How Acacia Fraternity Came by Its Name
When the Founding Fathers of Acacia came together and decided to form a fraternity based on Masonic principles in 1904, they also decided that the name of this fraternity should reflect those principles.
This is why the group decided against Greek letters. Instead, they came up with a name that was symbolic for Masonry but also for fraternity. The name Acacia was settled on for its tradition and significance — the evergreen that symbolized immortality was a perfect fit for what the original Founders had in mind.
However, controversy has been associated with the name. For a time, it was thought Acacia had taken its name from the University of Minnesota. Indeed, Minnesota had an Acacia Club in 1904, and it was also associated with Masonry. But Minnesota never challenged Michigan over this point. The name is the only similarity between the two organizations, and the Minnesota club itself became the 11th chapter of Acacia Fraternity on May 22, 1906, thereby ending any questions.
Founder Charles A. Sink, in an interview with The Triad, said that many organizations adopted the name Acacia, including the Minnesota club and a lodge. Clearly, the symbolism of Acacia is meaningful to many.
Perhaps surprisingly, our fraternity's name has not always been popular with all Acacians. During the 1930s, around the same time that Masonic requirements were dropped from Acacia, many wanted to change the fraternity to a Greek-letter organization. Today Acacia remains the only Greek fraternity to use a Greek word rather than Greek letters for its name. The Founders wanted Acacia to stand for something greater — and that's just what Acacia has done.