History

Pythagoras membership manual now available online

Have you ever found yourself stuck in the hot sands of the desert, wishing you had your trusty Pythagoras manual handy to rescue you? Well, perhaps it wasn't the hot sands of the desert, and perhaps you didn’t exactly need rescue, but most of us have found ourselves with a few minutes of idle time before a meeting, stuck at the airport, or waiting to pick up the kids. Now you can simply head to acacia.org/pythagoras from your desktop or mobile device to brush up on your Acacia knowledge! Pythagoras Manual, online edition

This marks the first time that Acacia’s membership manual, The Pythagoras, is available online for your reference. The online edition resembles the print version and is designed to be easily read on your computer screen, tablet, or smartphone.

View the online Pythagoras membership manual.

Don’t worry! We are still publishing a print version of the Pythagoras! Work is underway to produce an updated print edition for the 2014-2015 academic year. The next print edition will include the same timeless Acacia history and teachings we all learned during pledgeship, while leaving more dynamic information — such as an always-changing list of chapters and colonies — to the online edition.

The online edition is still in its early stages of development, and we are adding content on an ongoing basis. Let us know what you think! Email us at communications@acacia.org.

Founders' Day 2013

One-hundred nine years ago today, our Founding Fathers came together to start our Fraternity. But what would it have looked like if these fourteen men came together to start Acacia Fraternity not in 1904, but in 2013? Founding FathersWilliam J. Marshall pulls out his phone to send a quick text message to Charles A. Sink, "Hey, Chuck, meet me at the library tonight. Want 2 talk about starting a new Fraternity." The two men meet and decide to bring some classmates into the fold, so they plan an event and invite some friends via Facebook. Marshall orders a few pizzas for the group, and fourteen men commit to forming Acacia. Harlan P. Rowe gets started on drafting the founding documents, which he posts on Google Drive so the other founders can comment and make changes. Benjamin E. DeRoy has an idea for Acacia’s badge, so he posts his design to the group’s private Facebook page for feedback. Edward E. Gallup uses GroupMe to send a group text message to everyone asking them to meet at his place, where Clarence G. Hill decides the chapter needs to create a Twitter account to share recruitment information with potential new members.

This story may sound funny, but if you replace the names of our founders with the names of active members from any Acacia chapter across North America, you’ll begin to see a realistic picture of chapter life today, one that is far different from chapter life in 1904. Our Founders knew this would inevitably be the case - that countless aspects of life would continue to change beyond their recognition. In fact, George A. Malcolm wrote in 1953 upon nearing Acacia’s 50th anniversary:

"When I made my first voyage across the Pacific in 1906 it took me 26 days from San Francisco to Manila by ship. In 1951 I left Manila by airplane for San Francisco, and, due to the difference in time, I arrived before I started. What changes in the past! What changes to be expected in the future!"

Paradoxically, many traditions of our Fraternity remain unchanged since our earliest days — chapter meetings, shared meals, football games, sorority mixers and, of course, the Acacia Ritual. In fact, this paradox is central to our Ritual: recall our rescuers, two students who contemplate the symbol of the Acacia tree in their attempt to reconcile the shortness of human life with the idea of the eternal.

And so, through experiencing myriad changes to fraternity life over the course of 109 years, we find that nothing has changed at all. While time passes, Acacia Fraternity is timeless.

Today we recognize our Founding Fathers for creating and sharing with us such timeless tradition. If we could, we’d send them a text message to say thanks.

Acacia Fraternity commemorates our 50,000th initiation

50k_initiation

Over 108 years ago, the first Acacia pledges stood before the active chapter in Ann Arbor, Michigan as candidates for initiation. We can only imagine the scene that day as R. W. Bunting and C.C. Van Valkenburgh were challenged to address the brothers before them, but we can probably guess they weren’t thinking about how many men would come after them. 47th Problem of Euclid

Who could predict that over a century later, Acacia Fraternity would call its 50,000th candidate, Brother? As difficult as it may have been to conceive then, it’s arguably even harder to believe today. Think about this -- Acacia has endured two World Wars, the Great Depression and periods of acute economic uncertainty, and incredible social transformation at home and abroad. We’ve witnessed the invention of the radio, television, and Internet, and watched mankind walk on the moon.

Today, the challenges and opportunities before us are as great as ever. An increasingly populated and globalized world make our lives and those of future generations unique to any that have preceded us. How will we, as Acacians, rise to the challenge of this 21st century and beyond? How will our guiding principle of Human Service lead us in giving light to our fellow man? What hand will Acacians play in shaping the future of technology? The humanities?

When the University of Central Oklahoma Chapter greeted candidate A. Connor Johnson as “Brother” for the first time on October 27, 2012, it marked a proud milestone for our fraternity -- 50,000 men have been initiated as Acacia brothers. 50,000 men whose unique stories combine to tell the Acacia story, whose individual and collective actions as brothers have sustained our fraternity for generations.

Only time will tell what lies ahead for Acacia and the changing world around us, but we can be sure -- from Bunting and Van Valkenburgh to Jonhson -- that Acacians will be there taking an active part.

Cheers to Acacia!


If you believe in Acacia’s mission of “Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders,” please consider making a donation to the Acacia Fraternity Foundation. The leadership programming and support we provide to our undergraduate members makes a difference. Your contribution makes it possible.


Milestone initiations in Acacia history:

Initiate #1 James Monroe Cooper, Michigan #1 (5/12/1904)

Initiate #47 Carl O. Pingry, Kansas #17 (11/14/1904)

Initiate #345 Frederic L. Eribacher, Illinois #45 (11/3/1906)

Initiate #10,000  Randall Jacobs, Penn State #279 (2/24/35)

Initiate #20,000 James W. Wallace, Miami of Ohio #149 (6/6/55)

Initiate #30,000 Paul A. Raab, Oregon State #540 (1/19/74)

Initiate #40,000 W.R. Andrew Callard, Purdue #1620 (3/21/93)

Initiate #50,000 A. Connor Johnson, Central Oklahoma #744 (10/27/12)