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.
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%.