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Acacia National History

Though not the oldest, largest or most famous college fraternity, Acacia’s origin is distinctive and its record is distinguished. Acacia’s heritage and development has been unique in the more than 100 years of its successful existence.

Acacia Fraternity was founded on May 12, 1904 at the University of Michigan by fourteen Master Masons. The group was an outgrowth of the University of Michigan Masonic Club. Acacia's founders established a fraternity on a new 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 already taken by Master Masons. The members were to be motivated by a desire for high scholarship and of such character that the fraternity house would be free of the social vices and unbecoming activities that for years had been a blot on the fraternity life of the nation. Within one year, four other Masonic clubs received Acacia charters paving the way for rapid expansion in the following years. They set the precedent for members to be motivated by desire for high scholarship, outstanding character and contributions to others.

Since Acacia's founding in 1904, changes in the student enrollment of American colleges and universities have resulted in changes in membership requirements from time to time. Today, members are no longer required to belong to the Masonic Fraternity. However, since Acacia was founded by members of the Masonic Fraternity, it still enjoys an informal spiritual tie to Masonry. Many Acacians eventually join the Masonic Fraternity, and Masonic lodges and individual masons have been an invaluable service to Acacia chapters over the years; this relationship, however is voluntary.

Acacia has chartered at approximately 100 campuses with active chapters and colonies on more than 40 campuses. Since 1904, over 45,000 men have been a part of Acacia. There are currently more than 2,000 members and 30,000 living graduate or alumni members.