The Tennessee Chapter of Acacia Fraternity was originally chartered on May 13, 1964. A colony organization had been formed the preceding year. It was first recognized at UT in 1966, becoming a member of the Interfraternity Council.
In January 1986 UT served Acacia with an eviction notice requiring the fraternity to vacate the house at the corner of Melrose and Melrose Place by February 8 (later extended to March 22). Acacia asserted that the eviction was because it had withheld payment of rent because of UT’s failure to repair or replace the boiler, which provided heating for the house and had been broken since the preceding April. Acacia offered to pay for the repairs if UT would grant them a long-term lease. UT offered a two-year lease and then increased it to five, but Acacia wanted a ten-year lease for agreeing to expend upwards of $12,000 to replace the boiler and upgrade the heating system. UT contended that it evicted Acacia because of its failure to repair the heating system and consequent lack of heat in the house.
Nationally, Acacia was founded at the University of Michigan on May 12, 1904, by 14 Master Masons. The organization was an outgrowth of the University of Michigan’s Masonic Club. Originally, Acacia membership was restricted to those who had already taken the Masonic obligations. Masonic affiliation is no longer a requirement for membership, but the organization still enjoys an informal tie to Masonry. William Jennings Bryan and US President William Howard Taft are among notable Acacia alumni.