss (Case Western, ’53)

To the Seymour Weiss Scholarship Fund

By Scott Weiss 

Jesse Wulfe (Texas, ’43)

By James C. Nordhaus (Texas, ’65)

Lenny Wolfson (Buffalo, ‘54)

By Bruce R. Haas (Buffalo, ‘53)

Lee E. Wolkowitz

By Edward M. Wolkowitz (California State, ’68)


30th Chapter Anniversary 3/2/2021

To the Delta Theta Educational Fund

By Yovan Kuman (Stony Brook, ’15)

Alumni & Friends

To the Delta Theta Educational Fund

By Martin Tuozzo 

By Yovan Kumar (Stony Brook, ’15)

Todd Aronoff

By Stuart B. Aronoff (Berkeley, ’51)

Beta Psi

By John C. Ale (Virginia, ‘73)

Delta Theta 

By Yovan Kumar (Stony Brook, ‘15)

Irene Bolts

By David S. Bolts (Pennsylvania, ’75)

Isaac Kohn Claar (Beta Iota, ’19)

By Robert A. Kohn (Louisville, ’58)

Madeline Florence

To the Andy Dickson Memorial Scholarship Fund

By Elana Grissom

Gamma Kappa & Gamma Epsilon

By Jacob B. Birenbaum (Texas A&M, ‘16)

Bennett & Marlene Harte

By John C. Harte (Pennsylvania, ‘82)

Andy Huston (Minnesota, ‘01)

By Erika Beatty

Ruby Kotzen

By Stephen A. Kotzen (Tulane, ‘58)

Jonathan Lustig (Indiana, ’12)

By Robert A. Kohn (Louisville, ’58)

Dennis Paese (Cornell, 70)

In honor of his 70th birthday

By Elia E. Zaitsev (Cornell, ‘04)

Best Chapter Advisor Ever

By Alex M. Shapero (Cornell, ‘04)

David Phillips (Ohio State, ‘80) and Aaron Girson 

(Western Michigan, ‘92)

By Kathie Garland

Evan Remer, (Texas, ‘02)

By Michael L. Schottenstein (Syracuse, ‘06)

Adam Jason Rosenbaum (Sigma Chi, ’19)

For Winning Prior of the Year

By Bruce N. Harris (Maryland, ’73)

Molly Sprayregen

By Steven R. Keller (Michigan, ’79)

The Class of 1972

By Stephen A. Kepniss (Rutgers, ’69)

The Wise Boys

By Jerry M. Wise (UCLA, ’84)

Robert S. Weiss (Oklahoma, ’75)

By Benjamin Shanker (Texas, ’42)

Dennis C. Wolf (Washington MO, ’67)

By Michele Wolf