University Lodge #408 Holds 5-Hour Lecture Service
University Lodge #408 and Mosaic Lodge #762 held a joint Five-Hour Lecture Service at University Lodge #408 on Saturday, March 5. The education was led by WB Jeff Troccoli, past master of University and Mosaic and current DDGL for District #20.
Both lodges satisfied their individual attendance requirements for the year. Breakfast was catered from Time Out and NC Jelly Donut. The brothers enjoyed working through ritual together, and having a lodge experience with some different faces.
The five-hour lecture service is required by the GLNC every other year. Lodges must have a certain number of members and officers present. WB Troccoli brought fun and refreshing education while deep-diving into various parts of our ritual.
Peace and harmony prevailed.
Was the Garden of Eden in…Florida?
University Lodge #408 AF&AM welcomed Dr. Brook Wilensky-Lanford to lead the education session at February’s Stated Communication. She spoke on modern-day “Eden Seekers,” including one man who believed the Garden of Eden was in Florida. Plus, there was talk of some ancient trees.
We dispensed with labor and welcomed in not only our featured speaker, but several public attendees as well.
Wilensky-Lanford’s book is Parade Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden.
We were joined by special guests DDGM WB Larry Holder; past DDGM WB Ron Bowling; and WB Dicky Lyon.
It was great to be back in-person after meeting online in January.
Lodge Workday a Success
Thank you to all the brothers who came out on Saturday, Feb. 12 to knock out a few easy fix-it projects around the lodge. We experimented with new uses for brooms and got ourselves a fun new tool. Plus, you can actually see your way around the fellowhsip hall and lodge room now thanks to new light bulbs.
Special thanks to M.C. Russell, Junior Warden, for orchestrating the fun.
Also present: WB Alex Bass, WB Dace Bergen, Gavin Bergen, David Collins, WM Charles Fiore, WB Al Jones, WB London Ivey, WB Tyler Singleton.
University Lodge #408 Installs 2022 Officers
On Monday, December 20, following our regular Stated Communication, the 2022 officers were installed.
WB Dicky Lyon served as the Installing Officer. WB Jason Lentz served as the Installing Marshall. Bro. Eric Juda served as the Installing Chaplain.
Peace and harmony prevailed.
Here are the officers for 2022:
Worshipful Master: Charles Fiore
Senior Warden: WB Alex Bass
Junior Warden: MC Russell
Treasurer: David Collins
Secretary: WB Dace Bergen
Senior Deacon: Evan Watson
Junior Deacon: WB Barry Deutsch
Tyler: WB London Ivey
WB Jeff Troccoli Named DDLG for District 20
WB Jeff Trccoli has been named District Deputy Grand Lecturer for District 20!
WB Troccoli is past master of University Lodge #408 and Mosaic Lodge #762. He is a member of University #408 and Columbus Lodge #102, where he currently serves as Steward. He served as the Secretary of University Lodge #408 from 2019-2021.
District 20 boasts 10 lodges. WB Troccoli passed his Certified Lecturer Examination in August of 2019. He is a Certified Lecturer – Class A.
2021 Officers Elected
Annual Grand Master’s Run – 2021
DDGM Official Visit
District Deputy Grand Master Ronald Bowling (19) made his offiical visit to University Lodge #408 AF&AM during our September Stated Communication. He was properly received and spoke to the lodge about several topics of importance, including the importance of positively marketing Freemasonry to our community. He reminded us that we “market” Freemasonry every day, in everything we say and do, in every interaction. He offered updates about goings on in District 19 and also closed the lodge.
University Lodge Member Graduates Wilkerson College
Bro. Charles Fiore, the current Senior Warden at University Lodge #408 AF&AM, graduated from Wilkerson College on August 28, 2021. Wilkerson College is North Carolina’s “college of Freemasonry” and arguably the premier Freemasonry education program in the country.
This particular graduating class had a long road. The first session was early March, 2020; within a week, the world had shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The final two sessions were eventually rescheduled for summer of 2021. Sessions included tours of Whitestone, the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford, and the Grand Lodge of NC.
Wilkerson College, North Carolina’s College of Freemasonry, was founded in 2002 by the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Orient of North Carolina and the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina with a single mission in mind: to provide Freemasonry with the best trained leaders possible.
Today there are 486 graduates of Wilkerson College who are making a positive difference in North Carolina Freemasonry and the communities that they live in.
For more about Wilkerson College, click here.
WB Danny Ferguson Honored
At May’s Stated Communication for University Lodge #408 AF&AM, WM Dace Bergen honored WB Danny Ferguson for his more than 30 years of service to the lodge. The lodge presented Danny with a commemorative plaque and invited him to close the lodge.
Danny is a four-time WM of University Lodge #408 AF&AM. For almost 20 years, he cooked two fellowship dinners a week for the brothers to enjoy. While he’s moving off to more mountainous pastures, the lodge hopes he’ll still come around every now and again.
WB DDGM Ronald Bowling attended the meeting as well.
EA Degree Held
This was the first ritual work performed by the lodge since September 9, 2019, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WM Dace Bergen presided.
2021 Officer Installation
Dace Bergen, Worshipful Master
Charles Fiore, Senior Warden
WB Duane Sinquefield, Junior Warden
WB Jeff Troccoli, Secretary
David Collins, Treasurer
Evan Watson, Senior Deacon
WB Alex Bass, Junior Deacon
WB Brian Curran served as the installing Master. WB Marcus Orr served as Marshall.
The installation was held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
RIP WB Stephen H. Sparrow
From Secretary WB Jeff Troccoli:
It is with deep sadness that I must inform you of the death of WB Stephen Henry Sparrow. He passed away on 12/28/2020 at home. His widow Gayle Sparrow said there will be a private family service only. He will be missed as well as his contributions to our lodge. A memorial will be held at University when we resume meeting.
Elected Master University #408: 01/01/2013
Elected Treasurer University #408: 01/01/2015
Widow: Gayle Sparrow
408 Hosts District 19 for 2020 Annual Communication
University Lodge #408 hosted delegates from District #19 on Friday, September 25, 2020, for the 233rd NCGL Annual Communication that was, for the first time in history, entirely virtual. Due to county restrictions, half the delegates were upstairs in the lodge room and half were downstairs in the fellowship hall. With all the other districts across the state joining on Zoom, the Grand Lodge conducted its business. Votes were cast and tabulated online. It all went very smoothly, as peace and harmony prevailed. WM Tyler Singleton was the representative for University Lodge #408. Special thanks to DDGM Ronald Bowling for coordinating what was, despite how well it turned out, quite a complicated day!
RIP Tony Franklin Clark
On Tuesday, February 25, 2020, Tony Franklin Clark, loving husband and father of two children, passed away at the age of 81. He will be dearly missed by his many friends and family. Tony was born on February 11, 1939, in Raeford, NC, to Heman Glenn Clark and Vivian Hester. He was the youngest of six children. (Predeceased siblings: Jean, Shirley, Hal, Alton, and Kenneth.) Tony attended UNC-Chapel Hill and received his undergraduate degree in Geology in 1962 and his Ph.D in Oceanography in 1974. Tony served in the US Navy (1962-1969), attained the rank of Captain, and remained involved the Naval Reserves after he retired from active duty. He was recalled to active duty in 1985 for a thrilling special assignment in the Arctic. He proudly reported directly to the Oceanographer of the Navy for that assignment. Brother Tony Clark was Elected to University 408 on 11/18/2002 and Raised on 07/07/2003. The Memorial Service with a visitation will be held at Donaldson’s Funeral Home-396 Wes St., Pittsboro, NC, 11:00AM, Saturday, March 7th, 2020. His Internment Service with Military honors is scheduled to be held at Skara Brae Farm, Pittsboro, NC, at 11:00AM, Saturday, April 4th, 2020. More: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/tony-clark-obituary?pid=195551141.
2020 Officers Installed
On Monday, December 16, University Lodge #408 installed officers for 2020, as follows: WB Tyler Singleton, Worshipful Master Dace Bergen, Senior Warden MC Russell, Junior Warden David Collins, Treasurer WB Jeff Troccoli, Secretary Charles Fiore, Senior Deacon Evan Watson, Junior Deacon WB London Ivey, Tiler The officers were installed by WB Larry Aydlett, PM of Eagle Lodge #19. Special Guest Johnny Surles led an educational session on the mystery of D.B. Cooper, perpetrator of the only unsolved air ransom in American aviation history. Did Cooper actually get away with it? That’s a secret that staying in the lodge room, folks. Congratulations to all!
2020 Election Results and MWGM Visit
It was quite an event last night at University Lodge #408: we were honored by a vist from MWGM Dwight M. “Mack” Sigmon who gave a presentation on the Baltimore Convention of 1843, which set up certain guidelines to standardize aspects of masonry for lodges acrossthe U.S. It was the MWGM’s first time at University Lodge #408. In addition, we elected officers for 2020, as follows: Tyler Singleton, Worshipful Master Dace Bergen, Senior Warden MC Russell, Junior Warden David Collins, Treasurer Jeff Troccoli, Secretary Brother Dace Bergen also was elected as a trustee. He will serve a three-year term.
MC Russell Named Mason of the Year
Bro. MC Russell has been named “Mason of the Year” by University Lodge #408. He was recognized in a ceremony prior to October’s Stated Communication, in front of family and friends. MC currently serves as Junior Warden. MC was instrumental in the rehabilitation of the north wall of the lodge, which had endured severe water damage. Many photographs of past masters had been ruined; the paint was buckling and peeling. MC coordinated contractors and oversaw work crews as they repainted the interior of the lodge; installed new lights; corrected exterior roof issues; and installed larger drainpipes below-ground. Damaged photographs of past masters were restored and hung back in place this month, after being down for more than a year. MC also sat in the South for a 1st Degree and, as JW, performed the yeomen’s work of coordinating Fellowship Dinners before every Stated. All the brothers of University Lodge #408 extend our sincerest thanks to Bro. MC Russell, who truly deserves recognition as Mason of the Year!
EA Degree Held — with More Singing!
On Monday, September 9, 2019, University Lodge #408 initiated a new brother, David Slezak. WM Tyler Singleton presided. WM Jason Lentz of Mosaic Lodge #762 served as Senior Deacon. DDGM Ronald Bowling graciously served as a Steward. Other special guests included Edgar A. Gonzales, founder of Masonic Revival; DDGL J. Watkins; and WM Ed Moore of Columbus Lodge #102. Special thanks to WB Jeff Troccoli for bringing his beautiful Martin 12-String so the brothers could sing during the degree, which really added to the atmosphere and made the evening special.
WB Troccoli Now Certified Lecturer
WB Jeff Troccoli passed his Certitfied Lecturer Examination on Saturday, August 10, 2019. He is now a Certified Lecturer – Class A. WB Troccoli is the current Secretary for University Lodge #408 in Chapel Hill and the Tyler for Columbus Lodge 102 in Pittsboro. Congratulations brother!
University #408 Gets a Fresh Paint Job!
After water damaged our north wall, we fixed the roof and repainted the lodge room. Special thanks to Bro. M.C. Russell for taking on this project!
408 Welcomes DDGM
On Monday, May 20, 2019, University Lodge #408 welcomed District Deputy Grand Master Ronald Bowling of the 19th Masonic District to their regular Stated Communication. DDGM Bowling offered inspiration on how the brothers could get more involved in their community, and also closed the lodge. Additional special guests that night included two Shriner brothers, who gave a presentation on the all the good work happening at the Shrine. Special thanks to the brothers of Eagle Lodge #19 and Mosaic Lodge #762 for helping make this a very successful evening!
RIP WB Lindy Pendergrass
WB Lindy Pendergrass, a past master of University Lodge #408, traveled to that unknown country on Sunday, May 19. He was 83. A Visitation will be held at the Chapel Hill Bible Church on Thursday May 23rd at 11:00 a.m. followed by funeral services at noon, also at the Chapel Hill Bible Church, located at 260 Erwin Road in Chapel Hill. Burial will follow at Westwood Cemetery on Davie Road in Carrboro. Obituaries and tributes abound, including:
University #408 Hosts Breakfast for First Responders
On Saturday, May 18, the brothers of University Lodge #408 hosted a free breakfast for first responders, at the lodge. Around thirty guests–including the Sherrif’s Department, local Chapel Hill police, firemen, and paramedics–dug into biscuits and eggs, pancakes and coffee, and a smorgasbord of hashbrowns and breakfast meat. It was an uplifting day with so many brothers spending time together at the lodge. Special thanks to WB London Ivey, WB Al Jones, and MC Russell for making it happen.
RIP, Bro. Dick McCallum
Worshipful Brother Dick McCallum passed away on January 23. He was 94. WB Dick was Master of University Lodge #408 in 1963 and a lifetime member; he also was a founding member of Mosaic Lodge #762. He was a mason for 59 years. Services were held at Carrboro United Methodist Church and WB Dick was buried at Westwood Cemetery with Masonic Funeral Rites. For the full obituary, click here. Donations in honor of WB Dick can be sent to: Shriners Hospitals for Children Attn: Office of Development 2900 N. Rocky Point Dr. Tampa, FL 33607
RIP Bro. James Jennings
It is with very heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Brother James Jennings, a member of University #408 and Mosaic #762. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, December 29, 2018, at 12:00pm at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, 2016, Mt. Carmel Church Road (correct spelling of Road), Chapel Hill. Officiating will be Rev. Barrett Freeman. A Masonic Burial will follow in the church cemetery on Parker Road. The graveside ceremony will still be at held 1:00 PM. The family will receive visitors prior to the service, from 11:00 – 12:00pm in the church. Please make an effort to attend if you are able. Click here for his obituary.
2019 Officer Installation
On Monday, December 3, University #408 installed our officers for 2019, as follows: Master: Tyler Singleton Senior Warden: Dace Bergen Junior Warden: MC Russell Treasurer: WB Stephen H. Sparrow Secretary: WB Jeff Troccoli Senior Deacon: Evan Watson Junior Deacon: Charles Fiore Tyler: WB London Ivey WB Larry Aydlett of Eagle Lodge #19 served as Master for the installation. WB Rickie Williams of Mosaic #762 served as Marshall. WB Brian Curran of Mosaic #762 served as Chaplain. The installation was preceded by a catered dinner that included brisket so tender you could cut it with a fork; gourmet macaroni and cheese, homemade mashed potatoes, flash-boiled green beans, and cornbread. Special thanks to WB London Ivey for taking care of the catering and WM Tyler Singleton for organizing the event.
First Degree Held — with Singing!
University #408, with an assist from Mosaic #762, initiated our newest brother on Monday, October 1, in an Emergent Communication. The evening was made all the more special as Bro. Dale Bailey sang the circumambulation in a way that’s very rarely done. Many brothers agreed it was a powerful and moving experience. WB Danny Ferguson cooked a delicious dinner beforehand, including ribs that offered just the right amount of slow-burn. It was a great turnout; thanks to everyone who came out and made it a special evening for our candidate!
University #408 Honors Newly Minted Eagle Scouts
After our August Fellowship Dinner, University #408 honored new Orange County Eagle Scouts in a ceremony prepared by the North Carolina Grand Lodge. This was only the second time this ceremony had ever been performed. University #408 gave new Eagle Scouts certifcates and recognized their great accomplishment in front of their family and friends.
University #408 and Mosaic #762 Host July 4 Cookout
On Monday, July 2, University Lodge #408 and Mosaic Lodge #762 held the 1st Annual July 4 joint Cookout at University Lodge. Many brothers, friends, and family came to eat burgers and dogs, corn on the cob, homemade pies, and more. Every table in the fellowship hall was full–an incredible turnout for what turned out to be a wonderful evening of fellowship. Thanks to all the brothers and wives who made it happen, especially SW Tyler Singleton and JW Duane Sinquefield!
University #408 First Responder Appreciation Breakfast
On Saturday morning, May 5, 2018, University #408 sponsored an appreciation breakfast for Police, Fire, and EMS workers. We provided pancakes, bacon, sausage links, and patties, scrambled eggs, hash browns, home fries, biscuits, orange juice and coffee. We had about 15 area First Responders attend and all left well fed to start their day! I want to thank the Brothers responsible for helping this event be a success:
- WB Al Jones who supplied the bacon, sausage and coffee.
- Senior Warden Tyler Singleton for preparing the pancakes and helping setup
- Senior Deacon Dace Bergen for making some excellent scrambled eggs.
- WB London Ivey designed and donated our banner which can be used again.
- WB Rickie Williams who kept the home fries and hash browns supplied.
Please check our photo gallery for pictures.
University Lodge Library Is Now Online!
Nobody knows exactly how many books University Lodge #408 holds in our library, but we’re confident there’s enough text collected on our shelves (and on nearby tables and chairs) to keep an interested mason busy reading for a good long while. Thanks to the vision and dedication of brother Evan Watson, the University Lodge library is being cataloged online! Already, Brother Watson has logged ninety-five books. The entire catalog can be reached from the Lodge’s website, or by clicking here. Brothers can search by keyword or subject matter. Or, brothers can simply browse by title. Most books are able to be checked out; some will need to be read only on-site due to their rarity or delicate condition. To check out a book, we’ll still use the old-fashioned library card system, for now. When you want to check out a book, write your name on the card inside the book, and leave the card for brother Watson to log. Titles range from history to esoterica to fiction and more. We hope brothers from all around the district, and beyond, come to enjoy one of the crowning jewels of University Lodge #408: it’s deep and still burgeoning collection of Masonic resources.
New Street Sign!
Thanks to Brother MC Russell, University Lodge #408 has a new street sign! They dug the hole for it a while back, and we’ve been eagerly anticipating the sign placement. There were tons of civic hoops to jump through, and Brother Russell was the right man for the job. This Saturday, Caroline Ferguson, the daughter of PWM and current Secretary Danny Ferguson, will be selling plants in the front yard of the lodge. Why not come check out the sign and, while you’re at it, take some greenery home with you?
April’s Showers Bring…a Mandatory Lecture Service!
April showers might bring May flowers, but they also welcomed a Mandatory Five-Hour Lecture Service for the brothers of University #408! PWM Al Jones and PWM London Ivey provided a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, biscuits, and a smorgasboard of meat, along with requiste coffee and juice. After the meal, we convened upstairs, where WB Bobby Handcock instructed us on the finer points of degree work and opening and closing the lodge, and shared other educational gems. Thanks to all the brothers who came out and made it a fun morning!
Three Lodges Dine, Rehearse First Degree
On Monday, March 5, following a lively dinner at University Lodge #408 in Chapel Hill, brothers from three District 19 lodges–Fellowship Lodge #687, Mosaic Lodge #762, and University Lodge #408–got together to rehearse the First Degree. Nothing remained of the delicious dinner, which was pork ribs, mashed potatoes, salad, and Texas Toast, plus two desserts. All the serving trays went back to the kitchen empty..
Bellies full, members of all three lodges came together in friendship to mark through the First Degree, prompting one another as needed, working through the sticky parts, and yes, occasionally cutting up. It was inspiring to see the good work that lodges can do when we come together to focus our attentions on a higher purpose.