The long-awaited Song Book, edited by Lyle D. Oleson, was made available to the membership in April 1960. This book combined Fraternity, school, religious, party and patriotic songs into one volume. The book is now out of print, but inasmuch as Fraternity singing seems to have gone out of style, it has not been reprinted.
The Fourteenth General Convention met on August 31 and September 1 and 2, 1961, at the Oak Park Arms Hotel, Oak Park, Illinois, with Delta Active and Delta Alumni Chapters as Hosts. This body extended to Brothers W. Robert McIlvenna and Lyle D. Oleson the gratitude of the Brotherhood for their efforts on its behalf. Suitably engrossed certificates were presented to these Brothers. Minor changes were made in the Statutory Code. The Office of Business Manager of the CASTLE was eliminated since, by recent practice, the Executive Secretary had been carrying out the functions of that office. The publication dates of the STAR were changed to the first of February, April and October. It was decided that Faculty and Honorary Members could be given any badge or key, reversing an earlier Law that only the key or pearl Bet badge could be used. A minor change was made in the Ritual for Formal Initiation, the first change since its adoption in 1940. Merger with the Theta Tau Fraternity, also a fraternity of engineers and a member of the Professional Interfraternity Conference, was considered by the Convention but was considered unwise.
As had the General Convention in Vancouver in 1951, the Fourteenth General Convention discussed, at length, the question of length of tenure of National Officers. It was the overwhelming consensus that no limit should be placed on the number of terms an officer could serve. The best man for the office, without regard to his length of service, should be elected to the office. At the same time, the Fraternity realized that, with the increased size of the organization and with the high degree of organization the Brotherhood enjoys, the more difficult it is for someone not familiar with the office to assume the responsibilities of a National Officer. Considerable thought was given to the establishment of a National officer Training Program. In post-Convention discussions and surveys, the consensus was that the best training for a National Office position is obtained while functioning as a Province Councilor. In this Office, the problems concerning the members are first faced and the awareness of the functions of National Office leadership is gained. The Convention elected the incumbent Grand President, Dr. Robert J. Beals, to a sixth term of office.
A first for the Fraternity occurred on March 2 and 3, 1963, when the entire Supreme Council met in a special session at the home of Grand President Beals in Naperville, Illinois. The Council considered expansion, alumni participation, forms and records, and other matters of concern to the Fraternity. A meeting was held with the National Officers of Triangle Fraternity with discussions centering on a possible merger between the two fraternities. The Seventh Edition of the Manual of Procedure was issued in early Fall of 1963. The Third Edition of the Pledge Manual was issued early in 1962.
Pi Chapter acquired a house at 503 NE 27th Street in Miami, Florida, on April 1, 1963. Delta Chapter moved from its long-time address (since 1946) in Urbana, Illinois, to a new chapter house in Champaign, Illinois, in July 1963.
The National Officer Training Program, adopted by the Fourteenth General Convention, was put into effect. Under this program, nominees for National and Province Offices receive copies of all correspondence to and from the incumbent and have a meeting or meetings with the incumbent, if this is geographically possible.
The Fifteenth General Convention was held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in late August 1963, with Lambda Chapter as Host. At this Convention, the Supreme Council raised the salary of the Executive Secretary from $500 to $700 per annum, payable quarterly. The Convention adopted a resolution honoring Brother William M. Jermain, Jr. The Grand President had a suitably engrossed certificate prepared for presentation. The point scores of the Chapter Efficiency Contest were revised and the entire Contest was continued on a percentile rating. A Professional Achievement Award, to be presented to alumni of the Fraternity who have made an outstanding achievement or contribution to the field of engineering, was established.
The Fraternity celebrated its Fortieth Anniversary in 1964. Grand President Beals visited each of the Chapters of the Fraternity during the biennium. For the first time, a member of Sigma Phi Delta held an office on the Board of Directors of the Professional Interfraternity Conference when Robert J. Beals was elected to the Board of Directors at the Atlanta, Georgia, meeting in 1964. A second meeting of the Supreme Council was held in Naperville, Illinois, on April 3 and 4, 1965, to evaluate the Fraternity progress, to lay the groundwork for better expansion effort and to provide for the more efficient operation of the Fraternity.
In April 1965, the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute moved its campus from Miami to Daytona Beach, Florida. Pi Chapter moved with the School, making this the first Chapter to change geographical locations.
The General Convention recalled incumbent Province Councilor W. Robert McIlvenna for failure to carry out the functions and duties of his office on September 1, 1965. Brother McIlvenna was succeeded by John G. Ellis (Alpha) in the first known recall of a member of the Supreme Council.
The Sixteenth General Convention of the Fraternity was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in early September 1965, with Xi Chapter as Host. Two new Alumni Chapters, Winnipeg Alumni and Twin City Alumni (Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota) were present at this Convention. Interest rates on loans from the Endowment Funds of the Fraternity to housing corporations associated with undergraduate chapters of the Fraternity were increased from the 1929 level of 3% to a rate of 4 1/2%. The Office of Historian of the Convention was added and the Editor of the CASTLE was given this office if he is in attendance at the Convention. The Convention made official a procedure for the granting of gifts or bequests from friends of the Fraternity to be used for furthering the objects of the Fraternity. A few, minor, changes were made in the Statutory Code, the first changes made in four years. The Laws of the Fraternity were changed to provide for an Official Directory, published in the CASTLE, every five years, beginning in December 1965. Elected to a seventh consecutive term was Grand President Robert J. Beals.
Early in 1965, James Ransom, Delta Active, approached the faculty at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, about the formation of a chapter of the Sigma Phi Delta Fraternity. On May 3, 1965, an interested group of fourteen students met with James Ransom, Ronald Davis and William Cocagne, all of Delta Chapter, for the purpose of establishing a Chapter. At a May 7 meeting, Eastern Province Councilor Robert D. Malinowski (Delta) met with 19 students and outlined the petitioning procedure. The group, on May 11, 1965, organized as Sigma Rho, a local engineering fraternity, for the purpose of petitioning the Bradley University for a Charter. Grand President Beals met with the group on May 24. Because of a delay in the granting of a Charter on the campus, the group was not able to petition for Charter as a Chapter of Sigma Phi Delta until late in 1965. On December 18, 1965, Grand President Beals, assisted by Executive Secretary Charles Peterson (Kappa) and Eastern Province Councilor Robert D. Malinowski, together with representatives of Delta, Kappa and Iota Chapters, installed Rho Chapter of Sigma Phi Delta on the Bradley Campus. Ten undergraduate and one Faculty Member were in the Charter Chapter. Charter Chief Engineer was Theodore W. Olsen and Chapter Secretary was Gerald A. Kraatz.
The chartering of Rho Chapter provided the first opportunity for the awarding of the Grand President's Trophy for Expansion. It was presented to Delta Chapter at the Seventeenth General Convention banquet in Los Angeles, California, on September 1, 1967.
Undergraduate member dues were raised by mail ballot vote of the General Convention in November 1966, from fifteen to twenty dollars per year. The increase became effective on April 1, 1967. At the same time, alumni chapter dues were increased from thirty to fifty dollars per year. This increase became effective on January 1, 1967. These represented the first National dues increases since 1953 although Province dues had been instituted in the interim.
Trademarks, in Canada, on the CASTLE (NS 43852), the Coat of Arms (NS 44034) and the name SIGMA PHI DELTA (NS 44033) as used on jewelry and similar items were renewed for a second fifteen-year period in August 1967.
The Seventeenth General Convention of the Fraternity met on August 30 and 31 and September 1, 1967, in Los Angeles, California, with Alpha Active and Los Angeles Alumni Chapters as Hosts. The Convention added a fifth section to the Chapter Efficiency Contest. This Section is the responsibility of the Editor of the CASTLE and recognizes the importance of the publications of our Fraternity. The Convention also affirmed that, effective January 1, 1968, the business managers and treasurers of all undergraduate and alumni chapters would be required to be bonded. A certificate recognizing his continued interest in and his contributions to the Fraternity was presented to former Executive Secretary and Eastern Province Councilor Charles E. Peterson (Kappa). All forms and records of the Fraternity were reviewed. In the next edition of the Manual of Procedure, specimen forms would be completely filled in to illustrate the proper method of submission. Grand President Beals had completed sixteen years in the Office, having been elected eight times.