|About Lou Bacon|
The Lewis Bacon Expansion Scholarships provide varying ways of supporting members in their academic pursuits while they assist in establishing colonies across the country. Many times these scholarships come in the form of Book Scholarships that are provided to new recruits. In some cases this fund provides scholarships to transfer or graduate members. Individual chapters such as Lambda (Emporia State), Delta (Kansas) and Phi (Oregon State) have used the Book Scholarship approach to reestablish on their respective campuses.
About Lou Bacon
In 1946, a young Navy veteran enrolled at Kansas State College in Manhattan. There he met Adrian Holtz, an AKL faculty advisor through whose efforts Iota Chapter was reopening its doors for the first time since World War II. The young man pledged AKL at Kansas State, but before he was to be initiated he transferred to Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, now known as Emporia State University. There he was urged by the AKLs in Manhattan to get some students together to form a new chapter.
This he did, and the new organization grew and gained recognition on the Emporia campus, which had only a few old local fraternities at the time. He became colony president, and his efforts came to the attention of AKL's National President, Dr. H. George DeKay who was looking to employ AKL's first full time staff member. After the chartering of Lambda Chapter and upon his graduation, Lewis J. Bacon accepted the offer and began full time employment for the Fraternity in late July 1949.
For a number of years he operated the office of the Fraternity from the basement of his home in Emporia, Kansas. It was five years before the Fraternity budgeted for a telephone in his office. The first letters were written on the typewriter purchased in his freshman year of college for $15.00.
Within a few years the Fraternity began growing from the nine chapters on the rolls, and Bacon opened office space on the second floor of the Mutual Building in Emporia. Mrs. Ladybell Dobbs became the first full-time office secretary and later Raymond North (Iota) was employed as the first field representative. In 1964 Lou's dream came true when a new headquarters building was constructed in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Bacon's long tenure with AKL brought needed recognition to the Fraternity. He served as president of College Fraternity Secretaries Association and on the Executive Committee of the National Interfraternity Conference (NIC). He was one of the early leaders against restrictive rush rules and served as advisor to several regional IFC organizations. A number of universities benefited from his consultations with them.
During his years of service nearly 10,000 members were initiated into Alpha Kappa Lambda and more than 40 collegiate chapters were chartered during that same time period.
In 1972, Lewis made the most difficult decision of his career. At the age of 45, he left the profession in which he had labored for 25 years and began a new career as a manager of the Brawley, California Chamber of Commerce. He would later finish his career and retire in an area he and his wife Jean adored, the Pacific Northwest.
Lewis J. Bacon peacefully entered the ranks of the Omega Chapter on August 20, 1997.