William L. Otis
William L. Otis, Pi and Xi, 1874, Phi Alpha 1877-1878
William L. Otis, Pi and Xi, 1874, was an enterprising businessman and dominating personality within Zeta Psi from 1873 until his death on December 28, 1881.
In business, he was president of the Otis Tube Works and manager and stockholder in
the Otis Steel Company, one of first major steel companies in Ohio.
Upon becoming an Elder in Zeta Psi, “he labored unceasingly for Zeta Psi, and the
history of the Grand Chapter is largely a history of his work of our fraternity.” He was
appointed Gamma Alpha in 1875, Sigma Alpha in 1876 and served as acting Phi Alpha
in 1877 before being elected to the position. Again, in 1880, he was acting Phi Alpha
and in the same year was elected Gamma Alpha. He was a member of the committee
which published the fraternity catalog of 1874 and was one of the leading forces behind
the chartering of the Gamma (Syracuse) and Theta Xi (University of Toronto) chapters.
“His zeal, and devotion of time, entitle him to a great debt of gratitude and place him in
the very front rank of benefactors of the fraternity.” (Zeta Psi Fraternity of North
America, Double Diamond Jubilee, 1997)