L.E. (Erv) Johnson
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Just how many Betas, young and old, can identify the members of the Fraternity who, for example, served as vice president of the U.S., prime minister of Canada or on the U.S. and Canadian Supreme Courts? Or if you really don’t pay much attention to luminaries on the national and international scenes, what about the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee during the 1976 presidentially mandated U.S. absence from the Moscow Olympics or perhaps the head of FEMA during 9-11 or maybe Los Angeles’ “Statesman of Skid Row?”
Because there is value in knowing one’s heritage, and the last contribution was in 1989, the author has collected an anthology of hundreds of Betas who have placed high personal priority on public service over personal gain. Included are elected and appointed officials at the national, state/province and local level, foreign statesmen, executives and/or benefactors of worldwide service organizations as well as a selection of other leading public figures.
All are worthy, the author emphasizes, of a prominent place in the long pink and blue line of men who proudly “wear the badge and bear the name of Beta Theta Pi,” devoting their time and special talents to public service.
With almost a century’s lapse since a similar volume — Francis Shepardson’s Betas of Achievement in 1914 — it is hoped that Beta Statesmen will help bridge the information gap, much like the elder who built a bridge for the youth to follow “who must cross in the twilight dim,” in the familiar poem, The Bridge Builder.