By Matthew Maroot
For over 80 years, the Fresno Triple X Fraternity has continually sought to promote charity, benevolence and brotherhood-values that are not common in many organizations today.
As a fraternity the Triple X is a social organization. It holds board meetings and general meetings, dinners, fund-raisers and other social events. One such event took place on Thursday, January 21, 1999 when the Triple X invited members of the California State University, Fresno Armenian Students Organization to their club-house for dinner and an opportunity to meet the members. “The Triple X is an important part of the Armenian-American community and I’m grateful that they invited us to come out and enjoy their fellowship,” said Armenian Students Organization Historian, Michael H. Harutinian.
Founded in 1919, the Fresno Triple X has come a long way from its humble beginnings at Fresno High School. The eight Founding Fathers, forbidden from joining other clubs because they were Armenian, had the foresight to establish a club of their own, one in which their culture and heritage would be celebrated, not prohibited.
Thanks to the vision of those dauntless young men, as well as the perseverance of many men after them, the Triple X has grown into an organization of 13 chapters throughout California including one in Las Vegas, Nevada. Currently, the Fresno Chapter, also the fraternityís Mother Chapter, consists of 147 members, a far cry from the original 30 members sought by the Founding Fathers, hence the name Triple X.
Under their current Master, Robert D. Markus, the Triple X is involved in numerous charitable activities throughout the community. Many organizations have benefited from Triple X fund-raisers throughout the year. Among them are the California Armenian Home, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the Armenian Community School of Fresno, the American Red Cross, the Armenian Technology Group, Inc., and the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation which is working toward a cure for Niemann-Pick Type C, a neuro-degenerative disease. In addition to these and many other charitable contributions, the Triple X also offers several $500 scholarships each year to graduating high school seniors.
These generous acts of charity and benevolence are not so surprising when one considers the foundation in which they are based. “Itís a real brotherhood and we have a lot of camaraderie because we’re all Armenians,” Markus said. Fortunately for the community, the kindness created by that sense of brotherhood has benefited Armenians and non-Armenians alike.