Alpha Zeta is an honorary, professional society for students and industry professionals in the agriculture and life sciences. The Cornell Chapter was founded in 1901. Alpha Zeta is the first and oldest collegiate society for agriculture. Today, Alpha Zeta has more than 115,000 alumni and more than 3,000 student members at 74 universities.
Alpha Zeta is a truly unique fraternity on the Cornell Campus. Alpha Zeta was not fashioned after the honorary Societies nor was it strictly patterned after the Social Fraternities. The men and women chosen for membership have high scholarship, are of fine morale, and possess superior character and personality. We select members who show promise of becoming leaders when their collegiate days are finished.
Our Fraternity does not, however, depend upon the gathering together of a few fine undergraduate students. We gladly accept the responsibility which is ours, and earnestly and constantly strive to prepare the hearts and minds of our membership for a rich participation in service to our fellow men. Membership in our organization is, indeed, a coveted honor, but membership serves only as a stimulus to further effort, rather than a goal to be reached. Yes, Alpha Zeta is truly a unique binding together of a group of men and women interested in the continued advancement of agriculture, of leaders for the world of activity that comes after the college days have gone, and who demonstrate the qualities of scholarship, character, leadership, and fine fellowship.
The chapter house is located at 214 Thurston Ave. in Ithaca (just off North Campus). However, we are more than a house; we are a network of students, faculty, alumni, and people in the agriculture and life science industries that extends all over the country and the world. Click here to read more about the house.
Alpha Zeta is open to all students at Cornell, including transfer students, who are interested in Agriculture and/or the Life Sciences. We are also an honors fraternity; in order to be initiated into the national organization, members must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
Animal Science, Plant Sciences, Biological Sciences, Agricultural Science, Entomology, Atmospheric Science, Applied Economics and Management,
Biological and Environmental Engineering, Natural Resources, Communication, Education, Archaeology, Physics, and other majors are represented in the house. Many members of the house plan to go into the fields of Farm Management, Agricultural Education, Graduate School, Veterinary or Medical School, and other agricultural/life sciences careers.
Many of the members are from the state of New York, but states such as Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida are also the home states of current members. We also have members from El Salvador.
AZ members try to do as much as they can both inside and outside of the fraternity. The chapter has a broad mix of philanthropy, chapter development and social events. Events in the past have included CALS Fest, Adopt-a-Highway, Halloween Festival, Faculty receptions, parties, special dinners, study breaks, review sessions, poker nights and much more. Visit the Calendar of Events to what we have planned and check out the Galleries page to view photos of our past activities.
Everyone has a different reason for joining Alpha Zeta. Students join because they want more than the typical Greek experience; they want to meet other people who are interested in agriculture and the life science and to form the strong bonds that come with joining a fraternity to create a "home away from home."
New member orientation is a four- to six-week process during which new members learn about the chapter and its members through fun events to decide whether Alpha Zeta is the right place for them. We have worked hard to make sure that this process will not take away from your school work or social life, but rather enhance it.