Acacia Serves 365 - Part 2

Illinois State Chapter Tabled to Collect Toys for Acacia Claus

To continue highlighting the philanthropic work of our undergraduate chapters, we would like to highlight a philanthropy that so many of our groups take part in each year— Acacia Claus. Now a consistent part of Acacia programming for over thirteen years, we couldn’t be more proud of how our brothers have taken and ran with this event since its inception in 2004.

Missouri Chapter Serves Shriners' Hospital for Children

Since then, many of our Chapters and Colonies continue to raise anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to thousands, for the annual winter philanthropy. Most of the time, this just includes monetary donations and not the physical toys, books, clothes, canned goods and other items that help fill the donation bins each year. In fact, we know that in just monetary donations alone our Illinois State and Missouri chapters raised close to $2,000 and $3,500 respectively. On top of these, we know of twelve other groups that put on successful events this past semester: Arizona State, Illinois Wesleyan, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas State, Millersville, Nebraska, Texas, Trine, Vermont, Washington State, and Wisconsin.

Texas Chapter Serves Shriners' Hospital for Children

For many of our chapters, a primary beneficiary of Acacia Claus and other philanthropies is consistently Shriners Hospitals for Children. In fact, Missouri, Illinois State and Texas have chosen Shriners as their annual beneficiary. The non-profit hospital, fully funded by the help of Shriners around the world, deals with orthopedic and burn cases from children as young as infants to as old as seventeen or eighteen. We are thrilled to see many of our chapters consistently support this organization that we connect with at our most basic masonic values and principles.

Wisconsin Chapter Served by Holding a Food Drive

However, it’s not always about the toys. Our Indiana and Wisconsin Chapters ran food drives for their Acacia Claus, raising several hundred non-perishable items each. The Wisconsin Chapter (at right) collected over 550lbs. of food for the Second Harvest Food Bank; Indiana Chapter collected over 850lbs of food for their local beneficiary; Vermont Colony raised over (an estimated) $6,000 in clothing for their two-month-long winter clothing drive, which benefits the local ‘Joint Urban Ministry Project.’

Our chapters continue to do a marvelous job of adapting Acacia Claus to their campuses and the needs of their local communities. Stay tuned for more examples of Acacians promoting ‘Human Service’ across North America in the coming weeks.


Millersville Chapter Celebrates A Successful Acacia Claus

Acacia Serves 365 - Part 1

Founders’ Day of Giving has just been announced with the mission of perpetuating our fraternity for future generations. What a fitting time it is to look at the young men to whom your legacy is entrusted. And what better hands to be in?! Our active membership gives their time and effort to local and national causes they believe in. They excel in academics and in student leadership because of the opportunities presented by the numerous funds our Fraternity’s Foundation manages. Over the next few weeks, we will highlight some of the efforts from our undergraduate men around the country.

Brother Jake Nelson shares a "selfie" with his mother Debbie.

A few weeks ago, past Venerable Dean of the Wisconsin chapter, Jake Nelson, found out his mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer. To raise awareness and support for his mother’s treatment, Brother Nelson shaved his head, beard, and even waxed his chest, broadcasting it all on the Chapter’s Facebook page with a heartfelt tribute video. They then used the traffic to direct support to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s campaign, “Be the End of Breast Cancer.” We support the Wisconsin Chapter, Brother Nelson, and most importantly his mother, as they all battle this together. 

Hundreds of guests attend the Minnesota Colony's first philanthropic Masquerade Ball in partnership with the Rotaract Club.

More recently, our University of Minnesota Colony, in conjunction with the White Bear Rotaract Club, held a Masquerade Ball on Saturday, February 18th. The campus-wide event, which will help the Rotaract club in providing scholarships to students who dedicate their time to Human Service, raised over $5,000! We are incredibly proud of this group of young men as they continue to develop their colony and their presence on campus. 

Penn State Brothers and their THON 2017 partners, the women of ΓΦΒ (Gamma Phi Beta).

Finally, there is the Penn State Chapter, who dedicate themselves fiercely to Penn State’s THON every year. The chapter consistently raises hundreds of thousands of dollars alongside their partner sorority Gamma Phi Beta for the 46-hour dance marathon held each spring. Last year the pairing placed third amongst the Greek Groups in donations raised at $165,906. This past weekend, the pairing raised a grand total of $210,849.67 for a fourth-place finish at this year’s event. THON raised over $10 Million in 2017 and it is amazing that our men are consistently ranking towards the top! We are certainly proud of these young men and women in State College, PA.

Thank you for reading part one of Acacia Serves 365. We will be featuring more service and philanthropic endeavors by our undergraduate brothers in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! 


Founders' Day of Giving

In celebration of the 113th Anniversary of our Fraternity, we are excited to introduce a new initiative from the Acacia Fraternity Foundation – our “Founders' Day of Giving,” scheduled for May 12, 2017. The purpose of this day will be to recognize our Fraternity’s achievements, and in celebrating, drive donations to the Foundation.

The Foundation supports the Fraternity’s leadership training, educational endeavors, the educational portions of fraternity house structures, and scholarships to deserving student Acacians. With a completely new generation of leadership occurring every two to three years, these are areas of operations that require development for our undergraduates and their respective chapters. The original fourteen master masons that founded our great fraternity at the University of Michigan in 1904 knew this, which is why we have labeled the day “Founders' Day of Giving” in their collective honor.

Within the Acacia Ritual, you’ll find the following, “An organization is not necessarily good because it is old, but old because it is good.” With 53,000 members and growing we invite you to celebrate all things black and gold.  This will be a day that all Acacians can find meaningful, the anniversary of our founding.

We hope to make this giving day an annual tradition, one day serving as both a reminder of our history and our commitment to the future of our fine organization. Through these programs and your gifts, we will be able to provide a fine fraternal experience for our future brothers for years to come.

For more information regarding Founders' Day of Giving or, please contact the AFF at

Just remember to #Give1904

Illinois Wesleyan Chapter named top donating chapter on campus

Seven actives in the Illinois Wesleyan University chapter have been awarded alumni scholarships of $2,500 each. Over the past four years, the chapter’s alums have presented $42,500 in scholarships to their undergraduate brothers who have financial need.  

The scholarship campaign began in 2012 when a group of brothers from the 1960s created the “ACACIA 915 Scholarship Fund.” The name had special meaning for them.  For several decades 915 North Main was the address of their chapter house that was lost to fire in the early 1980s.  Fortunately, no one was injured because the fire occurred during summer break when the house was unoccupied.

  This year’s ACACIA 915 Scholarship recipients (from left):  Binh Phan, Sean Grady, Connor Simmons, Brian Yager, Nolan Valdivia and Sam Lundquist.  Timur Chen is not pictured because he is on a study trip abroad.

This year’s ACACIA 915 Scholarship recipients (from left):  Binh Phan, Sean Grady, Connor Simmons, Brian Yager, Nolan Valdivia and Sam Lundquist.  Timur Chen is not pictured because he is on a study trip abroad.

The group’s goal was to create a single $2,500 scholarship to honor their years as undergraduates. But within 10 weeks, $10,000 was pledged. Two scholarships were awarded in 2013, and three more in 2014. The next year the group opened the scholarship to contributions from chapter alums of all decades. The expanded fund supported five scholarships in 2015 and now seven this year.

IWU annually publishes rankings of alumni groups in scholarship support. This year ACACIA moved into first place as the most generous. The participation rate among independent (non-Greek alumni) was 19%. Among fraternity and sorority alums, the average participation was 25%.  Among ACACIA alums, participation was 32%.