From the Venerable Dean
The active chapter is back in Berkeley and ready to go to work in Spring 2011. After a visit from Keith Bushey, Assistant Executive Director and Ben Monson, Leadership Consultant, from Acacia Fraternity Headquarters, and a week full of workshops, reflection, and goal setting with the chapter, the brothers are motivated and eager to make our chapter the best it can be this semester. A few goals in particular we have set for ourselves for this semester and the upcoming year include the following:
1) Grow the house to 30 active members a year from today. We are currently at 19 with several graduating seniors, but with a strong seven man spring 2011 pledge class, a very young house, and the implementation of a scholarship recruitment program, we feel 30 is an attainable number a year from today and have our sights set on achieving this goal.
2) Raise the house GPA to above the 3.28 all Greek average. We saw marked improvement in our upward trending house GPA this past semester, jumping from a 3.00 to a 3.10, with a new member GPA of 3.40 that ranked ninth out of all fraternities. We are encouraging an atmosphere conducive to studying and implementing a reward system to recognize high scholastic achievement to foster an ambition in the house to reach our goal. In addition, we have high hopes for our new scholarship recruitment program to attract young men who will promote our upward trending house GPA in the future.
3) Improve alumni relations. We are taking steps to achieve this goal by hosting a BBQ and poker tournament at the Berkeley Chapter house on Saturday, April 2, the day of the men’s Final Four—one weekend before our annual alumni banquet to be held on Saturday, April 9. Additionally, we have started an active vs. alumni pick-up basketball game in San Francisco that we hope to grow into a regular occurrence. Our goal is to put on at least alumni event per semester in addition to the banquet, Gordon Biersch, and Cal football Game-days to improve relations.
With a whole host of young, ambitious new officers looking to leave their mark, the Cal Chapter is climbing higher in 2011, and we hope you all will come along for the ride and be a part of it.
If you have any questions, or would like to find out more about the happenings at Acacia, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you this year!
Zack Morris, Venerable Dean, #1060
Upcoming Alumni Events
As most of you know, the spring semester is a time we all anticipate as we host our annual Alumni Banquet. The brothers of the Acacia California chapter will be hosting the Alumni Banquet at the chapter house on Saturday April 9, 2011, with dinner to be served at 7:00 pm. Please make plans to join us for a great night of brotherhood! Please RSVP to Daniel Kongdet, Alumni Chair, at email@example.com if you are able to attend.
We will also be hosting an alumni event on Saturday April 2, 2011 at 6:00 pm at the chapter house for the Final Four tournament. We will also have a BBQ for the occasion followed by a poker tournament after the game.
For further information or questions, please feel free to contact me. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Daniel Kongdet, Alumni Chair, #1068
House Improvements Continue
As the current House Manager, it is my pleasure to give you a status update on a few of the home improvement projects at the California Acacia chapter house, including one the largest projects started in years. Once elected as house manager last semester I decided to start the project of building a new roof deck, despite some financial restraints. Our active chapter took on this endeavor with much encouragement from alumni during game days and Gordon Biersch outings. Our alumni had great times reminiscing about their memories on the roof! The project began with the building of the railing around the perimeter of the roof, which is up to Berkeley City building codes and standards. I believe we far exceeded many expectations, including our own!
The railing is extremely sturdy and reinforced on the outside by angled supports. The base is 6x6 redwood connected by 1.5 inch diameter bolts with 90 degree and 2 foot straight brackets. Our original plan after finishing the railing was to instead of a traditional deck, installing a 1/4 to 5/8 inch rubber padding, reducing the weight and protecting the roof. This idea was changed due to the cost comparison of a wooden deck and the rubber padding, both hovering around $3,000.00-$5,000.00. We then figured a well-built deck would last longer and provide a solution to water drainage. This part of the project was started but unfortunately money issues have yet again halted our progress. The underlying grid and foundation for the deck itself is almost completed with all the necessary pieces ready to set it, but the top layer of the deck itself has yet to be decided and purchased.
Starting this project and being unable to finish has left the chapter very unsettled these last few months. We are anxiously awaiting to get this roof finished and I know many of you must feel the frustration we have, seeing it only half way completed. We have funded this project completely independently as an active chapter along with our current house corporation but now we’re asking for your support. With any donation of at least $100, the chapter will have an engraved recognition plate made with your name, pin, graduation date, or any other additional information that you would like, to be attached to the railing. You support is greatly appreciated and gives you an opportunity to leave your mark in the completion of a new pristine roof deck. Regardless of contribution, we gladly encourage all of you to stop by and check out the roof for yourself. We hope to share many great times with all our brothers, when it is finished.
On a separate note, I am especially proud to report that we have put up our chapter name on the house. Painted in yellow and outlined in black, our awesome new ‘letters’ have brought a revival to morale and pride. Strongly pushed and funded by our Recruitment Chair, Zack Hsi, the letters were crucial in providing a more fraternal atmosphere to the house and our chapter.
Please feel free to stop by and see all the house improvements. We look forward to seeing you!
Ramon Leon, House Manager, #1057
Spring 2011 Recruitment
Spring rush 2011 was phenomenal and surpassed our expectations to say the least. Rush was very time consuming and taxing, and took a toll on all 19 active brothers; however through all of our hard work and dedication we recruited excellent and diverse pledges. By showcasing our unity and close ties, not only did we recruit seven pledges, but seven pledges who have their priorities right, placing brotherhood above all else.
A couple of our most successful events we held this semester were going to an action-packed night at Laser Quest and sponsoring multiple late nights at Acacia during which we enticed potential candidates in with s’mores, bonfires, and great conversation. However, our most unforgettable event had to be traveling to San Francisco and meeting our alumni at Gordon Biersch, where not only did the pledges get to witness our connections with our alumni, but even with such a short encounter make their own lasting ties with the alumni. This brief, yet memorable, encounter with the alumni lifted their spirits as they saw the house not only vibrant with positive energy, but also thriving and going in the right direction.
We hope to follow our fantastic rush with an even better semester, during which we plan on instilling in our new members the important virtue of brotherhood that we were taught during each of our own pledge semesters. Below is a list of all of our pledges with a small bit of information about each of them.
Zack Hsi, Rush Chair, #1062
Kevin Dias – Freshman. Mechanical Engineering, loves long-boarding and playing ultimate Frisbee.
Irving Gomez – Sophomore. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, hobbies include playing basketball, doing tae-kwon-do and watching T.V.
Ben Jackson – Freshman. Art History, proud of his hometown of Hayfork, located just below the California-Oregon border. Enjoys playing music and traveling to interesting places.
David Lewis – Junior (transfer). Environmental Economics and Policy, enjoys playing poker, video games, physical fitness and the great outdoors.
Sean Payne – Junior. Interdisciplinary Studies with emphasis on Organizational Behavior. Enjoys wine in his vineyard in Sonoma, snow and water skiing and running and lifting weights.
Kash Ranka – Freshman. Business, International student from Bombay, India. Enjoys driving, listening to music and traveling.
Robin Sylvan – Freshman. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, pursing a job at Google.
California Philanthropy on the Rise
Acacia Claus 2010
The Brothers of Acacia California Chapter held another successful Acacia Claus Philanthropy in December 2010. In partnership with local business Toy-Go-Round, the efforts of the Cal Chapter raised nearly 1,000 toys for donation to the Salvation Army. Members of the chapter manned a donation center at the Berkeley toy store from 10am-4pm on December 3-5, collecting donations from shoppers. Other chapters in the Greek Community with their donations also supported our efforts. Among the toys collected were dolls, Lego’s, children’s books, children’s clothes and board games. This philanthropy has been a long-standing tradition here at the Cal Chapter, and we look forward to continuing and possibly expanding our efforts in December 2011 to larger department stores in the Berkeley area. With the success of the fall philanthropy, we are rolling out a new endeavor this semester to complement Acacia Claus in the fall: Acacia Clothes. Similar in nature, this will be campus wide clothing drive offering students an opportunity to get rid of old clothes and simultaneously give back to the community. The clothes drive will also be for donation to the Salvation Army.
Acacia Clothes 2011
Starting this spring semester, we will be holding a new annual event called Acacia Clothes. It will consist of a used clothing drive that will benefit the Salvation Army, who will in turn give what we collect to the needy. For the past several years, we have participated in our annual “Acacia Claus Holiday Toy Drive” as our fall event, but have been lacking an annual spring event. I am hoping that this will become a great tradition for a good cause. If you would like to make any used clothing contribution, please feel free to contact the chapter or me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Stephen Loesch, Philanthropy Chair, #1063
Chapter Giving Opportunities
Interested in making a donation to the California chapter fund, a gift in memory of George F. Woolsey or Capt. Duncan McPherson? There’s a new convenient and fast way to give to your Chapter! Your gift is only a click away. Please visit http://www.acacia.org/foundation_giving.php to make your charitable gift. There you will find a drop box so that you may target your donation towards the fund of your choosing.
The Foundation has established general-purpose accounts for each Acacia chapter and colony. Contributions to your Foundation account are tax-deductible and can be used to support the educational activities of the chapter, including our new membership development - Cornerstones; scholarships; and house improvements, based on educational usage.
Make your contribution today using our secure online portal and have an immediate impact on Acacia.
From Acacia International Headquarters
Over 100 years after the founding of Acacia, we still find that the best form of communication IS the chapter newsletter and it is with great pleasure that we present this newest version of The Memnon! This electronic version of the newsletter is being published to keep our California brothers informed of the happenings of their chapter and fellow alumni. The Memnon welcomes your stories, pictures and updates. Please feel free to send your news articles to Zack Morris at email@example.com or Daniel Kongdet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the numbesr:
Total initiates: 1073
Chapter Eternal: 367
Valid Addresses: 460
E-mail Addresses: 227
Lost Acacians: 211
Through the help of the local chapter, the Headquarters staff continues to update the California database on a regular basis. Currently we have over 450 mailable California alumni addresses and only 227 e-mail addresses. We encourage you to reach out and contact your brothers and let them know the good happenings of the California chapter. The bonds of brotherhood run deep and we have learned that pledge classes stay in touch. If you have a cache of e-mails or communicate on a regular basis through mail, please send us your updates. For those receiving The Memnon via e-mail, you may look up fellow alumni at http://www.acacia.org/alumni_findbrother.php or update your information by clicking the “Update Your Membership” located at the bottom of the main newsletter page.
Strengthening the Ties of Friendship...