Jerry Nelson

UCLA '48

Jerry has been a general contractor with construction projects in Michigan, California, Arizona and Mexico. He retired as President and founder of Pinnacle Peak Land Company and Pinnacle Paradise, Inc. of Scottsdale, Arizona. Through these entities and affiliates, since 1971, he developed Pinnacle Peak Village, Pinnacle Peak Country Club and Shopping Plaza, Troon Village and Troon Golf and Country Club, Troon North and Troon North Golf Course. Other developments were also established in Prescott, Arizona and Cabo San Lucas, BCS, Mexico.

As an entrepreneur, Jerry has funded the creation and startup of numerous companies, including Simulnet, Video Electronics, Ticketmaster, Antenna Technology Corporation, Technology Control Services, and Troon Golf Management. He was appointed by Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt to the Urban Lands Advisory Commission and, in 1997, was inducted into Scottsdale’s “History Maker Hall of Fame.” He and his late wife, Florence, were very active in philanthropy in Phoenix and nationally, including Arizona State University, the Mayo Clinic - Scottsdale, the University of Arizona, and the U.S. Olympics.

Jerry has been a Foundation Trustee since 1989 and has been the catalyst behind chapter designated fundraising including the establishment of the Chapter Scholarship Fund program, promoting the Foundation as the “community foundation” for Phi Psi’s almost 100 chapters, and encouraging the promotion of grants and reserves for safe and competitive chapter housing. At the 2000 Grand Arch Council, Phi Kappa Psi recognized Jerry’s outstanding achievement as a volunteer and philanthropist with the National Leadership Award. In 2004, Jerry was selected by the North American Interfraternity Conference Foundation, now known as the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence, as Philanthropist of the Year.

On September 25, 2009, Jerry’s wife, Florence, passed away. Her dedication to Phi Psi began as soon as their son J.P. pledged the Cal Epsilon Chapter at UCLA in 1993. Florence is credited with bringing Jerry back to Phi Psi. For nearly two decades, they welcomed thousands of Phi Psis to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for the American Leadership Academy, which she and Jerry established.

Much like her passion for educating children, Florence took pride in transitioning young men into adulthood by utilizing the principles and lessons of the Fraternity. She was also a proponent of the arts, sciences and countless other causes and her generosity will be remembered and honored.

Jerry resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, and travels the country to visit his three sons, Nic, Tom (Sigma Chi) and J.P. (UCLA ‘94) as well as Phi Psi Chapters.