Growing up in Austin and being associated with the University of Texas, and frequently visiting campus, Brother Cotner had a firsthand view of Fraternity life and Chapter Houses. He was invited and attended parties while in Jr. High School through his Junior year of High School with the Fraternities’ hopes of extending a future bid to him. At that time his father, a UT Professor and Chairman of the Discipline Committee, forbade him attending Fraternity parties, as most the disciplinary actions were due to Fraternity problems. While he obliged his parents’ request Fraternities had made their mark on Robert. “I was always amazed at the size of the Fraternity Houses and the “well dressed” Fraternity men out in public. “
Several year later Cotner transferred to Texas State (then Southwest Texas), was enjoying his time going to school and soon found himself invited to fraternity parties. He quickly realized who were the leaders and who were “just there”.
“When I finally decided to go thru Rush I received bids from all six Fraternities and it was a no brainer that I wanted to pledge the best Fraternity, the biggest house and be part of an organization that mirrored the better Fraternities in Austin. I had a great time during pledgeship and since I was a little older, I could basically say “that is stupid” to a request and I would get up and walk away.”
He also has fond memories of the social scene, where the campus had three women for every man.
Cotner graduated with a BBA in 1972, and is President of Robert Cotner Electric, Inc.
Robert has been heavily active in the San Marcos community. He is Past President of the San Marcos Electric Board, Co-Chairman of Save our Chapel, City Cemetary, and he served as Chairman of the City Cemetary Board from 2002-2014. In 2001 he was awarded “Outstanding Citizen of the City of San Marcos” and in 2009 was presented with the Key to the City.
He has won several more awards, including being honored with the 2006 Volunteer of the Year for Heritage Association of San Marcos, and has served or continues to serve on numerous boards. He’s been involved as a Member of the Board of Directors of Sights & Sounds of Christmas since 1986 and has served as Chairman.
He has remained active with Texas State University – San Marcos. In 2004 he was President of the Texas State Alumni Association and served two terms on the Texas State Foundation Board. In 2007 he received the Key of Excellence.
Despite all he does for the Texas State University and the San Marcos community, Brother Cotner still finds time to support Zeta-Theta and Pike. He has held the position of Chapter Advisor from 1972 until 1978. He served as President of the Zeta-Theta Alumni Association from 1974 through 1978. He served as a member of the Housing Corporation for more than 20 years, from 1977 through 2011. He served as Lt. Governor for Pi Kappa Alpha of Texas, was this year’s Julian Edward Woods Civic Duty Award recipient and the Alumnus of the Year award is named after him.
“Upon graduation I became the Chapter Advisor and after a very lengthy conversation with Lee Mitchell, the President of the Housing Corporation, I quickly understood the complexity of running this Chapter. I was very fortunate to have Lee and Jerry Moore help me grow into a leadership role as an Alumni.
“Over the course of the last 44 years I have had the privileged opportunity to make everlasting friends and to help the new members of the Fraternity fulfill their potential. I was fortunate to be elected to all these different offices that I held in the Fraternity both as an undergraduate and a graduate. Therefore, Zeta Theta has been an indelible impact on my life.”