Robert B. Austin

Robert B. Austin, Chi, 1898, Phi Alpha 1917-1918

Robert B. Austin, Chi, 1898, was a successful attorney and real estate developer in Brooklyn, New York. Born in Brooklyn, he was well-connected within the community.

After graduating from Colby College, Brother Austin studied law at New York Law
School and was admitted to the bar in 1902. He practiced law with the firm of Kroger &
Austin and later Austin & McKown, where his partner was fellow Phi Alpha, Wendell
McKown. He was vice president and director of Waydell & Co., secretary and director
of Lubricating Metal Co., treasurer and director of the Winstead Co., treasurer and
director of the Buffalo and Southern Railroad Co., attorney for and director of the
New York and Wakefield Cooperative Building and Loan Association, director of the
Queens County Trust Co., and director of the Long Island Bond and Mortgage Company. In the
community, he was an officer of the Flatbush Taxpayers’ and South Midwood
Associations. Austin was a Mason and member of the Central Lodge No. 361 F and A.

Brother Austin was active with Zeta Psi and Colby College alumni activities. For many
years, he was on the Executive Committee of the New York Colby College Alumni
Association. After World War I, Brother Austin was one of the Zete Elders who joined
with other fraternity men campaigning to keep the Colby campus in Waterville rather
than moving it to Augusta. A decade later, he and others raised funds for a new Chi
chapter house on Mayflower Hill.

Brother Austin was a member of the committee that established the Zeta Psi Realty
Company that bought and equipped the new Zeta Psi Club of New York and Central
Office headquarters at 31 East 39th Street in the early 1920s.

He served the International Fraternity as Gamma Alpha (1914, 1915, 1916, 1920),
Sigma Alpha (1908, 1909, 1910) and Alpha Sigma Alpha (1907) before being elected
Phi Alpha.