Acacia ( once a Masonic club only )

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Acacia Fraternity
Founded May 12, 1904; 111 years ago
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Type Social
Scope United States
– “Human Service”
Colors Black and Old Gold
Symbol 3-4-5 right triangle of the first quadrant
Flower Sprig of Acacia in bloom
Chapters 32 in USA, 1 in Canada, 3colonies
Principles Scholarship, Leadership, Brotherhood, Philanthropy.[1]
Headquarters 8777 Purdue Road, Suite 225
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Acacia Fraternity (Ακακία) is a social fraternity founded at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The fraternity has 33 active chapters and 3 colonies throughout Canada and the United States. Membership was originally restricted to those who had taken the Masonic obligations, but in 1988, the fraternity became international and removed its masonic restrictions.

General history[edit]

The founding members of the Acacia fraternity.

Acacia Fraternity was founded on May 12, 1904, by a group of 14 Freemasonsattending the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. From the time of its founding members of other fraternities were eligible for membership in Acacia. However, the Fraternity’s rapid growth allowed it to stand on its own as a separate and co-equal fraternity, and in 1919 it dropped the provision that allowed men of other fraternities to join. During the first two decades of the 20th Century, Acacia was evolving from its roots as a successful Masonic club into the more standardized model of the other collegiate fraternities of the day. While maintaining its history and the symbolism derived from the Masonic fraternity, because of what Baird’s cites (pIII-1) as a decline in the number of student Masons in undergraduate schools, Acacia opted in 1931 to relax the requirement that members must be Masons, removing the provision entirely in 1933.[2][3]

Early chapters were named alphabetically using Hebrew letters; these first 22 chapters at their option continue to use their historical designations today, while younger chapters are named after the institution at which they are located.[2]

The fraternity became International in 1988 at the 45th Conclave with the petitioning of two Canadian chapters the University of Western Ontario Chapter and the Carleton University Chapter.[3][2]


The Founders of Acacia fraternity were:

  • James M. Cooper,
  • Benjamin E. DeRoy,
  • Edward E. Gallup,
  • J. Waldo Hawkins,
  • Clarence G. Hill,
  • Harvey J. Howard,
  • George A. Malcolm,
  • Ernest R. Ringo,
  • William J. Marshall,
  • Harlan P. Rowe,
  • Ralph B. Scatterway,
  • Charles A. Sink,
  • Harvey B. Washburn,
  • William S. Wheeler,

Acacia is the only general fraternity to be founded at Michigan.


The Sprig of Acacia is the 13th simple symbol of the Masonic Brotherhood, and it is extended to the sons of Masons in the main organization when a fellow mason leaves time. According to tradition, the symbol promotes the obligation that the Masons must provide for the widow and children of their former colleagues and confidants. The junior Acacia fraternity takes upon some of this characteristic.[3]

The Acacia flag was adopted in 1950. It consists of a vertical triband of gold-black-gold with the fraternity arms on the center (or on a fess cotised sable three right triangles of the field) and the name in gold Old English lettering in an arc at the top.[3][4]

The main symbol and representation of Acacia occurs within a 3-4-5 (basealtitudehypotenuse) right triangle of the first quadrant. This triangle holds very special significance to the fraternity and its members, symbolizing the imperfect nature of man as well as the struggle to approach an ideal, which symbolically is occasionally represented as a circle. Unless specified otherwise, whenever a triangle is mentioned in this article, a 3-4-5 right triangle of the first quadrant is what is meant.[3]

The present Acacia badge is a right triangle of the first quadrant whose sides are of the proportions 3, 4, 5, with the shortest side being the base. The sides are set with twelve pearls—three on the base, four on the altitude, and five on the hypotenuse. The corners are set with garnets. Within the triangle are three small right triangles of the same proportion, outlined in gold on a black enamel background. The badge of Acacia as it appears today was adopted at the second Grand Council of Acacia, which was held on December 6, 1913.[3][2]

The crest of Acacia depicts a three taper candelabrum surrounded by a wreath of Acacia. Below the candelabrum is a shield of old gold with two bands of black surrounding a thicker band of black. In this thicker band of black there reside three 3-4-5 right triangles. Below the shield is a blue ribbon holding the motto of the fraternity in Greek:ΩΦΕΛΟΥΝΤΕΣ ΑΝΘΡΩΠΟΥΣ, which means “Human Service” or “In Service of Humanity”.[3]

International Operations[edit]

Acacia Fraternity’s International Council (Acacia website) serves as the organization’s supreme executive and judicial body. It is composed of eight officers: six alumni and two undergraduates. Alumni officers’ terms run four years, while undergraduate counselors’ terms are two years in length.[2]

The Acacia Fraternity Foundation (AFF)[1], founded in 1989, is Acacia Fraternity’s non-profit educational foundation. A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, the AFF exists to provide scholarships to student Acacians and to support the worthy educational and leadership activities of the fraternity.[3]

International Events[edit]

In even numbered years, a selected chapter of The Acacia Fraternity hosts the biennial Conclave, forming the legislative body of the Fraternity. Each chapter in good standing is allowed two votes (usually the Venerable Dean and Chapter Advisor). In odd numbered years, Acacia’s Indiana Chapter hosts the Acacia Leadership Academy (ALA).[3]

Chapter Operations[edit]

The leadership of each chapter of Acacia is composed of at least five major officers: the Venerable Dean, Senior Dean, Junior Dean, Treasurer, and Secretary. Most chapters also include in some capacity a Director of Service and Philanthropy, Director(s) of Recruitment, and Risk Manager. The Venerable Dean is often referred to out of the house as the president of the chapter and performs such duties as running meetings and overseeing general house operations. The Senior Dean acts as the vice president of the chapter, stepping in for the Venerable Dean in his absence. In most cases, the Senior Dean is also the pledge educator. The Junior Dean is in charge of all socials including brotherhood events, formals, and mixers. The other two officers perform such functions as are normal for their positions. Some chapters assign additional responsibilities to various officers, so there may be slight variations from chapter to chapter.

List of Acacia brothers

The list of Acacia brothers includes initiated and honorary members of Acacia.

Notable alumni[edit]

Politics and government[edit]


  • Dee Andros, Oklahoma 1948 – Head football coach and athletic director, Oregon State
  • Gene Conley, Washington State 1949 – Professional Baseball Player and Basketball Player
  • Roger Nelson, Oklahoma 1951 – Canadian Football Hall of Fame
  • Richard ‘Dick’ Farley, Indiana 1951 – Star IU Basketball player for the 1953 National Championship team, NBA player
  • David ‘Wes’ Santee, Kansas 1952 – Olympic runner
  • Clive A. Follmer, Illinois 1953 – 1953 Big 10 Athlete of the Year, professional baseball player
  • Frank Allen[disambiguation needed] Indiana 1956 – Former IU Athletic Director
  • Paul Coward, Purdue 1956 – All-America soccer player
  • Ron Fairly, USC 1957 – Professional baseball player and broadcaster
  • Tony Crosby Texas 1963 – Star Kicker/Halfback for UT’s 1963 National Championship football team
  • Pat Jones Oklahoma State – Head Football Coach at Oklahoma State, Assistant Coach of Miami Dolphins
  • Gary Patterson Kansas State 1980 – Head Football Coach, TCU (Current)


  • Herbert A. Kern, Minnesota 1914 – Founder Chicago Chemical Company, later changed to Nalco
  • Lewis H Wentz, Oklahoma 1927 – Oil businessman
  • J. Dennis Bassett, Kansas State 1956 – President, Worldwide Poultry/ Cargill Co.
  • Robert Pfahl, Cornell 1958 – VP of iNEML, recipient of Electronic Goes Green Award
  • Edgar H. Grubb, Penn State 1959 – Executive VP and CFO, Transamerica Corp.
  • Leonard ‘Lee’ Kearney, Oregon State 1959 – Senior Executive, Peter Kiewit Sons’ Construction
  • Robert Forney, Indiana 1960 – Former President, Chicago Stock Exchange; current President & CEO, the Global Foodbanking Network
  • David Baum, Indiana 1961 – President, SSI Technologies Inc.
  • Dennis Chookaszian, Northwestern 1962 – Chairman & CEO, CNA Insurance Companies, Professor, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Kriss Cloninger III, Texas 1966 – President & CEO, Aflac
  • John F. Hoffner, Purdue 1966 – Executive VP and CFO, Jack in the Box Inc.
  • Edward S. Knight, Texas 1971 – Executive VP & General Counsel, NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc.
  • William H Strong, Purdue 1971 – Vice Chairman, Morgan Stanley
  • Andy Westlund, Oregon State 1971 – VP of Global Logistics,
  • Ronald Kase, Purdue 1978 – Venture capitalist, NEA
  • Leonard Q. Zapp, Rensselaer 1978 – Pioneer in industrial applications of di-hydrogen monoxide.
  • David A. Evans, Rensselaer 1979 – Inventor of high capacity tantalum capacitor. President of Evans Capacitor Company
  • William D. Stock, Rensselaer 1983 – Founder and CEO of Power Stop, L.L.C.
  • Erik B. Pedersen, Minnesota 1984 – Private Businessman; Target Corporation, U.S. Bank.
  • Cameron Herold, Carleton 1988 – Private Businessman; Former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?; Author & Entrepreneurial Coach [1]

Higher education[edit]

  • Roscoe Pound, Nebraska 1905, Harvard 1913 – Educator, Bushnell Hall at KSU dedicated in his name
  • Albert B Storms, Iowa State 1909 – President, Iowa State University
  • Walter Williams, Missouri 1909 – President, University of Missouri; founder of Missouri School of Journalism
  • Arthur Simeon Watts, Ohio State 1911 – Educator, Watts Hall dedicated in his name at Ohio State
  • Leland David Bushnell, Kansas State 1913 – Educator, Bushnell Hall at KSU dedicated in his name
  • Audrey A. Potter, Kansas State 1920 – Educator in field of engineering, buildings dedicated in his name at Purdue and Purdue-Calumet
  • Ernest H. Hahne, Nebraska 1921 – Past President of Miami University (Ohio), Hahne Hall dedicated in his name
  • Bland L. Stradley, Ohio State 1921 – Educator, Stradley Hall is dedicated to his name at Ohio State
  • Raymond A. Pearson, Iowa State 1924 – President, Iowa State University
  • Stratton D Brooks, Missouri 1925 – President of University of Oklahoma (1912) and University of Missouri (1923)
  • Samuel Justus McKinley, Harvard 1928 – Past President of Emerson College, Boston
  • Burton W. Gorman, Indiana 1930 – Educator, Burton W Gorman Teaching Award is dedicated in his name
  • William L. Henning, Wisconsin 1931 – Educator, Henning Building dedicated in his name at Penn State
  • Charles E. MacQuigg, Cornell 1935 – Educator, MacQuigg Hall dedicated in his name at Ohio State
  • Robert E. Vivian, USC 1947 – Educator, Vivian Hall dedicated in his name at USC
  • Claude R. Sowle, Northwestern 1947 – Past President of Ohio University
  • L. Dennis Smith, Indiana 1956 – President Emeritus, University of Nebraska
  • Kenneth L. Schwab, Purdue 1966 – President, Centenary College


Arts and entertainment[edit]

Miscellaneous or multiple[edit]

List of Acacia chapters

This is a list of the chapters of Acacia Fraternity, in order of chartering.[1]


No. School Chapter Original Hebrew Name
(if prior to 1913)
Chartered Dates Active Status
1 University of Michigan Michigan Aleph May 12, 1904 1904-1991 Founding chapter;
Recolonizing 2012
2 Stanford University Stanford Beth November 12, 1904 1904-1916 Inactive
3 University of Kansas Kansas Gimel November 14, 1904 1904-1992 Inactive
4 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Nebraska Daleth February 14, 1905 1905–present Oldest continuously active chapter
5 University of California-Berkeley California He April 15, 1905 1905–present Active
6 Ohio State University Ohio State Waw March 24, 1906 1906–present Active
7 Dartmouth College Dartmouth Zayin March 31, 1906 1906-1908 Inactive
8 Harvard University Harvard Teth April 13, 1906 1906-1934 Inactive
9 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Illinois Heth April 28, 1906 1906–present Active
10 University of Pennsylvania Franklin Yodh May 3, 1906 1906-?; April 15, 1989-? Inactive
11 University of Minnesota Minnesota Kaph November 12, 1904 1904-1993 Inactive[2]
12 University of Wisconsin–Madison Wisconsin Lamedth May 22, 1906 1906–present Active
13 University of Missouri Missouri Mem May 17, 1907 1907-?; April 9, 2005 – present Active
14 Cornell University Cornell Nun May 30, 1907 1907–present Active
15 Purdue University Purdue Samehk October 11, 1907 1907–present Active
16 Chicago University Chicago Ayin December 5, 1908 1908-1933 Inactive
17 Yale University Yale Pe January 15, 1909 1908-1928 Inactive
18 Columbia University Columbia Tsadhe March 20, 1909 1909-1933 Inactive
19 Iowa State University Iowa State Koph March 20, 1909 1909-1988; October 20, 2001–present Active
20 University of Iowa Iowa Resh April 17, 1909 1909-? Recolonizing
21 Pennsylvania State University Penn State Shin June 9, 1909 1909–present Active
22 University of Oregon Oregon Tav June 9, 1909 1909-1913 Inactive
23 University of Washington Washington Aleph-Aleph February 5, 1911 1911-1990; 2014-present Active
24 Northwestern University Northwestern Aleph-Beth March 5, 1910 1910-1990 Inactive
25 University of Colorado Colorado Aleph-Gimel January 27, 1911 1911-?; May 5, 1990-?; August 7, 2010 – Present Active
26 Syracuse University Syracuse Aleph-Daleth June 10, 1911 1911-?; August 12, 2006-present Active
27 Kansas State University Kansas State Aleph-He December 6, 1913 1913–present Active
28 University of Texas at Austin Texas April 6, 1916 1916-1989; May 6, 2003-present Active
29 University of Oklahoma Oklahoma May 1, 1920 1920-1971 Inactive
30 Indiana University Indiana May 22, 1920 1920-2012 Recolonizing
31 George Washington University George Washington April 2, 1923 1923-1960 Inactive
32 University of North Carolina North Carolina April 4, 1923 1923-1932 Inactive
33 Oklahoma State University Oklahoma State May 12, 1923 1923-1989 Inactive
34 Carnegie Mellon University Carnegie Tech May 12, 1923 1923-1933 Inactive
35 Oregon State University Oregon State April 19, 1924 1924–present Active
36 University of Denver Denver May 12, 1925 1925-1958 Inactive
37 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati May 12, 1929 1929-1971 Inactive
38 Washington State University Washington State December 7, 1935 1935-1995; 2008-Present Active
39 University of Southern California Southern California March 8, 1947 1947-1961 Inactive
40 University of Wyoming Wyoming April 19, 1947 1947-? Inactive
41 UCLA UCLA November 27, 1948 1948-1989 Inactive
42 Ohio University Ohio February 13, 1949 1949–present Active
43 Miami University Miami of Ohio May 22, 1949 1949–present Active
44 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Rensselaer April 10, 1949 1949–present Active
45 University of New Hampshire New Hampshire December 3, 1949 1949-?; October 9, 1982-? Inactive
46 Colorado State University Colorado State April 30, 1950 1950-1971 Inactive
47 University of Evansville Evansville May 14, 1950 1950-1958 Inactive
48 University of Vermont Vermont December 9, 1950 1950-1995 Recolonizing
49 University of Arizona Arizona December 17, 1950 1950-1971 Inactive
50 University of Arkansas Arkansas April 14, 1951 1951-1974 Inactive
51 Long Beach State University Long Beach September 10, 1955 1955-1994 Inactive
52 Louisiana State University Louisiana State February 11, 1956 1956–2015 Inactive
53 University of Northern Colorado Northern Colorado March 18, 1956 1956-1974 Inactive
54 Illinois Wesleyan University Illinois Wesleyan November 9, 1957 1957-88; May 4, 1991 – present Active
55 University of Central Missouri Central Missouri State December 8, 1957 1957-1971 Inactive
56 Missouri University of Science and Technology Missouri School of Mines November 16, 1958 1958-? Inactive
57 Mississippi State University Mississippi State February 18, 1961 1961-1980 Inactive
58 University of Southern Mississippi Luther A. Smith March 5, 1961 1961-1968 Inactive
59 University of Memphis Memphis State April 28, 1962 1962-1971 Inactive
60 Boston University Boston University May 5, 1962 1962-1971 Inactive
61 University of Central Oklahoma Central Oklahoma April 25, 1964 1964–present Active
62 Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Shippensburg April 17, 1966 1966-? Inactive
63 San Jose State University San Jose April 24, 1966 1966-1971 Inactive
64 University of Alabama Alabama May 1, 1966 1966-1970 Inactive
65 University of Georgia Georgia May 15, 1966 1966-1989 Inactive
66 University of Tennessee Tennessee November 20, 1966 1966-1993 Inactive
67 Trine University Trine January 29, 1967 1967-1979, September 28, 2013–present Active
68 University of Houston Houston February 23, 1969 1969-1971 Inactive
69 University of Louisiana at Monroe Northeast Louisiana April 20, 1969 1969-1981 Inactive
70 Texas A&M University–Commerce East Texas State May 29, 1970 1970-1976 Inactive
71 Emporia State University Kansas State Teachers College May 29, 1970 1970-1976 Inactive
72 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney State College April 9, 1972 1972-1974 Inactive
73 Illinois State University Normal April 16, 1972 1972-1978, 2014-Present Active
74 Eastern Illinois University Eastern Illinois April 30, 1972 1972-1977 Inactive
75 Northeastern State University Northeastern State April 29, 1973 1973-1989 Inactive
76 University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Pittsburgh/Johnstown December 2, 1973 1973–present Active
77 Upper Iowa University Upper Iowa April 28, 1974 1974-1984 Inactive
78 Stephen F. Austin University Stephen F. Austin April 27, 1975 1975-1984 Inactive
79 University of Nebraska at Omaha Nebraska Omaha January 22, 1977 1977-1979 Inactive
80 St. Cloud State University St. Cloud State March 13, 1977 1977–present Active
81 California State Polytechnic University, Pomona Cal Poly Pomona December 12, 1981 1981-? Inactive
82 University of Western Ontario Western Ontario November 23, 1985 1985-? Inactive
83 California University of Pennsylvania California University of Pennsylvania April 7, 1990 1990–present Active
84 Millersville University of Pennsylvania Millersville April 23, 1988 1988–present Active
85 Carleton University Carleton February 11, 1989 1989–present Active
86 University of Central Florida Central Florida March 26, 1994 1994-? Inactive
87 Johns Hopkins University Johns Hopkins March 9, 1994 1994-1997 Inactive
88 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg April 24, 1998 1998–present Active
89 Indiana University of Pennsylvania Indiana University of Pennsylvania April 12, 1996 1996–present Active
90 Morningside College Morningside April 24, 1997 1997–present Active
91 Penn State Altoona Penn State/Altoona April 25, 1998 1998–? Inactive
92 East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania East Stroudsburg May 4, 1997[3] 1997-? Inactive
93 Northwestern Oklahoma State University Northwestern Oklahoma State November 13, 2004 2004–? Inactive
94 Louisiana Tech University Louisiana Tech August 5, 2010 2010–2014 Inactive
95 Texas Tech University Texas Tech September 2010 2010–2014 Inactive