John W. Procter
John W. Procter, Iota, 1898, Phi Alpha 1925-1926
(Oct 19, 1875- October 6, 1937)
John William Procter, Iota, 1898, was a successful realtor in San Francisco and was a key advocate for the Fraternity’s expansion on the Pacific Coast. Procter was a member of the University of California baseball team and president of the Iota chapter as an undergraduate.
He began his forty-year career in real estate with R.N. Nason & Company and then
established his own firm in 1908. Civically, he was president of the Belmont Club.
Within Zeta Psi, Brother Procter was a stalwart of the Iota Elder Association and
according to The Story of Zeta Psi, “his winsome personality and devoted loyalty were
markedly in evidence throughout the year of his administration, and his service in the
establishment of two new chapters on the Pacific Coast was invaluable.” The two new
chapters were the Sigma Epsilon at the University of British Columbia and the Sigma Zeta at
the University of California- Los Angeles (UCLA). There is a story behind the Sigma
Zeta’s chartering. According to the Zeta Psi Double-Diamond Jubilee publication
(1997), Brother Procter was instrumental in the Fraternity’s establishing a chapter at
UCLA. “The growth of the school caught the attention of many California Zetes residing
in the area.” The appeal for the new chapter was led by Bert J. Bradner, Xi and John T.
Cooper, Mu, of the Zeta Psi Alumni Association of Southern California, who got the
support of Brothers Procter and Motley, who convinced the Trustees who in turn won
over the Grand Chapter. There was, however, a minor difficulty. The constitution of the
Fraternity provided “that there should be but one chapter in any institution” and since
UCLA was the “southern branch” of the University of California, there was a potential
conflict with the Iota chapter in Berkeley. Brother Procter and the western delegates led
the charge to amend the constitution and this was successfully accomplished at the
Grand Chapter meeting convened two months later. The charter members of the Sigma
Zeta chapter were initiated on September 5-6, 1924 and was the pioneer fraternity on
Brother Procter had two sons, John and Thomas Proctor, who followed him into the Iota
chapter about twenty years after his initiation.