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Square and Compass Fraternity

A college fraternity of Masons with less rigid requirements than its sister fraternity, The Acacia, the Square and Compass began as a college club in Washington and Lee University; after its transformation into a fraternity it received a Charter from the State on May 12, 1917. The nationwide organization is similar to the Grand Lodge system; it has one Square to a State, and these are in a loose federation. The federation has a full-time Secretary; publishes a magazine. Any Master Mason in good standing in a regular Lodge is qualified for membership. (See UNIVERSITY LODGES in this supplement.) A number of Grand Masters along with many Masons among college and university presidents have expressed the hope that the two Masonic college fraternities might lead ultimately to the formation of a large number of campus Lodges, thereby opening a way for American Freemasonry into the circles of learning and scholarship--a thing done long ago in Britain and Europe. The name of the Square and Compass fraternity perpetuates a mistake made by early American Masons about the Working Tool. A compass is an instrument for finding directions; and has never been used as a Masonic symbol. The instrument for drawing a circle has always been called compasses.

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