|Founded||May 12, 1904
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
– “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.|
|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.
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.
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.
The Founders of Acacia fraternity were:
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.
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.
The main symbol and representation of Acacia occurs within a 3-4-5 (base–altitude–hypotenuse) 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.
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.
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”.
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.
The Acacia Fraternity Foundation (AFF), 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.
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).
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.