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By the time Bob arrived at Penn State as a freshman, the Beta Sig blood already ran deep within his family. It was no wonder, then, that he decided to continue the tradition.

“I was a legacy, big time,” Bob says. “I had uncles, cousins, a brother—all who were Penn State Beta Sigs. Even though there were several other fraternities I could have rushed, there was really never a doubt that I was going to be a Beta Sig.”

Bob lived in the house for four years, enjoying everything about the fraternity life. He became Chancellor during his senior year, and still recalls the challenge of having so much responsibility for the house. But that lesson in leadership would come in handy in the future.

Bob was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1974. He served as a state Senator for 32 years, holding the titles of President Pro Tempore, Majority Leader, and Minority Leader at different times. Following Governor Tom Ridge’s resignation in 2001, Bob was elevated to the position of Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. He is the longest-serving President Pro Tempore in PA history.

Now out of the Senate for 10 years, Bob has been serving on the Penn State Board of Trustees since 2014, and is currently running for reelection. Penn State has honored him with the Distinguished Alumni Award in addition to the Alumni Fellow Award from the Penn State Alumni Association.

But through it all, his loyalty and passion for Beta Sigma Beta has never wavered—so much so that when he is asked about his reason for giving back, the answer comes as naturally as breathing.

“I had such a wonderful life there,” he says. “My son (Jeff Jubelirer ’93) was also a Beta Sig, and my cousins—they all had a great time. It’s part of our life, and I just want to do the right thing. I had a chance to make a difference, and I like to think I have.”

The decision to give back to Beta Sig has been especially easy, though, since the active members have continually stood out as being a group of great, upstanding young men. Beta Sigs have raised a lot of money for worthwhile charities such as the Sy Barash Regatta some years ago to fight cancer. Jeff Jubelirer was chairman of the afore mentioned fraternity event his senior year. Now the fraternity Brothers raise money for Autism Speaks. Beta Sigma Beta has been the recipient of praise for its charitable work, which Jubelirer says all Beta Sigs past and present can be proud of.

“Beta Sigma Beta has always been the shining light of the fraternity system, and I’m very proud of that,” says Bob. “I think they have done a remarkable job over many years of surviving and making a difference on campus. Not only have they stayed away from trouble, but they give back. I’m very proud of those guys.”

Being on the Penn State Board, the issues facing the fraternity system always hit especially close to home for Bob. But he is steadfastly confident in Beta Sig’s ability to overcome any hardships.

“In spite of the horrible tragedy that happened at the Beta house, I’m very enthusiastic about Beta Sigma Beta,” he says. “For our chapter to survive, they’ve got to continue getting better—to continue to do the good things they do with charities, and the type of people that they ask to pledge, and continue to keep the fraternity on a high level. And I have every confidence that they’re going to do this.”

Currently, much of Bob’s focus is on his campaign for reelection, as well as the book that he’ll be publishing soon. But a few weeks ago, his 18-year-old grandson called to tell him some even better news.

“He called me and told me that he’s going to Penn State,” Bob says. “I know he’s going to look around at fraternities, as he did schools. I don’t push him, but I really hope that my grandson will be the next generation of the Beta Sig fraternity.”

With all the fond Beta Sig tales that Bob’s grandson has surely heard not only from him, but from the rest of the family, it’s safe to say that Beta Sig just might have the advantage there.