James J. Ljunglin

Dr. James J.  Ljunglin, Pi, 1957, Phi Alpha 1989-1991

Photo of Jim Ljunglin.Dr. James J.  Ljunglin, Pi, 1957, was initiated into Zeta Psi at Rensselaer as a freshman in 1954. He took bachelor’s and doctor’s degrees in chemical engineering in the ensuing eight years, and served two years ROTC obligation in the Chemical Corps of the US Army.

Following the Army, Jim joined a specialty chemicals division of Exxon shifting from research to manufacturing and worldwide investment planning. He retired after 32 years as Economics and Planning Manager located in NY, NJ, and Texas.

Having been continuously a member of the Pi Chapter elder board since graduation, he was elected to the Zeta Psi International board in 1981, becoming Gamma Alpha in 1982, Alpha Phi Alpha in 1987, and Phi Alpha in 1989.

After 17 years of service, he stepped down from the International board in 1998. Following his board service Jim stayed on many Grand Chapter Committees and returned to local chapter affairs serving as treasurer and property manager of the Pi elders in recent years and sometime advisor to the nearby Omicron Epsilon Chapter at Princeton, as well as some “unnamed” chapters.

As quoted by some of his fellow Pi Brothers,

“Jim cherished the Ritual of Zeta Psi.  He was among the first to receive the Gold Escutcheon for Ritual Excellence and the Fraternity depended on his comprehension of ancient Greek and his dependable research to improve our understanding of our mystic rites.”

“Over the past 60 years the Pi Chapter has had several cycles of prosperity and difficult times. During the challenging times when some elders were calling for strict measures and penalties, Jim was the calming voice, was patient, and  championed the long view with faith in the active Brothers.”

“Jim has been a role model, mentor, and brother to countless Zetes for seven decades and continues to offer the best of himself to anyone who asks.  Jim is the finest exemplar of what it means to live the values of Zeta Psi.”

At Rensselaer, Jim has served on many committees, He was one of four Greek alum to found the Alumni Inter Greek Council at Rensselaer and served as its first President. He was awarded the Rensselaer Alumni Association’s Demers Medal in 2000, joining fellow Pi Brothers, James J. Peta, Jr, Pi, 1964, Jay Webb, Pi, 1961, and Arthur Gajarsa, Pi, 1962 as Zeta Psi Brothers who have been awarded this prestigious honor. The Pi Chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award is named the Jim Ljunglin Award.

During his term as Phi Alpha, the Delta Alpha chapter at the University of Colorado and the Alpha Nu chapter at the Claremont Colleges were chartered.

Brother Ljunglin received Zeta Psi’s Distinguished Service Award in 1993, the James J. Carey Leadership Award in 2010, and the Henry Elliot Volunteer of the Year Award in 2013.

In 2016, the James J. Ljunglin Education Center, located in the Pearl River Headquarters of Zeta Psi, was named in honor of Brother Ljunglin’s lifelong devotion to and support of research and studies relating to the history and ritual of Zeta Psi.

(L to R) Jay Webb, 1961, Jim Ljunglin, 1957, and Bill Donovan ’59, at the Pi chapter house in the late 50’s