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Notable Acacians

Over the course of 100+ years, Acacia Fraternity has shaped and been shaped by the lives of countless men. We are proud to recognize those Acacians who have demonstrated their commitment "to take a more active part in the affairs of the community in which we may reside..." The following list is merely a snapshot of brothers who have brought Acacia to prominence. Surely this pantheon of greats will continue to grow throughout our second century.

A list of Notable Acacians can be found here.

The Award of Merit

Introduced at Acacia's Golden Anniversary celebrations in 1954, the Award of Merit is one of Acacia's highest honors. It is given to "brothers who have given of their time and substance unstintingly for the promotion and furtherance of Acacia, both nationally and locally, and brothers who have rendered outstanding service in their chosen fields, and have attained high position therein, thus exemplifying the motto of Acacia, human service, and the teachings of the fraternity, which constantly admonish our members to prepare themselves as educated men to take a more active part in their communities."

A list of the recipients can be found here.

A Century of Brotherhood

The year was 1904. Winston Churchill was 30 years old. Anton Chekov passed away. The United States gained control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million. George M. Cohan's song, "The Yankee Doodle Boy," was published. The first Olympic Games ever held in America took place in St. Louis. And on May 12, fourteen Master Masons attending the University of Michigan founded Acacia Fraternity.


Acacia's founders established the fraternity on a unique basis. Membership was restricted to those who had already taken the Masonic obligations, and the organization was to be built on the ideals and principles inculcated by the vows taken by Master Masons. Within one year, four other Masonic clubs received Acacia charters, paving the way for rapid expansion in the following years.

Members were to be motivated by a desire for high scholarship and of such character that the fraternity would be free of the social vices and unbecoming activities that for years had been a blot on the fraternity life.

Today, members are no longer required to belong to the Masonic Fraternity. However, since Acacia was founded by Master Masons, it still enjoys an informal spiritual tie to Masonry. Some Acacians pursue membership in the Masonic Orders, and Masonic lodges and individual masons have been of invaluable service to Acacia chapters over the years. This relationship, however, is voluntary. For a list of Grand Lodges across North America please click here.


The evolution and development of Acacia over the years has resulted in a fraternity considerably different from what the founders originally envisioned. But, each major change has been an adaptation to the needs of new conditions, and each has permitted the fraternity to grow in reputation, influence, and strength.

Our second century will undoubtedly require further change, but so long as Acacia continues to stand for high scholarship, fraternal brotherhood and human service, the intentions of our founders will be well realized.

The Founding Fathers of Acacia Fraternity

Back Row: E.E. Gallup, R.B. Scatterday, E.R. Ringo, R.W. Bunting (pledge), C.C. Van Valkenburgh (pledge), C.G. Hill, and B.E. Deroy

Middle Row: H.J. Howard, H.B. Washburn, W.J. Marshall, H.P. Rowe, W.S. Wheeler, G.A. Malcolm, and J.W. Hawkins

Front Row: C.A. Sink and J.M. Cooper

Human Service - Our Motto and Guiding Principle

"Human Service" and Acacia have practically become synonymous with one another over the years. From blood drives to year-long campaigns, each chapter of the fraternity is free to pursue its own philanthropic vision and beneficiaries.

Shriners Hospitals

In 1978, Acacia named the Shriners Hospitals (which specialize in pediatric burn care) as our national human service project. These hospitals - located in Boston, MA; Cincinnati, OH; Galveston, TX; and Sacramento, CA - treat children with acute, fresh burns; children needing reconstructive or restorative surgery as a result of "healed" burns; children with severe scarring resulting in contractures or interference with mobility of the limbs; and children with scarring and deformity of the face. All care provided by Shriners Hospitals is done so free of charge, and no child is turned away.

Recognizing the lack of medical expertise in the burn care field, the Shrine of North America originated this area of specialty in the 1960s with the three-fold purpose of treating severely burned children, conducting research and improving methods of burn treatment, and training and educating medical personnel in the care and treatment of burn injuries. Shriners Hospitals remain pioneers in burn treatment and provide excellent medical care to severely burned children. These institutes are actively involved in research, and many of the advances in burn care have been the result of Shriners Hospitals investigations.

Since the Shriners Hospitals first opened, the survival rate for children with burns over 50 percent of their total body surface area has doubled. Today, these specialized hospitals are saving the lives of children with burns over more than 90 percent of their total body surface area. This impressive survival rate has been achieved through today's improved surgical procedures, medical technology and the coordinated efforts of many hospital staff members.