Welcome & Winter 2017 Update
Hello & welcome to this new venue for my thoughts and observations as Executive Director of Acacia Fraternity. We're launching this and directing Acacia Brothers and Friends of Acacia to this blog via the Triad, and we will share future posts to our various social media accounts.
For those who do not know me well, I am a Brother of the Indiana Chapter of Acacia (at Indiana University - Bloomington), initiated in 1999. While I've had a few other jobs, most of my career (11 & 1/2 years at this point) has been working at Acacia HQ. I was a Leadership Consultant, then Director of Membership Development, then Assistant Executive Director, and I've been Executive Director since 2013.
Winter 2017 Update - As I mentioned in the Triad, I am sharing some more specific thoughts related to the topics mentioned in my letter / article.
Stories About Acacia
On the positive side, I’d like to highlight a few stories about Acacia. These are some highlights that I’ve pulled out of the chapter updates published in the Triad magazine. There are many things that should be recognized, so this is an incomplete list, please forgive me for not having something for each chapter, as I know that ALL chapters and colonies have done things worthy of mention. See more stories in my blog post.
- The Arizona State Chapter was chartered at a banquet with over 170 attendees including many parents and dates
- The Headquarters Staff secured a future expansion at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, where we have a strong alumni base
- The Iowa Colony successfully moved back into the chapter house that the Acacia alumni corporation board owns
- Every member of the Bloomsburg Chapter has attended two women’s health / rape culture seminars to gain awareness; as well as being in the top 3 chapters on campus in community service hours
- The Colorado Chapter hosted an “Acacia’s Pick of the Patch” fundraiser to support Puerto Rico hurricane relief efforts for the first time
- The Cornell Chapter has a member (Brother Penichet) on the Interfraternity Development Committee this year
- The Illinois State Chapter moved into a larger house, and had their largest pledge class ever this fall, with 23 new members; and the chapter has three active members of the IFC, including IFC President; and were 2nd in Greek Men’s GPA
- The Kansas State Chapter finished in the top quartile of all K-State Fraternities for the 23rd consecutive semester; along with having 95% of their members involved in campus organizations, with 75% of those having leadership positions
- The Millersville Chapter participated in the “Movers & Shakers” program and helped incoming freshmen and transfer students move into the dorms; raised $3,900 for Mothers Against Drunk Driving in memory of fallen brother Stephen Daverio; and exceeded their blood drive donation goal by 20 units this year
- The Ohio Chapter was named Fraternity of the Year on their campus; and placed 1st or 2nd in five different philanthropy athletic events, and are the number 1 seed in the Intrafraternal Football Playoffs; and are raising funds for their fundraiser (“5cacia”) for pancreatic cancer research for which they have raised more than $100,000 over several years
- The Oregon State Chapter signed largest pledge class (29) in many years; have 75 members now; won the Blood Drop Award for most hours volunteered at campus blood drives; and first in Color Me ChiO to raise funds for Make-a-Wish
- The Penn State Chapter initiated their 2,000th member; won the Bischoff Trophy for intramurals for the 13th time, more than any other chapter at Penn State; had a chapter GPA of 3.32 (in a chapter with more than 100 members), the highest chapter GPA since at least 1990; and is working to raise funds for Dance Marathon, for which the chapter over the years has raised more than $1 Million with partner Gamma Phi Beta
- The Purdue Chapter leads all fraternities on campus in total service hours per capita with 19 more service hours per man than the next closest chapter; placed 6th in the Grand Prix (higher than any other fraternity); and made many improvements as a chapter this semester
- Every brother in the RPI Chapter is involved in a club or organization on campus, with several leadership roles
- The Washington State Chapter is one of the leading chapters on campus for community service with over 300 hours; and Brother Kodjo Awadjie was named IFC delegate of the year
- The Wisconsin Chapter was 1st in IFC GPA with a 3.45 (how fitting) chapter GPA; leads the IFC Executive Board on campus, and are on the verge of being the largest the chapter has ever been
Some of my travels this fall included attending the Arizona State Chapter Chartering in Tempe, AZ; attending the Illinois Wesleyan Chapter 60th Anniversary of founding; and visiting Baton Rogue, LA to engage alumni and begin preparations for our Fall 2018 return to LSU; and a trip to Atlanta for a couple of conferences for fraternity and sorority headquarters staff and our campus partners in fraternity and sorority life.
Relevance of Fraternity
One thing that I am more convinced of than ever is the relevance of the fraternity experience, and the Acacia experience. Fraternities give individuals a framework for improving themselves and improving our communities. Fraternities give individuals a reason to set down the smart phone or tablet to do the important work of conversing with those who you may disagree with, yet respect. Fraternities give individuals something larger than themselves to be a part of, thus giving us the collective ability to make our communities better places to live.
I’ll be sharing more info here through the spring & summer so check back in!