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The 70th Grand Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity opened on the evening of Wednesday, June 28, 2023, at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Brothers from across the nation were in attendance to conduct the business of the General Fraternity. Committees gathered to deliberate, representatives tackled current fraternal issues in legislative sessions; reports were presented; awards bestowed; and the Fraternity elected a new High Council for the 2023-2025 Biennium.  

Day 1 - The Opening Ceremony and Business Session I

With fanfare and celebration, the High Council, Current and Past Grand Officers, Division Commanders, and Foundation Directors were introduced at the start of the opening session. A special introduction was given for Brother Bob Grant (Oklahoma), who, at the age of 91, was in attendance for his first Grand Chapter. Brother Grant came to the stage, where he was presented with a 70-year Alumni Pin from Regent Tim Huffmyer (Michigan State).

Grand Chaplain Fr. Joe Weber (Michigan State) gave the invocation, citing portions of the Sigma Nu Creed as he prayed over the deliberations of the Fraternity throughout the Grand Chapter. Brother Weber opened each day in the same way, giving honor and credit to the principles of our The Legion of Honor.  

As the Fraternity transitioned to the business of the convention, Regent Huffmyer invited Past Regent John Hearn (Georgia) to call the 70th Grand Chapter to order. 

In quick succession, members of the High Council delivered the State of the Fraternity report, declaring that the state of the Fraternity is strong heading into the next biennium.

Jud Horras, CEO of the North American Interfraternity Conference, reported on the progress of the trade association and the importance of Sigma Nu’s continued interfraternal leadership. Horras also presented six NIC Awards of Distinction to members and chapters, followed by the announcement of the 21 chapters that earned the Rock Chapter Award, Sigma Nu’s highest award for a collegiate chapter.

The evening concluded with additional Grand Chapter business, including the “How Grand Chapter Works” presentation from Parliamentarian Dr. Tim Huerta (Cal State LA) and opening reports from the Credentials Committee, led by Chairman Dr. Sean Killion (Jefferson), the Rules and Order of Business Committee, led by Chairman and Vice Regent Steve Ratterman (Indiana), the Elections Committee, led by Chairman and Division Commander Rick Tate (North Carolina State), and the Appeals and Grievances Committee, led by Chairman and Division Commander Chris Graham (Lamar).

Day 2 – Business Sessions II & III and the Honor Luncheon 

The work of the Fraternity began bright and early Thursday morning as Business Session II kicked off with a Ritual Opening. Past Regent and Hall of Honor inductee Jim Cherry (Hampden Sydney) led the collegiate chapter delegation through the Historic Roll Call. During the roll call, collegiate voting delegates were asked to respond with their school motto. Enthusiastic responses such as “Roll Tide!” (Alabama), “Zot, Zot, Zot!” (UC Irvine), and “Axe ‘em, Jacks!” (Stephen F. Austin) echoed throughout the room and were met with hearty laughter and applause.

During each business session, the Credentials Committee opened with an official report of credentialed voting delegates.

One of the first orders of business for the Grand Chapter was setting the election of a new High Council in motion. The Nominating Committee, led by Chairman and Past Regent John Hearn (Georgia), which had met and interviewed candidates for the Council in the days prior to the start of the convention, introduced a recommended slate followed by an opportunity for nominations from the floor. The report concluded with no additional nominations prompting a transition to a report from the Elections Committee to explain the elections process. From there, the Grand Chapter moved to a recess and Candidate Forum with an opportunity for representatives to speak to the nominees before voting. After the forum, the Grand Chapter returned to order for a paper-balloted election, with the business session closing with a special report from the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation.

From Business Session II, attendees transitioned to an Honor Luncheon where the Fraternity’s 2023 Alumni Award Winners were recognized. Following the Honor Luncheon, representatives returned to the legislative floor for Business Session III. During the business session, the Fraternity recognized three of its four newest members of the Sigma Nu Hall of Fame and delivered committee reports.

The Resolutions Committee, led by Chairman and Vice Regent David Glassman (Eastern Michigan), presented its first resolutions, including a report on the studied use of electronic voting systems at future Grand Chapters as directed by the 69th Grand Chapter and an honor resolution celebrating the 90th birthday of Past Regent and Hall of Honor inductee Dave Ruegg (California), Sigma Nu’s oldest living Past Regent.

The Elections Committee, having had the opportunity to count and tabulate ballots for the election of the High Council, presented the election results. The High Council for the 2023-2025 Biennium was announced:

  1. Regent: Maury Gaston (Auburn)
  2. Regent-Elect: Steve Ratterman (Indiana)
  3. Grand Treasurer: Dr. Jason Lyons (Jefferson)
  4. Vice Regent: Michael Barry (Georgia)
  5. Vice Regent: Shon Christy (Akron)
  6. Vice Regent: David Glassman (Eastern Michigan)
  7. Vice Regent: Al Wurster (Purdue) 

The Jurisprudence Committee, led by Chairman and Past Grand Officer Duane Dreger (MIT), proposed legislation for consideration by the Grand Chapter. Legislation adopted includes changes to the role of counsel in Trial Code hearings, award language concerning the Rock Chapter Award, and language concerning the granting of a charter to bring both in line with current practices, and the removal of now unnecessary bonding for the Grand Treasurer, Chapter Treasurer, and Executive Director.

The second day of the 70th Grand Chapter concluded in celebratory fashion as brothers and guests gathered for the Fort Lauderdale Area Alumni Reception and Sold!...for Sigma Nu Live Auction. The auction was a tremendous success, with more than $140,000 raised for the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation.

Day 3 – Business Session IV & The Maddox Honor Lecture 

The highlight of the third day of the Grand Chapter and Business Session IV was the Maddox Honor Lecture. In 1988, Past Regent Dr. Robert N. Maddox (Arkansas) established the Maddox Honor Lecture series through a gift to the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation. At the time, Dr. Maddox believed there was an unfilled need for our members to consider and discuss the principle of Honor in their daily lives. 

The panel for this year’s lecture included Sigma Hall of Fame members and Epsilon Epsilon (Oklahoma State) Chapter brothers Past Regent Charlie Eitel, Burns Hargis, Don Humphreys, and the final 2023 inductee into the Sigma Nu Hall of Fame, Carl Thoma. In a touching tribute, an empty seat was reserved for the late Dr. Tom Coburn, a contemporary of these Epsilon Epsilon Brothers, who entered Chapter Eternal in 2020. The insightful discussion, moderated by Regent Huffmyer, proved instructive for the powerful impact of fraternity and the shared principles and Mission of the Legion of Honor.

After a brief recess, the Finance Committee, led by Chairman and Grand Treasurer Al Wurster (Purdue), presented the 2023-2025 Biennium budget proposal. The budget, which included an increase in dues and fees, a first since 2016, was adopted by the Grand Chapter. While the Fraternity has continued to demonstrate financial strength and excellent stewardship of its resources, inflation, and the need to maintain a competitive position necessitated an increase.

The Jurisprudence Committee returned for an additional report of legislative proposals. The adopted changes to The Law of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. included permitting future Grand Chapters to elect uncontested nominees for the High Council by a vote of acclamation and authorizing the High Council to implement interim disciplinary action against an alumnus brother. Also, upon recommendation of the Jurisprudence Committee after significant study and legal counsel, the 70th Grand Chapter voted to remove Collegiate Grand Councilmen as voting members of the High Council. While the removal of the Collegiate Grand Councilmen as voting members of the Council was deemed necessary by the Grand Chapter, the Grand Chapter also established the position of Collegiate Advisors to provide collegiate input to the Council. Four collegiate leaders will be selected to serve as Collegiate Advisors for a one-year period.

The Ritual Committee, led by Chairman and Grand Chaplain Fr. Joe Weber (Michigan State), provided a report of accommodations and Funeral Ritual instructions that will be included in the next edition of The Ritual book of the Fraternity. 

The Resolutions Committee report presented two resolutions for adoption. The first called for continuing the inclusive brotherhood recommendations adopted by the 69th Grand Chapter. The second resolution celebrated past staff member Drew Logsdon (Western Kentucky) and recognized him for his 11 and a half years of service to the Fraternity.

Following the conclusion of the business session, Regent Huffmyer called the Grand Chapter to recess until Saturday, providing an opportunity for attendees to enjoy the Fort Lauderdale beach and resort amenities. 

Day 4 – Business Session V & The Grand Chapter Banquet

On the final day of the Grand Chapter, the Chapter Eternal Committee, led by Vice Regent Shon Christy (Akron), delivered an inspiring report and Funeral Ritual to honor the more than 1,500 brothers who entered the Chapter Eternal during the 2021-2023 biennium. 

The Grand Chapter adopted a final proposal from the Jurisprudence Committee, which called for adding the Risk Reduction Officer as a named officer in The Law of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.

Breaking from business matters, the Grand Chapter took a few moments to celebrate the winners of the 2023 Chapter Awards. Chapters were recognized in several award categories: scholarship, manpower, LEAD, community service and philanthropy, and the Pursuit of Excellence Program.

Returning to business, the Ritual Committee's final report submitted to the Grand Chapter additional revised language for the next edition of The Ritual book of the Fraternity.

Finally, the Resolutions Committee presented the last business report of the Grand Chapter with several honor resolutions presented for adoption and celebration. Among those recognized with an honor resolution were Cathy Long for her decades of artistry work for the Fraternity, the staff of the Marriot Harbor Beach Resort, Grand Chapter Coordinator Fred Dobry (Indiana State), Grand Chaplain Fr. Joe Weber, donors to the Spears Family Epsilon Epsilon Center for Excellence, Sigma Nu Spouses and Families, Division Commander Rick Tate, Executive Director Brad Beacham (Texas Christian), Sigma Nu’s Fraternal Staff, and Regent Tim Huffmyer. In addition to the celebratory resolutions, the Resolutions Committee offered one instructive resolution for adoption. The Grand Chapter approved the resolution directing the High Council to appoint a study group to evaluate the feasibility of including the Alumni Advisory Board model within The Law of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc., and, if appropriate, report to the Jurisprudence Committee of the 71st Grand Chapter. 

Concluding the final business session of the Grand Chapter, Regent Huffmyer led the swearing-in of the newly-elected High Council, followed by a formal Ritual Closing.  

That evening, the Grand Chapter Banquet served as the final event of the 70th Grand Chapter. Collegiate and Alumni Merit Award winners were announced, Alpha Affiliate Award recipients were recognized and Brothers James Owens (Charleston) and Brad Beacham (Texas Christian) received the Fraternity’s highest recognition upon their induction into the Hall of Honor. Regent Huffmyer offered his final remarks before installing and pinning Brother Maury Gaston (Auburn) as the 68th Regent of Sigma Nu Fraternity. Brother Gaston offered his inaugural remarks as Regent and brought the Grand Chapter to a close with the traditional closing slideshow.   
Following the banquet, brothers, family members, and guests lingered long into the night for conversation, celebration, and in recognition of all that had been accomplished—especially the stronger friendships forged—in the days and hours spent together at Grand Chapter, the first conducted in-person since 2018.


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Phone: (540) 463-1869 | Fax: (540) 463-1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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