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Larry Tech 1970s

The Grand Council "Bet the Farm"

In 1970, the Grand Chapter marked the 125th anniversary of Alpha Sigma Phi. In attendance at the 1970 Grand Chapter was the Rev. Emmet Gribben, Jr., a great-grandson of founder Louis Manigault. Rev. Gribben presented the Fraternity with Manigault's Badge, his travel diary, a collection of his letters to Ormsby Rhea, and a portrait of the Fraternity's principal founder, painted by a Chinese artist, all of which now reside at Alpha Sigma Phi Headquarters. Since this time, the Manigault Badge has served as the Grand Senior President's official badge. The 1970 Grand Chapter also authorized undergraduate representatives to be appointed to serve on the Grand Council. With the loss of chapters and the decrease in recruitment between 1969 and 1976, hard economic times engulfed the Fraternity once again. The initial reaction of the Fraternity was to limit expenses to available income. The Tomahawk cut the number and size of its issues; chapter consultant positions were eliminated; and from 1972 to 1976, no new chapters were chartered. For three years, 1971-1974, Ralph Burns and a small administrative staff were the only professionals administering the operations of the Fraternity.

In 1978, Gary Anderson was planning to conclude his service as Executive Director, and Richard Dexter made a pact with Kevin Garvey, Westminster '75, that he would team with Garvey as Executive Director to set and enforce operational standards. Richard Dexter was elected Grand Senior President by the 1978 Grand Chapter, and the Grand Council agreed to "bet the farm" and expended the corpus of the Tomahawk Fund Endowment and other reserves to rebuild momentum in Alpha Sigma Phi. Alpha Sigma Phi launched an expansion effort in the Mid-Atlantic States, adding two new chapters and a revival of Beta Zeta Chapter in North Carolina, inactive since 1948, and two new chapters in Virginia by 1982. Other chapters were added or re-chartered during this time at the University of Missouri, Tulane University, University of Miami, and Marshall University.

In 1981, Alpha Sigma Phi re-chartered its Alpha Theta chapter at the University of Missouri. In the spring of 1981, Rob Sheehan was traveling from Los Angeles to Berkeley on an expansion and Third Founding fundraising trip when he learned that Kevin Garvey was leaving staff and that he would be the next Executive Director. His appointment capped a triumvirate of Westminster alumni leaders of the Fraternity. Dr. Rob Sheehan, Jr., Westminster '76 served as Executive Director for nine years and was succeeded in 1990 by John R. Chaney, Indiana '67. In 1984, Alpha Sigma Phi entered into a mandatory chapter liability insurance program under the leadership of Grand Senior President Stan N. Miller, Purdue '64. As indicated above, it raised over $1.1 million in endowment money through the Third Founding Campaign, of which Stan Miller was the chairman. The bar was raised for alumni contributions from $1,000 per year and $15,000 dollars in a lifetime to $10,000 per year and $100,000 lifetime, and a number of leading contributors met these goals.

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