Rick Sidor ’83 (Alpha Chapter, USC) thinks there is something about Sigma Phi Delta that sets it apart from other fraternities. Now the father of two engineers and two aspiring ones, Rick’s passion for engineering must have always been evident, and college was no exception. So he was not looking to join just any fraternity.

“I wanted Greek life, but I was serious about my career choice in engineering,” says Rick. “I thought SPD would give me a good social and professional mix.”

The experience that resulted was outstanding, Rick says. On the social side, SPD gave him lasting friendships and unforgettable times. He loved that his chapter consisted of a mix of brothers from all different states, countries and walks of life. Some of his favorite memories are of the work parties, hell week, formals and theme parties, and concocting the “Hearse Burger” (complete with Tommy’s Famous Chili) for SPD events and E-week activities on campus.

“The traditional scavenger hunts following work parties that took us through LA and required engineering calculations to solve, and the Castle building on the beach at 1 a.m. in Malibu are memories I’ll cherish forever,” he says.

Professionally, Rick gained invaluable experience in planning, organization, business, finance and leadership by holding a variety of positions, including Social Chairman, Treasurer, VP and President. He is sure that had he lived in a dorm or apartment, he would never have gotten that experience.

Out of college, Rick gained field experience working for the California Department of Transportation and then for a highway and heavy construction contractor. After passing the PE exam, he decided he wanted to make the switch to consulting. At age 32, he and another USC engineer, along with a few others, founded CASC Engineering and Consulting. CASC has been in operation for 25 years now, with several companies spun off from it and a commitment to diversification that Rick is proud of. Two of the company’s top 10 business clients over the years, Rick says, are tied to SPD connections.

Rick’s gratitude for those kinds of connections—both personal and professional—is apparent, as Sigma Phi Delta has been very lucky to receive his generosity over the years.

“It’s a very small payback for what the fraternity gave to me,” he says. “I hope it can help with the operations and growth of the fraternity so that others can share the same kind of experience I had.”

Rick believes that the combination of social and professional focus as well its smaller size are what make the Sigma Phi Delta experience so special.

“I formed lifelong friendships,” says Rick. “My brother (by birth) is a USC engineer who was a member of a large, national, social fraternity, and he has virtually no connection with his fraternity brothers.”

Rick and his wife, Mary, have four sons: Chris, 25, is an ASU Civil Engineering grad. Nick, 22, will graduate this spring with a Civil Engineering degree and business minor from CU in Boulder, CO. Tony, 19, is a freshman who will transfer from Oregon State’s Environmental Engineering program to the University of Redlands’ Environmental Science/GIS program this fall. And Nat, 12, is a future Aerospace Engineer. The family loves to hike together in the great outdoors, especially in the Rockies, Sierras and the Pacific Northwest. Rick still keeps in touch with brothers, but hopes to reconnect with more now that his kids are mostly grown and not keeping him quite as busy.

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