Executive Director's Letter
-5 Minute Read-
Isn’t it possible for a thing to have positive as well as negative tendencies, and still be worth trying to preserve?
This fall we are in an interesting position. Fraternity membership is at one of the highest levels of all time (around 380,000 members undergraduate men). There has never been a more relevant time for young men to join fraternities.
Yet we are also living in a day (as I’ve mentioned before) when it seems like every week we hear of another fraternity-related incident on a college campus; and a day when the occurrence of temporary “system-wide suspensions” of fraternity activity is taking place at an unprecedented rate.
While I won’t focus here on Acacia’s perspective on these situations, I go more in-depth on the newly-created Acacia Executive Directors blog – acacia.org/exec-blog/
As of this fall’s chapter roster process, to determine who is a current active member, Acacia has approximately 1089 active members (before pledging and initiating for the year), our highest number of members in the past 24 years (we had 1259 in 1994-95), and 32% higher than our membership low (during that period) of 824 in 2005-06. We will initiate approximately 500 young men during the academic year, & our membership at the end of the year should be approximately 1600 active members.
As a brotherhood and as an organization, some would suggest that we’ve never been stronger. Yet there is so much we can do to improve. What will we do to continue to adapt?
We stand here today, with our agency still in hand. How will we adapt to ensure that the positive aspects of the fraternity experience remain available to young men who need what the fraternity provides as much as you and I did when we were undergraduates?
How will we let go of our personal perceptions such as “when I was in school, it was like this… and if it’s not like that anymore, I’m not going to be involved…”, in enough time to have a positive impact on the young men who are students now?
How will we let go of “until the chapter starts doing X, I’m not going to be involved”? How will we remember that young men need our help today, right where they are standing?
These young men, who feel today what we did when we were 18-22, deserve every opportunity that we had. These young men who we are preparing to be tomorrow’s leaders need our support now.
To me, my undergraduate Acacia experience (extra-curricular) was far more influential than the academic work that I did. Perhaps I’m a somewhat unique case study, but I’ve talked to more Acacians than not that have the same perspective.
I’m asking for your help. Somewhere between 1-3% of alumni Acacians are either engaged in volunteering as an advisor or house corporation board member, or are a donor to the Acacia Fraternity Foundation. That’s not good enough if we believe that Acacia has some value for young men going forward. We have a very talented, hardworking HQ staff and we need more resources to create a progressive model of what Acacia can be today.
The most direct way you can support our International Fraternity is to donate to the Annual Fund of the Acacia Fraternity Foundation. Donations to the Annual Fund help our organization provide programs, services, and staff support to all of our chapters. It makes sense to also give to your chapter’s Chapter Fund, to support the local chapter, and I am asking everyone to consider a gift to the Annual Fund this year. Donate at acacia.org/donate.
Brothers, we have many reasons to be proud of Acacia Fraternity. We also have challenges ahead. I hope that you find some enjoyment in this edition of the Triad. As the year closes out, I am grateful to serve as your Executive Director and wish you and yours a happy holiday season!
Again, I would also invite you to go to acacia.org/exec-blog for more of my thoughts as well as a list of positive stories about Acacia!
Patrick W. McGovern, Indiana '99