The End of an Era

Michael Bruce '08 was elected Treasurer of the NYSCDA of Zeta Psi on April 30, 2011. Mike had been serving as an Assistant Treasurer for the prior 15 months. Mike and Jim Ljunglin ’57, the retiring Treasurer, agreed that learning by doing was the best way to achieve a very desirable 51-year downward generational leap in this key office. Accordingly, Mike has mostly run the job since January 2010 with Jim as advisor. Because of the coming of bursar billing (in which the house states its Actives and Elders fees to RPI, RPI states them on its invoices to parents, collects the money and deposits the Zeta Psi share in NYSCDA’s bank account), the Elder Treasurer’s job has drawn much closer to the Gamma’s. Mike and Justin Persin ’11, the Gamma, have improved their methods of communication and reporting for greater harmony and efficiency in both Elder and Active financial matters. The Elder Treasurer’s job is thus closer to house operations than ever in the past.

Since Jim had kept the books on a spreadsheet (Lotus 123 if you can believe it), Mike’s taking over made the time ripe to begin using QuickBooks, a widely understood accounting package which will aid further eventual succession. QuickBooks has saved a lot of effort in reporting to the Board. It also assists in preparing the annual IRS filing (Form 990). Mike has led all these tasks.

Jay Webb ’61 continues to hold and Jim has taken on the title of Assistant Treasurer. Jay handles the important contracts paperwork with the Actives. Jim advises Mike on precedent.

Mike is only the fourth treasurer in NYSCDA history. Henry Elliot, Eta ’45, held the job for 38 years from 1951 to 1989. David Lewson ’86 took over for 14 years till 2003, when Jim succeeded him for these last eight years. Henry’s long service and unwavering dedication remain the inspiration for this responsible office. Perseverance and optimism were perhaps more important than bookkeeping. Henry was a moral force in Zeta Psi. The modern Treasurer needs this stature and has as well to care about the details, the integrity of the accounts, and be able to state the financial situation concisely and understandably to the board and the other officers. The board recognizes this capability in Mike.

(thanks to Jim Ljunglin '57 for the article)