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Our History

NOAC 1996

1996 National Order of the Arrow Conference

The Order of the Arrow returned for an eighth time to Indiana University, Bloomington, for the 81st Anniversary Conference. The 6,265 delegates was the fourth consecutive NOAC with greater than 6,000 delegates. Conferences had grown, but this also had the result of limiting the number of campuses available that could stage a NOAC. The Conference theme selected at the National Planning Meeting by the Section Chiefs was "See the Dream, Live the Adventure." 

Keynote speaker at the Conference was former CIA Director and Future Secretary of Defense for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Robert Gates. Robert Gates was a Vigil Honor member of Hi-Cha-Ko-Lo Lodge in Wichita Kansas. When a few Arrowmen showed a little too much lodge spirit during his speech, Mr. Gates reminded them that he had been the Director of the CIA and knew whom they were and how to find them. All of this was to the great delight of the 6,000 Arrowmen.

Thirty seven Arrowmen received the OA's Distinguished Service Award (DSA)