I pledged Acacia my freshmen year, but didn’t activate until my sophomore year. My friends found Acacia and I enjoyed being there because it was far friendlier than most other places. More importantly, I was going through a lot in my life and was having a hard time, and it was brotherhood that got me through it. It was the actual sense of brotherhood and support that always drew me in. There is a bond beyond friendship and even in some ways beyond blood, and Acacia gave that to me.
One of my favorite memories was my senior year when we were at Park Place, I sprinted back from class in Holmes across the street to catch the last 10 minutes ofBob Ross. There were about ten brothers watching and shouting in disbelief as Bob Ross somehow turned a splotch of black paint into amazing trees. There are plenty of big, great moments where Acacia and brotherhood have meant the world to me, but it’s the small moments of fraternity like that which gave real texture to my years in college. Not everything meaningful has to be a huge event.
As far as influence on my life, the shorthand mantra of “So Live” has meant the world to me as I’ve struggled for years with mental illness. No matter how dark, I know that if I reached out to a Brother—no matter how long since we last spoke—they would be there, and it reminds me of what’s important.
There’s always more to be said, but Acacia has given me opportunities and meaning that even a decade after graduation still matter greatly to me.As an aside from the specific questions, I kind of fell off the face of the planet for a while and it’s my deepest regret that I missed that time in the lives of my brothers. I’m working to fix it, but damn I missed all of you so much.