"The Journey" Pittsburgh Johnstown Newsletter April 2011

From the Venerable Dean

Dear Brothers:
My name is Harry Clark.  I have been elected Venerable Dean of the Acacia Fraternity at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown for the 2011 year.  Since my initiation on April 4, 2008, I have watched our chapter go through its ups and downs.  We have accumulated about $10,000 in debt, and are currently working to dig ourselves out of this proverbial hole that we’re in.  But throughout this trouble, our chapter has still remained a tight brotherhood and our traditions have remained the same since our start in 1973.  This article will discuss upcoming events, along with recruitment and some of my goals to alleviate our debts.
Since beginning my term as Venerable Dean, I have been ready and prepared to elevate our chapter to the level of prominence it has achieved in past years.  Over a year and a half ago, Acacia at Pitt-Johnstown sponsored a concert by Wiz Khalifa, one of the upcoming hip-hop artists of the time.  The concert took place at Ace’s Lounge in Johnstown.  Through our efforts, the concert profited us around $7000, leaving our debt to Acacia National just under $3000.  This motivated me to continue fundraising, with the ultimate goal of leaving us with zero debt.  With the help of the chapter Quartermaster, we initiated a “Walking Taco” fundraiser, which is currently being done once a week.  We have tried it twice and profited over $50.00 each time.  We are building up a reputation with the campus community, which could eventually lead us to bring in one hundred plus dollars each week.  This is not the only fundraiser that we are pursuing either.  Starting within the next few weeks, we will be selling sports jersey in order to bring in more money.  All of our brothers are putting forth a great effort to raise money and make a difference for the future of Acacia.
This semester brings us four potential new members.  Unfortunately recruitment numbers are low for all Greeks on the Pitt-Johnstown campus this year.  In past years, we were accustomed to pledging between nine and thirteen potentials each spring.  This has also motivated us to change our recruitment practices and try something new and innovative.  Next semester we will be having interest parties, inviting young potentials down during sports games in order to show them what Acacia can offer.  In the past we have depended heavily on two rush parties to bring in our numbers, but we are finding that we need to offer more to potential recruits.  For the fall 2011 semester, we will be renting the gym for rush activities such as basketball or dodgeball, which will attract a wide variety of young potentials into the world of Acacia.  
As you all know, Acacia’s motto is Human Service and the chapter is proudly living up to it!  At the end of March, Acacia will be a sponsor for the “March of Dimes”.  This fundraiser benefits children suffering with cancer.  All of the proceeds go directly toward research for childhood cancer.  This has been a success in the past bringing in $500.00 or more.  The event is scheduled to take place on a Saturday at the end of March.  Please contact the chapter for final dates and plans.  Along with this fundraiser, Acacia works with the American Red Cross to host two or more blood drives each semester.  Our most recent blood drive brought in over forty pints of blood.  For our next blood drive, taking place on April 7, 2011, we are hoping to reach out to more than just the student body.  We will be posting flyers in businesses all over Johnstown with hopes to bring in our largest donation ever!
In addition to our daily operations and activities, we are in involved in campus intramurals to promote the Acacia name.  We are currently competing in intramural basketball and having a great time!  I am also proud to announce that Acacia had the highest cumulative grade-point average out of any fraternity on campus for the fall 2010 semester. 
With these goals and accomplishments in mind, we hope that you as alumni would like to once again become more involved with Acacia. We would like for you to witness first hand the great things that Acacia at Pitt-Johnstown has to offer!
Although finances are a priority, there are other items that the chapter could use too.  Currently, we are looking for financial donations for a new chapter vacuum to keep the house clean, funds directly applied for supplies for our “Walking Taco” fundraising efforts and a new sound system for the house, including new speakers and receiver to replace the old set.  Any funds donated can also be earmarked to help pay down our debt.  Any donation is greatly appreciated. Finally, initiation will take place the weekend of April 8, 2011.  Please mark your calendars now to join us and help welcome these new men into the Acacia brotherhood.
For further information about the initiation weekend or if you would like to help the chapter with a donation, please contact me at hrc7@pitt.edu or call at (610) 350-7618.  Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Harry R. Clark #477
Venerable Dean
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 Journey!  The electronic version of the newsletter is being published to keep our Pitt-Johnstown brothers informed of the happenings of their chapter and fellow alumni.  The Journey welcomes your stories, pictures and updates.  Please feel free to send your news articles to Harry Clark at hrc7@pitt.edu.

 By the numbers:
Total initiates:  504
Chapter Eternal:  8
Valid Addresses:  290
E-mail Addresses:  119
Lost Acacians:  193

Through the help of the local chapter, the Headquarters staff continues to update the Pitt-Johnstown database on a regular basis.  Currently we have 290 mailable Pitt-Johnstown alumni addresses and only 119 e-mail addresses.  We encourage you to reach out and contact your brothers and let them know the good happenings of the Pitt-Johnstown 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 Journey 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...
Chapter Giving Opportunities
Interested in making a donation to the Pitt-Johnsown chapter fund?  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 the Archives
The following historical Chapter Highlight was taken from The Triad of Acacia Fraternity, Summer 1988.
The year 1987-88 has been a major success in all directions for the Acacia Fraternity at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.  We have 37 active members and seven men pledging.  We have recently formed a new office and have gained two new advisors.  The new office, Alumni Relations, has been formed to regain communications with our lost alumni.  Our new advisors – Faculty-Dr. Bob Matson and Alumni-Dan Tilley have proved to be assets to the fraternity by their integrity and activity in the fraternity.
Human Service has been the center of our fraternity activities.  Our success can be attributed to our Service Chairman.  We have had 3 very successful blood drives and a one week pledge project called “Organ Donor Days”.  The brothers and pledges recruited nearly 100 new organ donors.  As a campus service, we built a small wooden bridge in need of repair.  Finally, our big project of the year was our 12th annual Jog-a-thon benefiting the March of Dimes.  Through contributions from local businesses and solicitation during our twenty-four hour jog, we were able to raise $3,300 – another very fine year for us for Human Service.
Some major accomplishments which we achieved during the year were: Champions of Greek Week 1988; Fraternity Achievement Award (Highest GPA for all Fraternities); Presidents Award – Ronald Bolam; Brother of the Year – Mark Young, Service Chairman.  Clearly, a very successful year for our chapter.
Finally, we are in the process of drawing up the plans, both legally and fraternally, for a new chapter house.  This project has the approval of the President of the University and our Executive Board.  Some time in the near future, we may need your help.
Richard Rosel #225, Secretary