Grand President Beals became President of the Professional Interfraternity Conference in Chicago, Illinois, in Mach 1968, for a two-year term of Office. This is the first time that Sigma Phi Delta Fraternity had provided a President for the P.I.C.
Efforts of Grand Vice-President Michael J. Deuel (Eta) and Gene Irvin, expansion chairman of Alpha Active Chapter, were rewarded when a student group at California State College at Long Beach submitted a petition for charter as Sigma Chapter of the Sigma Phi Delta Fraternity. This Chapter was installed in ceremonies at the Alpha Chapter House on February 1, 1969, by Grand President Beals, Grand Vice-President Deuel and Western Province Councilor Kenneth Gielow (Nu), assisted by undergraduate and alumni members of Alpha and Nu Chapters. Twenty-four undergraduates and two Faculty Members, led by Charter Chief Engineer Dennis Lambert and Chapter Secretary Mike Maronta, were in the Charter Chapter. This was the second Chapter to be installed in the Alpha Chapter house, the first being Mu Chapter in 1951.
The Eighteenth General Convention of the Fraternity was held in Chicago, Illinois, in late August 1969, with Iota Active and Iota Alumni Chapters as Hosts. The second Grand President's Trophy for Expansion was presented to Alpha Active Chapter at the Convention banquet on August 30, 1969, for the chartering of Sigma Active Chapter. Gene Irvin, so much responsible for the chartering of the Chapter, accepted the Award. A certificate of appreciation was presented to Brother Orville J. Banasik upon his retirement as Editor of the CASTLE. Brother Banasik, who was born on November 17, 1919, in Wales, North Dakota; initiated by Epsilon Chapter on January 19, 1947; graduated in Cereal Chemistry from North Dakota Agricultural College (later North Dakota State University); served the Fraternity as Central Province Councilor, Grand Vice-President and Editor of the CASTLE. He edited the First Edition of the Pledge Manual.
A standardized format for Chapter By-Laws was adopted by the Convention. The Executive Secretary's salary was raised from $700 per year (where it had been since January 1, 1964) to $1,000 per annum, payable quarterly, and to be effective an January 1, 1970. The Executive Secretary took over keeping a current mailing list of Members and the responsibility for the distribution of the CASTLE and the STAR, thereby eliminating the necessity for a Circulation Manager of the CASTLE. Dr. Beals was elected to a tenth consecutive term as Grand President of the Fraternity.
During February 1969, a group of sophomore students became interested in forming a fraternity for engineers at Loyola University of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California. One of the students, Yim-Hei (Joe) Yeung, contacted various national fraternities in the hope of establishing a Chapter on that campus. Dr. Beals was contacted by Mr. Yeung and arranged, through Grand Vice-President Michael J. Deuel (Eta), for a meeting between Sigma Phi Delta and the Loyola group. May 11 saw the official formation of a Committee for Tau Chapter. By-Laws were drawn up and plans for a Petition for Charter were made. The submission of the petition was delayed because the Interfraternity conference and Student Affairs Committee had no guidelines for the chartering of a new fraternity. Continued support was received from Gene Irvin, Alpha active, and Mike Deuel. On February 25, 1970, petitions were submitted to the General Convention of Sigma Phi Delta for Charter as Tau Chapter. Twenty-five actives and two Faculty Members were installed as Tau Chapter at the Alpha Chapter House on April 11, 1970, with Grand President Beals, assisted by former Grand Vice-President Michael J. Deuel, Trustee Robert D. Malinowski, newly appointed Western Province Councilor Charles A. Freberg (Alpha) and actives from Alpha and Sigma Chapters. This was the third chapter to be installed in the quarters at 817 West Thirtieth Street in Los Angeles, the Alpha Chapter house. James L. Wolcott was Charter Chief Engineer and Patrick D. Garvey was Chapter Secretary.
The fraternity situation on the Berkeley campus worsened as the fifty fraternities on the campus in the early 1960's decreased to twenty-three fraternities in 1970. Nu Chapter's membership continued to decline and, when the Tenth Western Province Convention was held in Berkeley in September 1970, only two active members remained in that Chapter. To all extents and purposes, Nu Chapter became inactive at that time and continued inactive until May 14, 1977, when five actives reactivated the Chapter. The San Francisco Bay Area Alumni Chapter requested permission, on May 1, 1971, to resume Alumni Association status.
The Nineteenth General Convention of the Fraternity was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in early September 1971, with Eta Active Chapter as Host. The third Grand President's Trophy for Expansion was presented to Alpha Chapter for the chartering of Tau Active Chapter, the second such award for Alpha Chapter. By action of this Convention, this Trophy will henceforth be known as the GILBERT H. DUNSTAN TROPHY FOR EXPANSION. Primary subjects for discussion at the Convention included low membership in the Chapters, low finances in the treasuries, and ways of improving both. The Fraternity Ritual was revised somewhat and was reprinted for the first time since its adoption and printing in July 1940. The new Ritual was distributed in October 1971. Merger with Theta Tau Fraternity was again considered, but the Delegates were not favorable to being absorbed by the larger organization. The Delegates presented a Certificate of Appreciation, signed by all the Delegates, to Dr. Beals for twenty years of service as Grand President of the Fraternity and also elected him to an eleventh term as Grand President.
Grand President Robert J. Beals called the Twentieth General Convention of the Fraternity to order in Moorhead, Minnesota, on August 30, 1973, where Epsilon Active and Fargo Alumni Chapters were Hosts. This was to be the last Convention at which he would preside as Chairman in that he declined to accept further nomination to the Office of Grand President. In recognition of this long service, the Delegates voted to have a wood-mounted brass plaque engraved for presentation. The plaque reads:
Efforts were extended for the establishment of a Little Sister Program for the Fraternity, though no definitive action was taken to make the program a National program at this time. Membership requirements were changed in that, upon petition, a Chapter could initiate as Member a student enrolled in an accredited Engineering Technology program. It was also decided that the Chapter Chief Engineer did not have to be enrolled in an engineering program during his tenure, which had been a requirement for untold years. However, the Convention Delegate must be an engineering student during his incumbency. Recognizing the trends in finance, the Convention increased the allowable limit for interest on loans to undergraduate chapter associated housing corporations from 4 1/2% to 6%. A greatly revised Chapter Efficiency Contest was advocated. Because of opposition to format, the matter was referred to a later action by the Supreme Council. The revised Contest was used, together with the established format, for 1974. Plans were formulated for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Fraternity's Founding on April 11, 1974. Gerald A. Kraatz (Rho), who was Charter Secretary of Rho Chapter and who had served as Grand Vice-President, was elected as the seventh Grand President of the Sigma Phi Delta Fraternity. Gerry was born on May 14, 1946, in Evanston, Illinois. He was initiated as a Charter Member of Rho Chapter on December 18, 1965. He graduated from Bradley University in Mechanical Engineering in 1968.
It had been anticipated by the Twentieth General Convention that incumbent Executive Secretary William M. Jermain, Jr. would accept appointment to a third term as Executive Secretary, the Office he had held, on two separate occasions, for a total of nine years. In addition to this Office, be had served the Fraternity as Grand Vice-President and Central Province Councilor. Bill had been initiated by Eta Chapter on February 10, 1952, in the first formal initiation attended by the newly-installed Grand President Beals. He graduated from Marquette University in June 1952 with a degree in Civil Engineering. Bill was born on February 21, 1928, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When Jermain declined to accept appointment as Executive Secretary, the newly-elected Grand President Kraatz prevailed and former Grand President Robert J. Beals was appointed to the office of Executive Secretary, effective on January 1, 1974.