Acacia - Indiana University

Spring 2021 Newsletter

Indiana Chapter of Acacia Fraternity at Indiana University

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The Wreckage PAGE 2 FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS Christopher Richardson '83 on His Support of the Campaign for Indiana Acacia B efore starting college at Indiana University, Christopher Richardson '83 would visit Acacia as a senior in high school through a family friend who was a brother. "My initial impressions of the brotherhood, traditions, and camaraderie were overwhelming and captivating," Chris said. "I was instantly hooked!" As an active member, Chris enjoyed pledgeship, lineups, the initiation process, getting pinned to his wife Alli, the Little 500, barn dances, Night on the Nile, formal dinners, and attending Hoosier basketball games. The Little 500 was one of his favorite traditions to take part in, and he fondly remembers riding with Jeff Hilligos '85, Cary Sierzputowski '85, and George Grubb '85 while being coached by Tom "Sweg" Schwoegler '76. "I began riding as a sophomore," Chris said. "The Flying Triangle was a symbol to be proud of." As a sophomore, Chris broke his collarbone prior to the race, but he bounced back as a junior helping the team finish in fifth place and then winning 83 as a senior. "Off-the-back exchanges, being on the Rider's Counsel, and hoisting the Borg- Warner Trophy were some good times," Chris said. Chris joined Acacia because of the Masonic heritage, enduring traditions, and strong alumni support system. "The alumni who supported us gave unselfishly for years for the betterment of the next generations to come," Chris said. "This needs to continue." To help future Acacians, Chris chose to financially support the Securing the Journey capital campaign for a major renovation of Indiana Acacia's Chapter house. "This campaign can help ensure that future brothers get the same positive experiences we had," Chris said. "Mike Oakes '76 sealed the deal in getting me involved. His integrity and commitment to this cause rekindled the trust and feelings I had lost." Today, Chris lives in Tampa, Florida, where he is the president and CEO of Keystone Heart, LTD, a medical device company specializing in cardiovascular technologies. "I had interest from an early age in becoming a physician," Chris said. "However, after practicing as a cardiovascular physician's assistant for six years, I became interested in the business side of medicine." He changed his career path at the age of 29 and has spent the past 30 years of his career building medical device companies and taking them from initial concept through clinical trials and into commercialization for merger or acquisition. You can reach Chris at N o such role during your time at Acacia? The Resident Advisor is an older adult, maybe a grad student, who lives in the house. This live-in advisor is required in all Greek houses on campus. It doesn't have to be a member of the Indiana Chapter or Acacia Fraternity. A few houses on campus, for example, have Resident Advisors who are non-alumni graduate students in higher education administration. I check some important boxes for this role at Indiana Acacia. I was initiated in 1987 and graduated with a bachelor's of arts in fine arts as a graphic design and art history double major. I am also a member of the last championship team for Acacia in the 1991 Little 500. The Resident Advisor is also a member of the Chapter Advisory Board, working closely with the House Director, other advisors, and local alumni––all with the aim of helping the Chapter develop into a better organization. My big three goals at the start of the academic year were to: Get to know the active brothers residing in the Chapter House. This has been different than I had imagined at the start of the year, as COVID-19 policies have limited the ability to interact in person. It's also been more of a drawn-out process to learn names and faces. Besides masks, another aspect that has not made it easier to know names and faces is that the house capacity has been reduced to just over 50 members living in, where there are almost 100 brothers who live out and aren't really able to interact with me to any great extent beyond Chapter Zoom meetings. Navigate the COVID-19 pandemic without closing the house and sending everyone home. Indiana University has worked hard to navigate this health crisis and tried to lead with strong testing protocols for campus and Greek housing units. There were many hours of Zoom meetings devoted to pre- planning and execution for a safe educational environment for all involved. During the fall semester, Acacia did have COVID-19 positives, and we were forced to quarantine the house for most of September. Thankfully, no one had symptoms or felt ill, but it was trying to not have the ability to leave the house. More on IU's effort to deal with the pandemic can be found here: covid/index.html Bridge the gap between actives and alumni, which is key to our success in the future. COVID-19 regulations have prevented visitors from coming to the Chapter House. This rule is absolute for those not a part of the IU testing bubble. There is hope for the fall, with a strong Hoosier football team, to allow for tailgating and a slightly delayed 100-year Chapter anniversary celebration. Spring and Little 500 The spring semester started in January, but Welcoming our neW resident Advisor, Phil stePhens '87 (Continued on page 6) "While times change and traditions fade, I can only wish that future generations of Acacians experience the feelings I had!"

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