Over 108 years ago, the first Acacia pledges stood before the active chapter in Ann Arbor, Michigan as candidates for initiation. We can only imagine the scene that day as R. W. Bunting and C.C. Van Valkenburgh were challenged to address the brothers before them, but we can probably guess they weren’t thinking about how many men would come after them.
Who could predict that over a century later, Acacia Fraternity would call its 50,000th candidate, Brother? As difficult as it may have been to conceive then, it’s arguably even harder to believe today. Think about this -- Acacia has endured two World Wars, the Great Depression and periods of acute economic uncertainty, and incredible social transformation at home and abroad. We’ve witnessed the invention of the radio, television, and Internet, and watched mankind walk on the moon.
Today, the challenges and opportunities before us are as great as ever. An increasingly populated and globalized world make our lives and those of future generations unique to any that have preceded us. How will we, as Acacians, rise to the challenge of this 21st century and beyond? How will our guiding principle of Human Service lead us in giving light to our fellow man? What hand will Acacians play in shaping the future of technology? The humanities?
When the University of Central Oklahoma Chapter greeted candidate A. Connor Johnson as “Brother” for the first time on October 27, 2012, it marked a proud milestone for our fraternity -- 50,000 men have been initiated as Acacia brothers. 50,000 men whose unique stories combine to tell the Acacia story, whose individual and collective actions as brothers have sustained our fraternity for generations.
Only time will tell what lies ahead for Acacia and the changing world around us, but we can be sure -- from Bunting and Van Valkenburgh to Jonhson -- that Acacians will be there taking an active part.
Cheers to Acacia!
If you believe in Acacia’s mission of “Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders,” please consider making a donation to the Acacia Fraternity Foundation. The leadership programming and support we provide to our undergraduate members makes a difference. Your contribution makes it possible.
Milestone initiations in Acacia history:
Initiate #1 James Monroe Cooper, Michigan #1 (5/12/1904)
Initiate #47 Carl O. Pingry, Kansas #17 (11/14/1904)
Initiate #345 Frederic L. Eribacher, Illinois #45 (11/3/1906)
Initiate #10,000 Randall Jacobs, Penn State #279 (2/24/35)
Initiate #20,000 James W. Wallace, Miami of Ohio #149 (6/6/55)
Initiate #30,000 Paul A. Raab, Oregon State #540 (1/19/74)
Initiate #40,000 W.R. Andrew Callard, Purdue #1620 (3/21/93)
Initiate #50,000 A. Connor Johnson, Central Oklahoma #744 (10/27/12)