Henry M. Elliot, Jr.
Henry M. Elliott, Jr. Eta 1945, Phi Alpha 1969-1970
Henry Elliot, Eta, 1945, fondly known as “Uncle Henry” to generations of Zetes, was devoted to Zeta Psi and was a long term benefactor of both the Eta chapter at Yale and the Pi chapter at RPI. He graduated from Yale, in 1945, and served in the US Navy during World War II. After the war, he moved to Loudonville, NY to work in the insurance industry. He soon became an executive with the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States and was a stalwart with Equitable for forty years. He was for many years a director of the Albany Savings Bank and served on the Boards of the Portsmouth Abbey and Doane-Stuart Schools. He was also a knight of the American Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Henry became the Treasurer of the New York State Capital District Association of Zeta Psi (the House corporation and Elder Chapter of the Pi), becoming an elder leader of his adopted chapter for decades. He was instrumental in two reactivations of the Pi chapter, first in 1951 and again in 1979. As a Pi brother who knew him well observed, “Henry exuded that quiet, corporate
confidence that telegraphed he saw the big picture in full and could see several moves into the future as well. His advice was sterling and his fellowship was gold.” Henry is memorialized with a bronze plaque fixed in the dining room in the Pi house for his endless contributions, including the personal underwriting of a major capital project.
Henry never forgot his own chapter, the Eta at Yale. He arranged the mortgage to purchase the new Yale house in the 1970s and in 1979, Henry funded a major year-long renovation of the entire house. His regular visits and generous hospitality made a strong impression on the Eta brothers.
Within Zeta Psi International, before being elected Phi Alpha, Brother Elliot served for seven years as Regional Director, and acted as the Fraternity’s primary point person with the Pi (RPI), Eta (Yale) and Psi (Cornell) chapters. He was a member of the Fraternity’s executive committee for more than a decade and served as Alpha Phi Alpha for the 1963-1964 school year. In 1969, he was elected as Zeta Psi’s Phi Alpha. After his term as Phi Alpha, Henry continued to stay very active with both the Eta and Pi chapters.
During his tenure as Phi Alpha, the Executive Committee turned responsibility for the leadership conference at the annual conventions to the Junior Board. The conference, later named the Leadership Training Institute (LTI), flourished and expanded under Henry and his successors.
His son, A. Douglas Elliot, was the first Phi of the Pi Tau chapter at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
Henry was honored with Zeta Psi’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Award, in 1973. Continuing his volunteer work, Henry was recognized as the Outstanding Volunteer of Zeta Psi’s Third Half Century at the 1997 Zeta Psi Convention and in 2003 further honored with the creation of the Henry Elliot Volunteer of the Year Award, named in his memory.