Greater Beneficial Union
President: John Allman
Our society, the Greater Beneficial Union (GBU) was founded as an ethnic German fraternal organization on April 13, 1892 by German immigrants who had settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Originally named the Deutscher Unterstützungs-Bund or German Beneficial Union, the purpose of the society was to provide financial security, fraternalism and social activities to its members.
GBU’s Home Office is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is supported by Districts throughout the country. GBU’s overall membership is in excess of 27,000 and owns assets of $300 million. Our membership even extends to members back home in Germany.
GBU provides a wide variety of life insurance plans, retirement savings, annuities and fraternal benefits to our members. In 2002 GBU awarded $43,750 in college scholarships to 74 deserving members through its 40 year old scholarship program.
German Language is an important facet of the Greater Beneficial Union. Each year GBU sponsors two youth and two adult members to attend the Concordia Language Villages intensive German language and culture seminars. Concordia gives a unique “hands-on” experience to many aspects of German cultural life including German traditions, language and foods. Available to all GBU members is an interactive computer software program that entertainingly teaches the German language.
Being a fraternal organization, volunteerism is an important part of GBU. Our current national project is raising funds for and building a GBU Habitat for Humanity house in Pittsburgh.
Locally, GBU Rochester District 790 was chartered on March 12, 1941. We currently have approximately 70 members in our District and meet on a monthly basis. Our social activities include picnics, museum visits, bingo, card playing parties, and dinners. Community involvement is very important to our Rochester members. For over 111 years now GBU members have been dedicated to supporting and participating in German based events, festivals and organizations.