Darold W. Larson Acacia Leadership Academy Schedule - 2017

ALA 2017 Schedule

The Darold W. Larson Acacia Leadership Academy offers participants a chance to have a unique experience unlike they will find anywhere else. Nearly 25 years ago, Brother Larson (who was Executive Director at the time) was inspired by the example set by the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) with the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute and modeled the first ALA in 1992 after it.

The program attempts to replicate a model chapter setting, complete with officers and meetings. Combining this with traditional aspects of educational sessions (group sessions, breakout sessions, group discussion, structured/informal group settings) creates a model environment to inspire radical change.


ALA Day One: Wednesday, July 26

12:00 – 4:00 PM    Registration

3:45 – 4:30 PM    General Session One: Kickoff ALA – Why Are You Here?

4:30 – 5:15 PM    Breakout Session #1 – Introductions and Elections Slating

5:30 – 6:30 PM    Dinner

6:45 – 8:30 PM    General Session Two: Elections

9:00 PM               ACTIVITY: (Bowling at Classic Lanes)


ALA Day Two: Thursday, July 27

7:30 – 8:30 AM    Breakfast

8:45 – 9:45 AM    General Session Three: OmegaFi - myAcacia & Vault

10:00 – 11:45 AM    Breakout Session #2: Ritual Practice

12:00 – 1:00 PM    Lunch

1:00 – 2:45 PM    General Session Four: Formal Opening / Meet the President / The Purpose of Dues

2:45 – 3:00 PM    General Session Five: Cornerstones Program- Total Membership Development Plan (TMDP) and Cornerstones App

3:15 – 4:15 PM    General Session Six: Mike Ayalon – Preventing Sexual Assault

4:15 – 5:15 PM    General Session Seven: Mike Ayalon – Help! My Chapter is Not Motivated

5:45 – 6:45 PM    Dinner

7:15 – 8:15 PM    General Session Eight: Mike Ayalon – Strategies for Managerial Excellence

8:30 – 9:00 PM    Breakout Session #3: Processing Today

9:00 – 9:45 PM    General Session Nine: Know Thyself

9:45 – 11:00 PM    Trivia Night!


ALA Day Three: Friday, July 28

7:30 – 8:00 AM    Breakfast

8:15 – 8:45 AM    ACTIVITY: Drive to Rawhide Ranch

8:45 – 12:45 PM     ACTIVITY: Low Challenge Course

12:45 – 1:15 PM    Lunch

1:15 – 1:45 PM    ACTIVITY: Drive to Bloomington

2:00 – 3:00 PM    Acacia Olympics

3:30 – 4:30 PM    General Session Ten: Jerod Miles – 365 for 345: Recruitment Seminar

4:30 – 5:00 PM    Breakout Session #4: Work on Recruitment Plans

5:00 – 6:00 PM    Picnic Dinner

6:00 – 7:00 PM    Acacia Olympics

7:15 – 8:00 PM    General Session 11: Planning and Enacting Change

8:30 – 9:15 PM    Breakout Session #5 – What’s My Plan?

9:30 – 10:30 PM    Initiation: Second Degree Ritual Exemplification

10:30 PM               Movies & Games


ALA Day Four: Saturday, July 29

7:30 AM                Leave for Masonic Lodge

8:00 – 9:00 AM    Breakfast

9:15 – 10:45 AM    Initiation: First and Third Degree Ritual Exemplification

11:15 – 12:15 AM    Breakout Session #6: On Ritual – What is Our Purpose?

12:30 – 1:30 PM    Lunch

1:30 – 2:30 PM    ACACIA Olympics

2:45 – 3:15 PM    AFF Presentation

4:45 PM              ALA Attendees dressed in formal attire for pictures

4:45 – 5:15 PM    Pictures

5:30 PM              Final Banquet and Pass the Gavel

Acacia Fraternity Foundation Directors for 2017 - 2020

Please refer to the following list of bios for those alumni brothers nominated to serve as Acacia Fraternity Foundation Directors for 2017 - 2020.

>> Click here to cast your AFF Proxy Vote.

Gerald C. Cook, Shippensburg ’66 – Award of Merit, George F. Patterson, Jr. Award, Order of Pythagoras; International President, Acacia Fraternity, 1998-2002; Past President, Board of Directors of the Acacia Fraternity Foundation, 1994 – 1998; Board of Directors, Acacia Fraternity Foundation (1992-1998 and 2011 – present), Chairman of the AFF Board Development Committee. Past Southern Region Director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Recently retired as Lead Public Health Advisor for the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Atlanta, GA. Resides in Roswell, GA.

David L. Ferguson, Indiana ’74 – Order of Pythagoras; Past President of the Indiana Chapter House Corporation Board; Past Chapter Advisor, Indiana Chapter; Lawyer at Ferguson Law. Resides in Bloomington, IN.

Mark R. Guidry, Louisiana State ’57 Award of Merit, George F. Patterson, Jr. Award, Order of Pythagoras; Past Chapter Advisor, Louisiana State Chapter; Board of Directors, Acacia Fraternity Foundation (2011 – present), member of the Investment Committee. Retired CEO, Avasem Corporation; General Manager, Avanti Bufalini, LLC and Avaline Partners, LLC. Resides in Henderson, NV.

Ronald T. Hopkins, Syracuse ’69Award of Merit, George F. Patterson, Jr. Award, Order of Pythagoras; International Treasurer, 1985-1990. Officer, Syracuse Corporation Board. Acacia Fraternity Foundation Director (2012 – present), Chairman of the Audit Committee. President, George O. Miller Co. Resides in Fayetteville, NY.

James N. Katsaounis, Ohio ’95 Award of Merit, Order of Pythagoras. Current Secretary of the Acacia Fraternity Foundation. Past Alumni Director and President, Ohio Chapter Alumni Association and House Corporation; Past Chapter Advisor, Ohio Chapter; Past Assistant International Treasurer and Communications Director, Acacia International Headquarters. Past director of public relations, Grand Lodge Free & Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania. Associate Vice President, University Communications, Drexel University. Resides in Philadelphia, PA.

David R. Quick, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute '93 - Past: Director, Ascentium; Development Manager, CommerceServer.net/SiteCore; Co-founder, Renasar Technologies Inc.; Current: Board member at Kingswood-Oxford School (West Hartford, CT); Development Manager in Microsoft Azure. Resides in Bellevue, WA

Donald W. Solanas, Jr., Louisiana State ’68 Award of Merit, George F. Patterson, Jr. Award, Order of Pythagoras, Donald W. Solanas Jr. Lifetime Service to acacia Award; Past President of the Acacia Fraternity Foundation. International President, Acacia Fraternity, 1992-1998; Second International Vice-President, 1982-1992; First Undergraduate Counselor on National Council; Regional Counselor; Past Chapter Advisor, Louisiana State Chapter; Co-Owner, COO Arrowhead Energy Exploration, LLC. Resides in Baton Rouge, LA

Byron A. Tabor, Iowa ’78 – Award of Merit; Order of Pythagoras; Iowa Colony Advisor; Corporation Board member 2001-present; Investment committee chair 2013-present; Kiwanis member 1990-present serving as Lt. Governor six times, President of 3 different clubs, currently Treasurer of one club and Secretary/Treasurer of another club as well as the assistant Nebraska-Iowa District Key Club Administrator; Recently retired as a computer programmer for the Derivatives team in the Investments Division of AEGON Asset Management. Resides with his wife, Julie, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Michael C. Tu, California ‘91Order of Pythagoras. Partner with the law firm of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Resides in La Canada Flintridge, CA.

Harold D. Zarr Jr., Iowa State University '73 - Order of Pythagoras (1999); Award of Merit (2006); George F. Patterson, Jr. Award (2013); Alumni Board President, The Acacians at Iowa State (1996 - present); Acacia Fraternity Foundation (2011 - present), AFF Investment Committee Chairman (2012 - present); Professor of Business Finance, Des Moines Area Community College, resides in Ankeny, Iowa.

>> Click here to cast your AFF Proxy Vote.


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!