Thursday, March 24, 2016

What's In A Name: Paul Miller Moore Preceptory

Across the DeMolay world, there are a few Chapters, Chevalier Courts and Legion of Honor Preceptories in which we wonder one thing; Where did that name come from? This segment will help give some history behind some of those names. We start with Paul Miller Moore Legion of Honor Preceptory. 

Paul Miller Moore, originally from New Concord, Ohio, moved to Aliquippa, Pa in 1906, which was then known as Woodlawn. He was the first labor foreman in the construction of J & L Steel, P. M. Moore started the P M Moore Company in 1912, constructing many of the neighborhood houses for the steel workers. These homes, which were completed at a one per day rate, included a living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms, a bathroom and indoor plumbing.

Moore was one of the organizers of the Woodlawn Trust Company. He served as President until the company merged with Mellon Bank and Trust. He was also one of the organizers of Woodlawn Building and Loan and served as its Director. He was a member of Woodlawn Presbyterian Church, serving as the President of the Board of Trustees for twenty years. He helped found the Aliquippa Rotary Club, the Aliquippa Concert Band and was one of the organizers of the Boy Scouting movement and local chairman. Moore was presented the 1957 "Man of the Year" award by the people of Aliquippa.

Moore was a Warrant Officer for the Woodlawn Masonic Lodge, which at the time met as an organization known as the Woodlawn Fraternity Club. After sending a petition to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, they were granted a Charter on March 15, 1913, being constituted as Woodlawn Lodge No. 672. Moore became the second Worshipful Master of the lodge in 1914 and paid off the lodge mortgage debt in 1962.

Paul Miller Moore was also a member and Past Commander of the Knights Templar, Beaver Valley Commandery No. 84. He later became the Grand Commander of Pennsylvania in 1939 and then served as the Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of the United States of America from 1961 to 1963.

Moore died in 1964 on Good Friday Evening. At the time of passing, he was in Washington to attend the Knights Templar Easter Sunrise Services at Arlington Cemetary. As the Commandery is a big supporter of the Masonic youth groups, especially in the Pittsburgh area, it comes as no surprise to why the Legion of Honor members of Butler named their Preceptory after Paul Miller Moore.

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Difference Makers: George Washington

Few men in our nation’s history bear a name so worthy of recognition as George Washington. Not only was he pivotal in our nation’s war for independence, first president of the united states, and a former land surveyor, the man was also an accomplished Freemason.
Washington’s military career began as somewhat of a blunder. Serving under General Edward Braddock, Washington first got a taste of battle in the attack on Fort Duquesne in modern day Pittsburgh during the French and Indian War. After some poor maneuvers, Gen. Braddock overextended his forces, which soon collapsed into a frenzy, leaving Braddock himself mortally wounded.
From here, Washington only continued his climb to fame. He was not much of a big name from the time between the French and Indian War and the War for  Independence. However, when the call to action came, Washington was ready to answer. Taking on this challenge would mean taking on the strongest military power in the world, indeed no small feat. However, through Washington’s superior planning and leadership, our fledgling nation was able to sever its ties from our mother country, and become our own freestanding sovereignty.
So be it military prowess or leadership ability, either category lands George Washington as one of the most influential men in our nation’s history.
This edition of the blog has been provided by PA DeMolay State Treasurer Daniel Shevalier. Thank you Daniel for your contribution. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Letter in DeMolay!

In 2014, DeMolay International designed a program called the DeMolay Varsity Club. This program allows members, advisors and sweethearts the opportunity to fill out an application so they can "Letter in DeMolay," similar to how an athlete can letter on the High School Varsity level. This achievement relies on a few key elements; leadership, involvement, knowledge and planning.
A member or sweetheart can earn a "letter" by doing all of the following:
  • Mentor a new member
  • Teach chapter members a new skill
  • Serve in a leadership position
  • Attend 6 Chapter Meetings and 2 other chapter events
  • Plan a new event
  • Bring in 1 new member or advisor
  • Complete and earn the Representative DeMolay Award
  • Complete and pass 1 Leadership Correspondence Course
  • A member also must learn 1 new ritual part to perform at a meeting or public event
An advisor can also earn a "letter" by doing the following:
  • Recruit a brand new advisor to the advisory council
  • Lead and work with chapter members to create and execute a brand new event
A total of 8 people have earned the "letter" in Pennsylvania. Here are the people that have earned it so far:
  • Alicia Daniels (Reading Chapter)
  • Tyler Moyer (Pilgrim Chapter)
  • Eric Dye (Allentown Chapter)
  • Andrew Santilli (Chester Pike Chapter)
  • Brian Martin (Carlisle Chapter)
  • "Dad" Brett Otto (Carlisle Chapter) 
  • "Mom" Kelly Otto (Carlisle Chapter)
  • Adam Neubauer (Westmoreland Chapter)
The program concludes June 30th, so there is still time to earn yourself a "Letter in DeMolay." Fill out the application and earn yours today! 

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin 


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Which Acceptance Do You Accept?

In the next few weeks, our High School Seniors will be attempting to choose the right College that suits their needs. This blog post will provide some insight in making that decision easier. Today, we have a special guest blog post from "Dad" Peter Brusoe. Pete is a Past International Master Councilor for DeMolay International, currently residing in our Nation's Capital. 

The College search process is nearly at an end for the Class of 2016.  Acceptance letters are out and soon it is time to make a deposit and indicate which school you wish to attend.  Hopefully you have several highly competitive offers with financial assistance, which school do you choose? The one that goes to the NCAAs all the time? The school with the highest female to male ration? The one with the cutest mascot?  Below are some things to think about as you make your final selection.

1) Money: College is not cheap. There is tuition, housing costs, food costs, technology fees, athletic fees, lab fees, book fees, alumni-student partnership fees and student activity fees among other costs.   I have a friend whose study features copies of her children’s diplomas next to a picture of a beach house because it reminds her of how much that college education cost.  You will want to ask yourself the following questions about the financial aid package:

(A) Of the total package, how much is the scholarship component? Several schools have taken to including federal loans in the financial aid summary. This is a bit deceptive because loans are not aid, and you will need to pay them back with interest.  While a $30,000 scholarship from a private college sounds impressive, a $10,000 scholarship at a public university may mean less overall cost.  

(B) Focus on the cost of attendance.  Every school has an estimated cost of attendance that should include estimates for everything that you need to pay for including text books.  Colleges and Universities are increasingly finding ways to raise revenue by adding on new fees.

(C) Will the scholarship increase as tuition increases? Say the cost of attendance is $25,000 and you have a $12,500 scholarship.  Half of your costs are covered. But if tuition goes up to $26,000 now only 48% is covered.

(D) How much does tuition go up every year and who controls this? Most schools should have a reasonable and rational tuition increase every year.  Ideally it should be between 1-2%.  However, if schools have been putting off tuition increases you may get hit with a significant tuition increase during your time there.  It also depends on who controls tuition increases, in New York our state legislature controlled the tuition increases and would do so on the back of the students.

(E) How does the work study program work?  If there is a federal work study component in your aid how many hours a week do you need to work? Are you guaranteed those hours? Do you have a choice among your work study options or do they pick it for you?

(F) Remember the fine print of the scholarship awards:  Many scholarship offers are dependent on you still maintaining good grades the last two quarters of high school; others require that you maintain a certain GPA. Some scholarships like athletics, cheerleading, and band will require that you participate in that activity, if you stop participating the money will probably go away.  If you are doing an ROTC scholarship and you decide not to continue, what money will you need to pay back?

(G) Renegotiate: If your financial aid package is not what you expected, feel free to ask for more, but be specific.  You want to attend this college, but you can’t afford to do this unless your award goes up by a certain amount.

2) On time Graduation Rate:  You will graduate in four years or less. Each school should have statistics on what percentage of their student population graduates in four years.  In more and more advertising materials colleges will cite a five or perhaps a six year graduation rate.  This is great for marketing, but you really want to know if you will graduate on time or not.  How flexible is the school with changing majors? This is an important question as it relates to people changing their minds on programs.  If you go from a Political Science Major to a Chemistry Major will you need to add on time?

3) How often are required classes offered?  Some majors may have a required class that you need to take before taking upper division classes in the field.  If that class is only offered once every three semesters, that may goof up the rest of your academic plans.

4) What credits will transfer and how do they transfer?  Many students come into college with AP, or CLEP credits, or possibly classes at the local community college.  If you can knock out some credits it will enable you to take more classes in your major or some extra electives. However, college credit transferability can be problematic.
(A) You will want to make sure that the college you are going to will accept them, or will only accept them with certain grades. 
(B) It is also worth having the conversation about how they will accept them as equivalent class credits.  If you took English 101 at the local community college, some colleges will say you have three credits, but will still make you take the class again. 
(C) After you enroll, can you take classes at other schools and transfer the credit in?  During the summer you may want to take a couple of classes at the local community college and then transfer them in to get you closer to graduation.  Some schools will not allow you do this after you enroll (the fancy word is “matriculate”) or will require you to get special permission. 

5) Career services:  College is an amazing experience. However, college has a definitive goal in mind. At the end of four years you should be able to start a career.  The school should help you with this through internships or co-operative learning experiences, mentorship and other career services.  Schools should have some statistic about the percentage of their graduates who are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation.   If your goal is to go to graduate school, you will want to ask where students go to grad school, law school or medical school.

6) What unique experiences does the school provide?  Schools provide outstanding opportunities for students to do neat things.  Things you should look for include study abroad experiences, Semester in Washington, combined bachelors and masters programs, Bachelors and law degrees.  These programs can add value to your experience.

7) Will you have the support that you need at the school?
(A) If you have an EOP or a 504 plan in place, will the school be able to provide you with reasonable accommodations? How supportive is the community? It may be worth asking to speak to a student like you for their experiences.
(B) Is your faith tradition supported on campus?  It is worth checking out the Campus Ministry program, the Hillel, the Newman Center, the Hindu Student Association or the Muslim student association to see what level of programing and support they have for students.
(C) What support does the school provide students for difficult classes?  You will struggle with some classes in college.  I was horrible at calculus, but thankfully UAlbany had free tutoring on Tuesday nights in the Academic Support Services office.  I was there every Tuesday trying to grapple with the material with a very understanding graduate student.
(D) If you identify as LGBT does the school provide support for their students? 

8) Sit in on a class.  I was deciding between two schools for college, one of my mentors said to me “Sit in on the class and listen to the students and the interaction they have, you will notice a stark difference between UAlbany and the other school.”  She was 100% right.  Sit in on a class, maybe do an overnight and experience what it is to be a student there. Make sure that you are comfortable being there.

9) Reach out to DeMolay alumni who went to the school:  Somewhere in our Masonic Family we know someone who attended the university or college that you are looking at attending.  If you don’t know of someone reach out your chapter advisor or deputy executive officer.  There is someone out there who can give you insight or advice.

10) Do not go to the school solely because that is where your love of your life is going or your best friend is going.  College has a way of changing relationships and you do not want to be stuck at a school just because your friend was going there. 

Good luck as you make your decision in the coming weeks!

Monday, March 7, 2016

2016 KMU Youth Director Announcement

The directors of Key Man University are proud to announce that the 2016 Youth Director has been appointed. After the interview process was complete, Tyler Moyer, Past Master Councilor of Pilgrim Chapter, was selected to serve as Youth Director for this year's conference. Here is a message from Tyler himself.

Greetings Brethren and Friends,

I am Tyler Moyer and this year I have the privilege of serving as KeyMan University's 2016 Youth Director. This year, I’m working to bring several exciting new things to the program, which of course I can't disclose right now. I will be working alongside the Directors and doing everything possible to make this week a memorable experience for everyone.

I joined DeMolay five years ago, actually at a KeyMan Conference. Since then, I've attended each KeyMan, and each time I've had a better experience; making new friends, expanding on my knowledge and much more. Also during those five years, I've served as my chapter's Master Councilor three times, for which I received the Past Master Councilor’s Meritorious Service Award. Along the way I also earned my Representative DeMolay Award and Founder's Membership Award. 

Over the next few months, I’ll post more information about the program. I want to see all of you in Pennsylvania at Key Man this August. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask; you can email me, or Facebook message me and I'll be sure to get a response back to you as soon as possible! 

Ancora Imparo, brothers!

Key Man University will be held at Patton Campus from July 31 to August 6, 2016. We look forward to seeing as many of your members attend the conference.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Honor Roll Challenge in Philadelphia

Are you a member of DeMolay that gets honor roll on their report cards? If so, then your chapter or region may want to consider this idea. Several years ago, the Philadelphia region put together an Honor Roll Challenge for all of the members from Friendship-Bray, Northeast and Chester Pike Chapters who receive A's and B's on their final report cards. A copy of the report card is sent to Deputy Executive Officer Rick Freedman before a specific deadline. The program is back by popular demand, with the challenge being held on August 20, 2016. This year's deadline for report cards is July 8th, 2016.

You're probably wondering what happens at this Honor Roll Challenge that makes it so special. The members are taken to an awesome restaurant, as well as a fun activity afterward such as Dave and Busters, bowling or laser tag. Although I never personally had a chance to attend, several members of my chapter expressed excitement about the great time they had. This also motivated to continue working hard so they could attend the following year. The whole concept of the Honor Roll Challenge is to prove to the young men that hard work really does pay off. This program gives a great incentive to the members of DeMolay, pushing them to work hard for good grades.

One of the main teachings that makes DeMolay great is the appreciation for our educational system. This is a perfect opportunity to show that we value the future of our members. Take some time to appreciate the knowledge of the members in your chapter or region.

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

A Bro-Tie Earned

The Bro-Tie mentoring initiative is a program that encourages experienced DeMolay members to get to know the newer members of the chapter a lot better. Mentors are to teach the new members the basics of DeMolay so it becomes a more comfortable environment for them. The mentor receives a black bow-tie, while the new member receives a red bow-tie. A questionnaire is filled out to determine that the mentoring has taken place. When the mentoring has occurred, the two members will exchange a half of their bow-tie, creating a red and black tie known as the Bro Tie.

At 007: Secret Agent Weekend, PA DeMolay announced its first two graduates of the Bro-Tie program. Brothers Jake Yarnall (the mentor) and Justin Nixon (the new member), both of Allentown Chapter, received and displayed their Bro-Ties for all to see. A new friendship has taken place, and now Justin understands more about the organization. In fact, Justin was recently installed as Senior Deacon of Allentown Chapter. 

If you'd like to wear one of these cool Bro-Ties, you need to earn one. There is still plenty of time, so reach out to a new member and teach him the important lessons of brotherhood and comradeship.

Happy DeMolay Month to all!

Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin