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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ACACIAconnect Financial Features

Dues Processing & Merchant Account -

There have been a few points of confusion related to this service during fall 2011. This post will clear up those points.

This aspect of the service is different from the others in that the rest of the features are available for free through your chapter’s affiliation with Acacia International Fraternity, whereas there are some costs involved with the Dues Processing Service. Here is a link to ChapterSpot page regarding finances.

Here is a video that demonstrates how to Link Your Chapter Bank Account to ACACIAconnect.

Please note:

  1. this part of the service is NOT mandatory or required - if your chapter is using a service that you are happy with, you can continue to use that service, or you may consider using this service
  2. your chapter CAN use the other features of ACACIAconnect without using the Dues Processing service

ACACIA Fraternity Headquarters recommends that your chapter:

  • weigh all reasonable & expedient options and choose what works best for your members
  • at least setup the Merchant Account to link to chapter bank account & setup a donation goal that your alumni members or parents can support

Regarding Credit Card Processing

Here is a pdf that outlines the costs for processing payments via credit card.

In an email from Joe McMenamon, Director of Business Operations, he informed me of the following points:

“Our Credit Card Processing fees are very straight forward. For chapters that collect payments online there will be a set 3.89% and $0.35 fee removed from each payment collected. These fees include the Visa/MasterCard fees and Corduro’s card processing fees so there are no extra fees other then what is listed below (on the pdf link above).

In addition to the per transaction fees there are a few per occurrence fees listed below. The $25 fee for each chargeback and ACH Reject fee usually draws the most questions. These occur infrequently, but we recommend that these fees be passed through to the member in these occurrences. Please let me know if you have any further questions.”

In addition, there are a few other points to be clarified:

1) Confusion about a fee that Joe McMenamon mentioned at ALA.

  • He did NOT say that Acacia Chapters would have the 35 cent per transaction fee waived
  • He DID say the $5.00 per month fee for using Dues Payment service would be waived.
  • Joe wanted me to reiterate that "if you sign up for the Dues Payment service, even if you don't use it, your chapter will not get charged the $5 per month fee."

2) ChapterSpot encourages you to setup your Merchant Account, even if you're not using the Dues Payment service for all of your financial transactions. Here is a list of benefits to completing the Merchant Application and linking it to a chapter bank account:

  • collections for merchandise can be facilitated by the Merchant Account (i.e. tshirts, hoodies, anything that the chapter orders on behalf of its members)
  • ability to use the Donation Goal function to collect donations from alumni or parents for any fundraising drives
  • If you do use the Dues Payment feature, you are eliminating the relevance of the following excuses for members not getting their dues paid:
  • "I don't have my checkbook so I can't make payment...", or "My parents are paying for me so I don't know when they will cut the check...", or "I would pay but I don't know how much I owe..."

3) ChapterSpot does want to make you aware of one difference from some of the competing services that are available:

  • if you use the Dues Payment feature on ACACIAconnect to track or document a payment made via check or cash (as opposed to using the online payment feature at ACACIAconnect), the chapter keeps 100% of those payments; in other words: if a member doesn't use the credit card processing system to make the payment, then neither the member or the chapter pays the credit card processing or transaction fee; a chapter member with Finance Admin controls simply updates the amount of dues still owed for that member
  • this is different from some of their competition, in that if you collect cash or check (even without using the online payment option), some services charge you a fee regardless

Link to ChapterSpot page regarding finances:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

ACACIAconnect Overview

During the 2011 Acacia Leadership Academy, one of the featured presenters was Joe McMenamon, Director of Business Operations for ChapterSpot, which is an innovative company we’ve been working with during 2011.

Joe demonstrated a new resource created in conjunction with Acacia Headquarters, called ACACIAconnect.

ACACIAconnect offers two main resources to our chapters. First, an intern

al, chapter management & communications network. Second, an easy-to-update public chapter website.

Chapter Management & Communications Network

Included as part of the service, our chapter members have the following abilities via ACACIAconnect:

  • personal dashboard upon login
  • Facebook app (members can utilize ACACIAconnect without leaving Facebook)
  • member database with multiple statuses (Active, Pledge, Alumni, Parents, etc.)
  • send mass text messages (to chapter, recruitment prospects, alumni, etc.)
  • utilize mulitple email listserve accounts
  • event calendar
  • sign-up-lists (i.e. intramural teams, t-shirts, formal dance, etc.)
  • setup groups (i.e. Exec, Recruitment Team, ACACIA Claus committee, Engineering Majors, etc.)
  • create forums
  • surveys & polls
  • Recruitment database function
  • track & record Human Service hours
  • individual MyCornerstones account to participate in Cornerstones
  • create reports
  • dues processing ability (separate from the basic offering of ACACIAconnect, chapters may utilize if they decide to *see paragraph below)
    • accept donations via Merchant Account
    • sell merchandise
    • collect dues from members
  • See the website for further explanation of communications features

Public Chapter Website

Included as part of the service, our chapter members have the following abilities via ACACIAconnect:

Helpful Links:

Acacia YouTube video: Service Hours function:

Acacia YouTube video: Cornerstones function:

About ChapterSpot:

ChapterSpot support webpage:

Email ChapterSpot support :

ChapterSpot Communications Features:

ChapterSpot Website Features:

Chapter Utilization

Many of our chapters have begun using ACACIAconnect to make chapter management easier in many ways. There are some chapters that have not yet utilized this resource. If you are in a chapter that has not started using ACACIAconnect - email Patrick McGovern at .

Thursday, November 3, 2011

3 Steps to Engaging Alumni on ACACIAconnect

3 Steps (and 3 tips!) to Engaging Alumni on ACACIAConnect
In working with over 1,200 chapters, ChapterSpot has seen a lot of active chapters successfully re-energize their alumni base. By following these 3 steps, we (the team at ChapterSpot) guarantee that your alumni base will be the strongest it’s been in years.

Step 1: Register your alumni
Email your alumni roster to .
We’ll register them and send them activation links.
*Tip: Just like Constant Contact, your alumni need to opt-in by clicking on the activation link. Don’t worry if this doesn’t happen right away because you can send them up to 2 more reminders! Simply click "# Unactivated Members" under the "Members" tab to re-send activation reminders.

Step 2: Get your website ready for alumni visitors
- Create an Alumni page if you don’t have one (explain that you are making a new initiative to communicate with all alumni)

- Place an Events widget showing upcoming Alumni events

- Place an Alumni registration form on your Alumni page/Homepage

Step 3: Post Alumni Updates!! (this is the fun/important part)
The trick is posting often and posting consistently.

1. Pick an alumni you know well, call them, and ask them to answer a simple survey
What’s your occupation:
Where do you live?
Describe your average Friday night:
Any other alumni/actives living close to you?
Are you Married/Girlfriend/Boyfriend/Single?
What’s your favorite undergraduate memory?
What Alumni should I interview next?
What do you think of our new website?
Have you posted a link to our new website on your Facebook?

2. Post the survey as a News post on your Website (make sure you have a News widget on your homepage and on the Alumni Page)

3. Send a Message to all your Alumni
"Alumni – We just posted our interview with Brother John Doe. To see what John says he does on his Friday nights, click here to visit our Alumni page on our new website: [YOUR ALUMNI PAGE LINK HERE].  We’ll also tell you who John asked us to interview next week! New interviews are posted every Friday!"
4. Post the same message on Facebook/Twitter in case some Alumni aren’t in your email system (*that’s why you need the alumni registration form)
5. Reach out to the next Alumni and continue the trend!

- Keep to your routine! Make sure to have a post every Friday no matter what. Once you miss posts, you lose reliability.
- Collect surveys whenever you can! Ran into an alumni at a BBQ? Survey them, save the responses in your phone and when mid-terms come up, you’ll have a interviews saved up.
- Things moving along quickly? Great – start thinking about featuring Alumni businesses!
- Check your database before calling to make sure you have their latest contact details

Questions! (Leave comments below) 
Brothers: What survey questions do you think would be good to ask?
Alumni: How should Actives grab your interest?

Monday, October 24, 2011

ACACIAconnect Service Hours Feature

ACACIAconnect has a new Service Hours feature that our chapters can use to track service hours for all members of the chapter.  Simply login to your ACACIAconnect dashboard, select Tools, then select Service Hours to log your activity.

Hours can be logged as they are completed, or they can be logged at a later date - so if your chapter is already using another format to track these hours, that is ok.  However, it would be ideal if all members log their service hours by the end of each semester.

Any questions?  Email Patrick McGovern at .

Here's a short video to demonstrate the functionality:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Top 5 Ways to Optimize your Website’s Homepage for Recruitment Success

Top 5 Ways to Optimize your Website’s Homepage for Recruitment Success

#1 Recruitment Sign-up Form

  • Encourage prospective recruits to leave their contact information with you!
  • After your visitors submit the form, your recruitment officers will be emailed their names, phone numbers and other details (it’s also saved in your Recruitment Database).
  • Some chapters make the mistake of putting the sign-up form on its own Recruitment page but Webmasters should always keep a short and simple recruitment sign-up form on their homepage.

#2 Revolving Twitter Feed Widget

  • The simple motion of a scrolling Twitter feed conveys that your chapter is active and makes your website look trendy compared to other groups/clubs on campus.
  • Don’t have your own Twitter? No worries, it’s perfectly fine to HQ’s Twitter feed (@AcaciaHQ) –it will still make your chapter look active.

#3 Image Gallery Widget

  • It’s a great idea to place a small Gallery on the homepage showcasing recent activities and great moments. Galleries are excellent opportunities to impress prospective recruits.
  • But… avoid using multiple/duplicate images of one event on your homepage. Try to find 1 or 2 images that highlight a recent event and aim to show as many different events as possible. If you have 10+ images from one event, pick just 1 and save the other 9 for an album on one of your inner pages.
  • Lastly, make sure pictures are up-to-date! Using pictures on your homepage that are older than 3 months old will make your website look neglected.

#4 Recruitment Calendar

  • Place an Event Listing widget on the homepage to showing your next 3 to 5 recruitment events and put it right next to the recruitment sign-up form.
  • Remember that your goal is to get prospects to see WHY THEY SHOULD JOIN your organization. Consider showing a list of your upcoming socials, academic, and athletic events that are members-only as well.

#5 Recruitment Officer Contact Information

  • Make sure your chapter’s Recruitment Officer can be identified (and it’s even better if there’s a picture or link to their Facebook Profile).
  • Prospects that are invited to your events will want to introduce themselves. This makes it more comfortable for the prospect knowing he has a point-of-contact with the chapter.
  • This is also important so that your Recruitment Officer can have the opportunity to meet the prospects and introduce them to your other members.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Acacia Fraternity Names New Leadership to Foundation and International Headquarters

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) October 17, 2011 – The Acacia Fraternity, an international college fraternity for men founded in 1904 at the University of Michigan and headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, announces the naming of Darold W. Larson as the first full-time Executive Director for the Acacia Fraternity Foundation and Keith M. Bushey as Executive Director for the Fraternity.

Darold will be responsible for providing the professional leadership in the management of the affairs of the Acacia Fraternity Foundation whose purpose is to advance the educational mission of the Acacia Fraternity. He will oversee the financial management, fund development, public relations, organizational records, and implementation of board policies in these and related areas of Foundation operations to achieve the established goals of the Foundation. He will report directly to the Foundation’s President, William M. Riley, Jr., of Manhattan, Kansas and member of the Kansas State Chapter of Acacia Fraternity.

“When the Board of Directors decided it was necessary to hire a full-time professional to lead the daily operations and development efforts of the Foundation, it was unquestionable that the best person for the job was Darold,” said Bill Riley, Foundation President. “We are fortunate to have someone lead the Foundation with his dedication to the Fraternity and institutional knowledge.”

Darold joins the Foundation after nearly three decades of leading Acacia Fraternity as its Executive Director. A 1981 initiate of the Washington State University Chapter of Acacia Fraternity, Darold joined the Fraternity’s International Headquarters in 1984 as a Leadership Consultant, then eventually was promoted to Executive Director and TRIAD Editor in 1987. He has received numerous awards for his work with the Fraternity, including its highest honors, as well as having served the interfraternity world as president of the Fraternity Executives Association and director of the Interfraternity Institute.
Under his leadership with Acacia Fraternity, he established Acacia’s chapter standards program, Spirit of Excellence; upon the dissolution of the Acacia Educational Foundation, assisted with the creation of the Acacia Fraternity Foundation in 1989 to support the educational mission of the Fraternity, now with assets of more than two million dollars; and in 1995 created the Acacia Leadership Academy, recently named in his honor, to provide leadership training to undergraduates over the summer during off-Conclave years in a model fraternal atmosphere. Through interfraternity networking, Darold ushered all Acacia entities into the national liability insurance program, FRMT Limited, with 27 other national fraternity members and today Acacia enjoys one of the lowest claim records of any national fraternity due to its risk management oversight and educational programs. In preparation of Acacia’s 100th Anniversary in 2004, he guided the Fraternity’s ambitious Strategic Plan that included strengthening undergraduate membership and retention and which led to the development of the Cornerstones membership education program in 2007 encompassing the entire undergraduate membership and including alumni mentoring.

“One-fourth of all Acacians have been initiated under Darold’s tenure with the Fraternity,” said Robert Roberson, International Council President for Acacia Fraternity. “He has also led the chartering or re-chartering of 22 chapters across the United States and Canada. Acacia owes much gratitude to this dedicated brother for his tireless efforts in strengthening our Fraternity."

Darold assumes his new role with the Acacia Fraternity Foundation beginning this month, October 2011.

Keith Bushey, the Assistant Executive Director for Acacia Fraternity has been promoted to Executive Director by the International Council of Acacia Fraternity. He will now oversee all the daily operations of the Fraternity’s International Headquarters, membership records, chapter operations and expansions, Leadership Consultants and office staff. He will report directly to the International Council President, Robert Roberson, of Richview, Illinois, and member of the Illinois Wesleyan Chapter of Acacia.

“Over the past decade Keith has played a major roll in ensuring the Fraternity’s operations were strengthened through increased communications with our undergraduate chapters and oversight of the traveling Leadership Consultants,” said Roberson, Council President. “He was the logical choice to assume the responsibilities of Executive Director and the Fraternity has much confidence in his abilities and looks forward to giving him our full support in leading our daily operations.”

Keith is a 1986 initiate of the Indiana Chapter of Acacia Fraternity at Indiana University.  Prior to joining the Acacia Fraternity’s staff in 2001 as Assistant Executive Director, Keith served the Fraternity for five years as the house director for the Indiana Chapter, responsible for the physical plant, daily operations and renovations.

As Assistant Executive Director, Keith was responsible for direct oversight of all Acacia undergraduate chapters and assisted in the establishment of nine colonies. He has trained more than 20 recent alumni who have joined the Fraternity’s staff since 2001 as Leadership Consultants to assist in overseeing chapter operations and expansions. Beginning in 2003, he became coordinator of the biennial Darold W. Larson Acacia Leadership Academy and has coordinated the Fraternity’s biennial Conclaves since 2002. As Conclave Coordinator, he was responsible for setting all programming for undergraduates and alumni, planning all speakers, meals and entertainment.  The 2004 Centennial Conclave was one of the largest of these events with over 325 Acacians in attendance.

The Acacia Fraternity and Acacia Fraternity Foundation are both headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana.

For more information, contact Acacia Fraternity International Headquarters, 317-872-8210,

Robert E. Roberson
International President
Acacia Fraternity
William M. Riley, Jr.
Acacia Fraternity Foundation

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ways to Boost Traffic to ACACIAconnect

The TOP 3 Ways to Instantly Boost Traffic to your ACACIAConnect Website…

Tip #1: Get your brothers to post your website link on Facebook

Send your brothers an ACACIAConnect Message or Text Message telling them to post your chapter’s website on their wall. This will get you new visitors almost immediately. (By the way, has your webmaster put a Facebook Like on your website yet?)

Tip #2: Make sure your University has the right website on their IFC/Greek Life website

      This one’s easy, but significant amount of traffic will come from your school. This is also a surefire and easy way to get your website ranked higher on Google and other search engines. 

Tip #3: Ask ACACIA HQ to Tweet your website!

         Have you posted some good content? Email us and we’ll tweet out your website!
Stay tuned for next week’s article: “The 5 Most Effective Widgets your Homepage should have for Maximizing Recruitment”

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Acacia Fraternity Foundation Nominees for term as AFF Directors 2011 - 2014

Please refer to the following list of bios for those alumni brothers nominated to serve as Acacia Fraternity Foundation Directors for 2011 - 2014.  
To vote in the AFF Proxy Vote process, click the following link to complete the online survey.

Christopher Caywood - University of Michigan ‘80.  Order of Pythagoras.  Attorney.  Acacia Fraternity Foundation Director (2008 - present). President of Online Services at DeVry, Inc.  Resides in Kenilworth, IL.

Gerald C. Cook - Shippensburg University ‘66.  Order of Pythagoras; Award of Merit.  George F. Patterson Award. Past President, Board of Directors of the Acacia Fraternity Foundation, 1994 - 1998; International President, Acacia Fraternity, 1998-2002; Board of Directors, Acacia Fraternity Foundation, 2005-present.  Past Southern Region Director of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  Currently Lead Public Health Advisor for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Atlanta, GA.  Resides in Roswell, GA.

Mark Guidry - Louisiana State University ‘57. Order of Pythagoras; Award of Merit; past Chapter Advisor, Louisiana State Chapter. Board of Directors, Acacia Fraternity Foundation, 1996-2000. Retired CEO, Avasem Corporation; General Manager, Avanti Bufalini, LLC and Avaline Partners, LLC.  Resides in Henderson, NV.

James N. Katsaounis - Ohio University ‘95.  Order of Pythagoras.  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.

Gregory J. Owen - Carleton ’88.  Award of Merit, Order of Pythagoras. International Counselor, International Council, 2004-2010.  Founding Father, Carleton chapter. Chapter Advisor, Carleton chapter.  ALA Fellow, 1995, 2005, 2006.   Currently President of a public affairs/communications firm which he co-founded.  Served in government at the provincial and federal levels, including as a senior advisor to the Premier of Ontario and as Chief of Staff to a senior cabinet member.  Resides in Grimsby, Ontario, Canada.

L. Dennis Smith, Ph.D. - Indiana University ‘56.  Order of Pythagoras, Award of Merit. Professor and President Emeritus of the University of Nebraska.  Former Dean, Executive Vice Chancellor & Acting Chancellor of the University of California- Irvine.  Former professor at Purdue University and Staff Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory. Professor of Biology.  Acacia Fraternity Foundation Director (2005 - present), Acacia Fraternity Foundation Vice President and Co-Chair of the New Century Campaign.  Dennis divides his time between Monticello, IN & Naples, FL.
Donald W. Solanas, Jr.- Louisiana State University ‘68.  Order of Pythagoras; Award of Merit; George F. Patterson Award.  First Undergraduate Counselor on National Council; Regional Counselor; Second Vice-President 1982-1992;  President  1992-1998,  International Council of  Acacia Fraternity.  Past Chapter Advisor, Louisiana State Chapter. Board of Directors, Acacia Fraternity Foundation (2003-present). Co-Owner, COO Arrowhead Energy Exploration, LLC, Baton Rouge, LA.  Resides in Baton Rouge, LA.
Lamar Tims - University of Texas ‘61.  Order of Pythagoras.  Acacia Fraternity Foundation Director (2008 - present).  Assistant Vice President, Commercial Loan Operations, Citibank, Dallas, Texas.  Resides in Dallas, TX.

Harold Zarr - Iowa State University '73.  Order of Pythagoras, Award of Merit.  Alumni Board President, The Acacians at Iowa State.  Member of Investment Committee, Acacia Fraternity Foundation.  Professor, Mathematics and Business Finance, Des Moines Area Community College.  Resides in Ankeny, IA.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nebraska Chapter "Acacia Open 2011"

The Acacia Open returns this year after a brief hiatus to the Knolls Golf Course in Omaha, NE -  Saturday, June 25th, 2011.  The format for this tournament will be a four man scramble with a shotgun start.

Each team will consist of four Brothers.  You can submit as a four man team, as an individual, as a pair, etc.  Brothers that submit as some combination other than a full team will be matched with other Brothers in order to create a four man team.

The cost of the event will be $60.00 per person which includes 18 holes of golf, a cart and your choice of lunch item (burger or brat and a bag of chips) and various pin prizes.  Your entry fee is due at registration.

Registration will start at 8:00 a.m. at the Knolls Golf Course and the shotgun start will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Please RSVP for the Open by emailing or phoning the following:
Chad Hartnett               (402) 960-1251
Nate Rezac                           (402) 669-3653

Details for Event: 

The Knolls Golf Course
11630 Sahler Street
Omaha, NE 68164
(402) 493-1740

Saturday, June 25th, 2011
Cost: $60 per Brother
Registration 8:00 a.m.
44 Golfers (teams of 4) with room for additional Brothers. 

Directions to the course are the following:
From I-80
·      From I-80 going W, take 680 N and turn off on the Maple St exit and turn W.
·      Go to 120 st. and go N to Old Maple Road.
·      Old Maple Road is your first right on 120 going N.
Go accross the bridge and take your first left and this will lead to the Knolls Clubhouse.
Or just break out your Garmin.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Indiana Acacia Cycling Team places 5th in Little 500, Wins Dixie Highway Award

The Little 500, an annual bike race at Indiana University, has been called "the largest intramural event in the nation".  Teams train throughout the year for this 50-mile race in which all of the teams use a standard, single-gear bike to ensure that no one has an edge by having better equipment than any other teams.  Event coordinators report that over 25,000 fans are in attendance each year.

Amidst a windy, and at-times rainy, afternoon, 33 teams took the track for the Men's Race on Saturday, April 16th.  Many of the teams participating represent Indiana University's fraternity chapters, and there are a number of "independent" teams that represent cycling clubs or dormitories.

Historically, the Acacia Fraternity Cycling Team has been a consistently strong contender, winning the race in 1961, 1983, & 1991.  The team website ( ) provides additional information, and has this to say about the history of the team: "Since the race was first run in 1951, Acacia has participated in every race except one. This extensive race career, coupled with consistent top performances, have given Acacia Cycling the distinction of ranking second all-time among teams ever to participate in the Little 500."

This years team had a very strong race, after a less-than-glorious qualifying spot, starting 30th out of 33 teams.  However, that just meant that the men had an opportunity to make huge strides once the race began, and that they did.  Leading the entire field for a number of the laps, our team held strong and competed until the end.  Finishing in 5th place, the team won the Dixie Highway Award, which goes to the team that advances the highest number of spots from the start to the finish of the race.  They also set the event record for that particular honor, no team has ever advanced that many spots over the course of the race.

This years team was comprised of brothers John Ferry, Brian Howaniec, Blake Swinehart, Greg Bortz & Josh Minnick.  Each team is only allowed to dress 4 riders with one reserve rider.  Ferry, Howaniec, Swinehart & Bortz dressed for the race, and Minnick was geared up and ready to go in case we needed a replacement rider.  View the Team Roster here.

Congratulations to this years team!  None of these men will be graduating this year, so we will have one of the strongest teams going into next year.  Join us in congratulating these Acacians who exemplify dedication and excellence!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ohio Chapter 5Cacia Philanthropy April 2011


April 16th, 2011 is the 3rd annual 5Cacia - 5K for Pancreatic Cancer Research, an event our chapter been working on for 3 years now and one which we are very proud to present. There's a 95% mortality rate for the first year of diagnosis for all pancreatic cancer patients, yet it is still one of the least funded types of cancer. Our goals for our event this year are to raise more awareness, to have over 500 participants, and to raise at least $20,000.00; with this being said, we need your help! If you could pass along this message to friends and family so that they too can hopefully join in and support our efforts we would greatly appreciate it. We have a long way to go to reach our goals, so we need as much as help as possible!

To Register, Donate, or for more information about our event, feel free to check out our website -

For more information about where we donate to (The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research) or about Pancreatic Cancer visit

Thank you in advance for any help and support you can offer, I appreciate it so much!

The Acacia Chapter of Ohio University

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"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 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

 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 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 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

Monday, April 4, 2011

"The Memnon" Washington State Newsletter April 2011

State of the Colony

Dear Brothers:

When I was initiated into the Acacia Fraternity colony in spring of 2010, approximately one year ago the membership was at seven active members.  Washington State Acacia was practically an unknown entity on campus, and at the same time, we  were almost unable to fill our house that holds only six people.  We were getting by, but at a slow pace.

Now one year later with the guidance and strong leadership of fantastic Acacians we are in a position to have 26 members by the end of the spring 2011 semester, an increase of more than 300% of our membership at the beginning of the semester last year.  WSU Acacia is one of the up and coming fraternities on campus and is fueled by the passion for human service that a majority of members have come to find is their ultimate deciding factor for joining Acacia.  Acacia is incredibly recognizable on campus, especially with two of our members working for the Center for Civic Engagement on campus.  

We are moving also moving into a new house next semester with 12 rooms.  Once we are able to make this our permanent home, could easily fit 16 members comfortably.  WSU Acacia is growing rapidly with members that are living up to the legacy of Acacia that has been passed to them and the momentum does not seem to have any signs of stopping.

We look forward to seeing you in Pullman.  Feel free to stop by and see the great things that are happening at Acacia!

Christopher Williams #847
Venerable Dean

Philanthropy on the Rise

This past December, Acacia sponsored our annual Acacia Claus Holiday Toy Drive event, and it was a big hit. We had many guys come out and volunteer to stand out in the cold and accept donations for the children’s hospital. We raised over $4000 in toys that were donated to the hospital. It was  incredibly successful and we all had a really good time. Also, for this past semester, we were one of two fraternities that achieved having 80% of their members meet the minimum IFC philanthropy requirement of 8 hours. We had 100% of our guys obtain our individual chapter’s 12 hour minimum community service requirements, which is 150% of the 8 hours that WSU IFC requires. In the upcoming months, we have a couple different philanthropies scheduled which include a food drive, helping out with a family fair, and our second annual 5k Fun Run.  One of the main programs of our pledge education process is a community service project that the pledge class puts on and we have the highest expectations for our current 9 person pledge class to have a successful project.

Andrew Kim
Philanthropy Chairman

Recruitment & New Member Update

Rush Chair:

In the spring of 2010, we recruited five new members, followed with eight in the fall. Coming into the spring semester of 2011, I had high expectations for rush. Our goal was ten and we almost reached that with our nine new pledges.  We could have easily reached our goal of ten just by body pledging, but as it is now, we have nine good and dedicated new members. Our success was due to scheduling event after event, giving our current members more of an opportunity to bring potential new members to meet the brothers. We hosted poker nights, going to the hookah bar, theaters, YouTube night, and various other activities. These nine men will compose the spring pledge class and with their help, we are continuing to recruit men to be initiated in the coming fall. 

Senior Dean/Pledge Ed:

We have completed 2 weeks of pledge education starting with making goals for the semester and general Acacia information and continuing into the rest of the information. This semester we are working on integrating Cornerstones into our pledge education. We have already begun to learn songs such as “The Toast” and “We’re the Men from Acacia”. This past Presidents Day weekend, we had our pledge retreat in Spokane, including some fun brotherhood events; lunch at Neato Burrito, paintball, dinner at Red Robin, and spending the night at a hotel. It was a tight fit with all nine pledges and seven of the active members cozying up in two rooms!  The next morning started with breakfast at Carl’s Jr. and then a trip home.  What was one of the best moments of the weekend?  Having the chance to shoot each other with paintballs!

We performed two installments of pledge ceremonies this semester in which the night before we hosted brotherhoods. The first time we executed the “Bond.” Each guy was given a candle and a lit candle was placed in the middle of a dark room. Each member got to take the lit candle to a member he wished to share why he appreciated he was in the fraternity. The member talking then would light the candle of whom he talked about and he, in turn, would choose the next member and so on.  At the end, each member had a chance to speak about someone and be spoken about, as once your candle was lit, a member could not choose you again. The night before the second pledge ceremony, we did a brotherhood where each person in the circle was given the chance to explain why he joined Acacia – a simple, yet incredibly profound event.

We are looking to have a chapter retreat the first weekend of April and Initiation is scheduled for April 15-17.  We look forward to another good alumni turnout! It always enhances the experience and makes it more meaningful for everyone. 

Nick Montanari #837
Senior Dean

Socially Speaking!

The Washington State University colony of Acacia has become very active in the Greek community in the past semester.  The colony has had its first exchange since its re-colonization, and has also secured Homecoming pairs for the next fall semester.  For Homecoming  2011 , we will be partnering with the ladies of Alpha Delta Pi, and the fraternities of Farmhouse, and Sigma Pi. Homecoming is scheduled for October 15, 2011.  Mark your calendars now!  

The colony is also very excited for the upcoming Greek Week, we are partnered with Alpha Gamma Delta and Delta Upsilon.   The brothers have been very busy in preparation for the upcoming events.  
Maintaining a balance between Human Service, school work, and social life is the key to a happy and healthy college student!

Jeff McCrea #854
Social Chairman

Brother Spotlight

Brother Cameron Bullock #858, is one of the newest members of Acacia Fraternity at Washington State University as well as our current Scholarship Chairman.  Brother Bullock transferred to Washington State University from Pierce College with a 3.8 GPA on a 4.0 Scale. With his outstanding SAT scores Brother Bullock has full-ride scholarship through Pierce College and WSU as an excellent math major student.

Cameron Bullock has dedicated a great amount of time and energy into community service since becoming an Acacian.  During our Acacia Claus in fall 2010, Brother Bullock dedicated his time by tabling for our toy drive everyday throughout the entire week. 

As our Scholarship Chairman, he has been reserving times and spaces for study tables about 12 to 15 hours a month for the rest of the brothers to study. He has been providing academic advice, tutoring opportunities and peer tutors to serve the best of our academic interest.

Matt Wu
Brotherhood Chairman

Monday, March 14, 2011

California Memnon March 2011

From the Venerable Dean

The active chapter is back in Berkeley and ready to go to work in Spring 2011. After a visit from Keith Bushey, Assistant Executive Director and Ben Monson, Leadership Consultant, from Acacia Fraternity Headquarters, and a week full of workshops, reflection, and goal setting with the chapter, the brothers are motivated and eager to make our chapter the best it can be this semester. A few goals in particular we have set for ourselves for this semester and the upcoming year include the following:

1) Grow the house to 30 active members a year from today. We are currently at 19 with several graduating seniors, but with a strong seven man spring 2011 pledge class, a very young house, and the implementation of a scholarship recruitment program, we feel 30 is an attainable number a year from today and have our sights set on achieving this goal.

2) Raise the house GPA to above the 3.28 all Greek average. We saw marked improvement in our upward trending house GPA this past semester, jumping from a 3.00 to a 3.10, with a new member GPA of 3.40 that ranked ninth out of all fraternities. We are encouraging an atmosphere conducive to studying and implementing a reward system to recognize high scholastic achievement to foster an ambition in the house to reach our goal. In addition, we have high hopes for our new scholarship recruitment program to attract young men who will promote our upward trending house GPA in the future.

3) Improve alumni relations. We are taking steps to achieve this goal by hosting a BBQ and poker tournament at the Berkeley Chapter house on Saturday, April 2, the day of the men’s Final Four—one weekend before our annual alumni banquet to be held on Saturday, April 9. Additionally, we have started an active vs. alumni pick-up basketball game in San Francisco that we hope to grow into a regular occurrence. Our goal is to put on at least alumni event per semester in addition to the banquet, Gordon Biersch, and Cal football Game-days to improve relations.

With a whole host of young, ambitious new officers looking to leave their mark, the Cal Chapter is climbing higher in 2011, and we hope you all will come along for the ride and be a part of it.

If you have any questions, or would like to find out more about the happenings at Acacia, please feel free to e-mail me at

We look forward to seeing you this year!

Zack Morris, Venerable Dean, #1060

Upcoming Alumni Events

As most of you know, the spring semester is a time we all anticipate as we host our annual Alumni Banquet. The brothers of the Acacia California chapter will be hosting the Alumni Banquet at the chapter house on Saturday April 9, 2011, with dinner to be served at 7:00 pm. Please make plans to join us for a great night of brotherhood! Please RSVP to Daniel Kongdet, Alumni Chair, at if you are able to attend.

We will also be hosting an alumni event on Saturday April 2, 2011 at 6:00 pm at the chapter house for the Final Four tournament. We will also have a BBQ for the occasion followed by a poker tournament after the game.

For further information or questions, please feel free to contact me. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Daniel Kongdet, Alumni Chair, #1068

House Improvements Continue

As the current House Manager, it is my pleasure to give you a status update on a few of the home improvement projects at the California Acacia chapter house, including one the largest projects started in years. Once elected as house manager last semester I decided to start the project of building a new roof deck, despite some financial restraints. Our active chapter took on this endeavor with much encouragement from alumni during game days and Gordon Biersch outings. Our alumni had great times reminiscing about their memories on the roof! The project began with the building of the railing around the perimeter of the roof, which is up to Berkeley City building codes and standards. I believe we far exceeded many expectations, including our own!

The railing is extremely sturdy and reinforced on the outside by angled supports. The base is 6x6 redwood connected by 1.5 inch diameter bolts with 90 degree and 2 foot straight brackets. Our original plan after finishing the railing was to instead of a traditional deck, installing a 1/4 to 5/8 inch rubber padding, reducing the weight and protecting the roof. This idea was changed due to the cost comparison of a wooden deck and the rubber padding, both hovering around $3,000.00-$5,000.00. We then figured a well-built deck would last longer and provide a solution to water drainage. This part of the project was started but unfortunately money issues have yet again halted our progress. The underlying grid and foundation for the deck itself is almost completed with all the necessary pieces ready to set it, but the top layer of the deck itself has yet to be decided and purchased.

Starting this project and being unable to finish has left the chapter very unsettled these last few months. We are anxiously awaiting to get this roof finished and I know many of you must feel the frustration we have, seeing it only half way completed. We have funded this project completely independently as an active chapter along with our current house corporation but now we’re asking for your support. With any donation of at least $100, the chapter will have an engraved recognition plate made with your name, pin, graduation date, or any other additional information that you would like, to be attached to the railing. You support is greatly appreciated and gives you an opportunity to leave your mark in the completion of a new pristine roof deck. Regardless of contribution, we gladly encourage all of you to stop by and check out the roof for yourself. We hope to share many great times with all our brothers, when it is finished.

On a separate note, I am especially proud to report that we have put up our chapter name on the house. Painted in yellow and outlined in black, our awesome new ‘letters’ have brought a revival to morale and pride. Strongly pushed and funded by our Recruitment Chair, Zack Hsi, the letters were crucial in providing a more fraternal atmosphere to the house and our chapter.

Please feel free to stop by and see all the house improvements. We look forward to seeing you!

Ramon Leon, House Manager, #1057

Spring 2011 Recruitment


Spring rush 2011 was phenomenal and surpassed our expectations to say the least. Rush was very time consuming and taxing, and took a toll on all 19 active brothers; however through all of our hard work and dedication we recruited excellent and diverse pledges. By showcasing our unity and close ties, not only did we recruit seven pledges, but seven pledges who have their priorities right, placing brotherhood above all else.

A couple of our most successful events we held this semester were going to an action-packed night at Laser Quest and sponsoring multiple late nights at Acacia during which we enticed potential candidates in with s’mores, bonfires, and great conversation. However, our most unforgettable event had to be traveling to San Francisco and meeting our alumni at Gordon Biersch, where not only did the pledges get to witness our connections with our alumni, but even with such a short encounter make their own lasting ties with the alumni. This brief, yet memorable, encounter with the alumni lifted their spirits as they saw the house not only vibrant with positive energy, but also thriving and going in the right direction.

We hope to follow our fantastic rush with an even better semester, during which we plan on instilling in our new members the important virtue of brotherhood that we were taught during each of our own pledge semesters. Below is a list of all of our pledges with a small bit of information about each of them.


Zack Hsi, Rush Chair, #1062

Kevin Dias – Freshman. Mechanical Engineering, loves long-boarding and playing ultimate Frisbee.

Irving Gomez – Sophomore. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, hobbies include playing basketball, doing tae-kwon-do and watching T.V.

Ben Jackson – Freshman. Art History, proud of his hometown of Hayfork, located just below the California-Oregon border. Enjoys playing music and traveling to interesting places.

David Lewis – Junior (transfer). Environmental Economics and Policy, enjoys playing poker, video games, physical fitness and the great outdoors.

Sean Payne – Junior. Interdisciplinary Studies with emphasis on Organizational Behavior. Enjoys wine in his vineyard in Sonoma, snow and water skiing and running and lifting weights.

Kash Ranka – Freshman. Business, International student from Bombay, India. Enjoys driving, listening to music and traveling.

Robin Sylvan – Freshman. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, pursing a job at Google.

California Philanthropy on the Rise

Acacia Claus 2010

The Brothers of Acacia California Chapter held another successful Acacia Claus Philanthropy in December 2010. In partnership with local business Toy-Go-Round, the efforts of the Cal Chapter raised nearly 1,000 toys for donation to the Salvation Army. Members of the chapter manned a donation center at the Berkeley toy store from 10am-4pm on December 3-5, collecting donations from shoppers. Other chapters in the Greek Community with their donations also supported our efforts. Among the toys collected were dolls, Lego’s, children’s books, children’s clothes and board games. This philanthropy has been a long-standing tradition here at the Cal Chapter, and we look forward to continuing and possibly expanding our efforts in December 2011 to larger department stores in the Berkeley area. With the success of the fall philanthropy, we are rolling out a new endeavor this semester to complement Acacia Claus in the fall: Acacia Clothes. Similar in nature, this will be campus wide clothing drive offering students an opportunity to get rid of old clothes and simultaneously give back to the community. The clothes drive will also be for donation to the Salvation Army.

Acacia Clothes 2011

Starting this spring semester, we will be holding a new annual event called Acacia Clothes. It will consist of a used clothing drive that will benefit the Salvation Army, who will in turn give what we collect to the needy. For the past several years, we have participated in our annual “Acacia Claus Holiday Toy Drive” as our fall event, but have been lacking an annual spring event. I am hoping that this will become a great tradition for a good cause. If you would like to make any used clothing contribution, please feel free to contact the chapter or me at

-Stephen Loesch, Philanthropy Chair, #1063

Chapter Giving Opportunities

Interested in making a donation to the California chapter fund, a gift in memory of George F. Woolsey or Capt. Duncan McPherson? There’s a new convenient and fast way to give to your Chapter! Your gift is only a click away. Please visit 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 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 Memnon! This electronic version of the newsletter is being published to keep our California brothers informed of the happenings of their chapter and fellow alumni. The Memnon welcomes your stories, pictures and updates. Please feel free to send your news articles to Zack Morris at or Daniel Kongdet at

By the numbesr:
Total initiates: 1073
Chapter Eternal: 367
Valid Addresses: 460
E-mail Addresses: 227
Lost Acacians: 211

Through the help of the local chapter, the Headquarters staff continues to update the California database on a regular basis. Currently we have over 450 mailable California alumni addresses and only 227 e-mail addresses. We encourage you to reach out and contact your brothers and let them know the good happenings of the California 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 Memnon via e-mail, you may look up fellow alumni at or update your information by clicking the “Update Your Membership” located at the bottom of the main newsletter page.

Strengthening the Ties of Friendship...


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