Marshall Gelfand (Syracuse, ’45) Enters Chapter Eternal

Marshall Gelfand (Syracuse, ’45) entered Chapter Eternal on Thursday, April 1st at the age of 93. 

After serving his country as an enlisted Naval Correspondent, Marshall was welcomed into Sigma Alpha Mu – Eta Chapter’s 25-man pledge class. During his undergraduate tenure, Eta won the Founders Cup in 1948 and 1949. Marshall graduated from Syracuse University in 1950 with a degree in accounting from the Whitman School of Management. These two events began a lifetime of dedication, leadership and service to his beloved Syracuse University and to Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity. 

On the fraternity’s international stage, he served as Co-Chairman of the Golden Anniversary in 1959, a Consul to the Octagon, Endowment Fund Trustee (1975-88, 89-91), and a Director of the Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation (2008-2011). Fra Gelfand was a key supporter of the Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation for more than fifty years. Fra Gelfand received the Certificate of Merit (2005) and the Distinguished Service Award (2009) which has only been presented to seventeen fratres. 

In the 2009 Distinguished Service Award Presentation, Executive Director Emeritus Bill Schwartz shared, “Marshall has advised many undergraduate fratres to use their fraternity leadership experience as a stepping stone to their future career—as he did.  Some years ago called and asked the headquarters for names of talented students.  He hired them and helped them and worked with them. He was president of the Eta Chapter Foundation which he has helped to grow and to assist fraters in need. He was Chapter Advisor to Eta and Financial Advisor.” He served as Trustee of Syracuse University and Trustee of Syracuse University Alumni Associations in both New York and Los Angeles. Syracuse awarded him the George Arents medal for personal accomplishment. The Eta Chapter recognized Marshall’s lifetime of leadership to Sigma Alpha Mu and Syracuse University by dedicating their new fraternity house in his name in 2015.

Marshall established The Judy Fund in 2004 in memory of his wife, Judy, who died of Alzheimer’s disease. Sigma Alpha Mu adopted the The Judy Fund as its international philanthropic partner in 2004. The Judy Fund is the largest family fund in the history of the Alzheimer’s Association, and has raised over $9 million in support of Alzheimer’s research and care. In 2014, Marshall received the Sargent and Eunice Shriver Profiles in Dignity award for his work with The Judy Fund.

Marshall will be buried alongside Judy in a private family ceremony at Wiefels & Son Mortuary in Palm Springs, California. On a future date, there will be a Celebration of a Life Well Lived. 

Donations can be made in Marshall’s memory to The Judy Fund at the Alzheimer’s Association 

online,, or by mail: The Judy Fund, Alzheimer’s Association, 225 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60601.

Sigma Alpha Mu was founded in 1909 at the College of the City of New York as a fraternity of Jewish men; the organization has been open to all men of good moral character since 1953. Sigma Alpha Mu’s vision is to be the first choice of collegians seeking a forward-thinking, inclusive fraternity which enhances the university experience and prepares the fraternity member for a fulfilling life. With its International Headquarters located in Indianapolis, IN, the fraternity currently has 48 collegiate chapters and over 59,000 living alumni.

Marshall M. Gelfand (Syracuse, ’45) at the Eta Chapter House Dedication with members of the Eta SAM Board