The Chairman of the Board and Judy Baar Topinka

Today, December 12, 2014, is the 99th anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s birth. Although I was born too late to be a “bobby soxer,” Sinatra’s fans of the 1940s, I adore his music. I had the opportunity to see him in person in the early 1980s; I think the venue was in Hartford, Connecticut. There’s a post about Sinatra’s connection to Alpha Phi Delta at I hear there are plans in store for next year’s centennial of Sinatra’s birth and I eagerly await them. Sinatra’s “Chairman of the Board” moniker was given to him by WNEW disc jockey William B. Williams.


As a resident of Illinois, I offer my condolences to the family of Judy Baar Topinka, a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, who died early Wednesday morning. She was elected the State Treasurer of Illinois in 1994 and served until 2007. She was the first woman to be Illinois State Treasurer and the first Republican in 32 years (in a very heavily Democratic state) to be elected Treasurer. She was currently the state Comptroller and she recently won a hard fought election battle against southern Illinois Sheila Simon, the daughter of former Illinois Senator Paul Simon.

At Northwestern University, she was a  member of Alpha Gamma Delta. For her work and service, Alpha Gamma Delta gave her a Distinguished Citizen Award. Her membership in the West Suburban Alumnae Chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta is noted on her official website. If you’d like to know more about Topinka, I recommend this article

Judy Barr Topinka (from her official website)

Judy Baar Topinka (from her official website)


Tomorrow it will be 12/13/14. I mention that just because!

© Fran Becque,, 2014. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest


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Four Founders’ Days, Three Recommends, Two Kudos, and a ChiO from Mississippi

Mary Ann Mobley, Miss America 1959, died yesterday at the age of 75. She was a Chi Omega from the University of Mississippi. In 1960, as the outgoing Miss America, she crowned Lynda Lee Mead. Both were initiated into the Tau chapter of Chi Omega at the University of Mississippi. It is the only time that the outgoing and incoming Miss Americas were from the same sorority chapter. May she rest in peace.

Mary Ann Mobley at the 1990 Chi Omega convention (Photo courtesy of Lyn Harris)

Mary Ann Mobley at the 1990 Chi Omega convention (Photo courtesy of Lyn Harris)


Two Kudos…

Kudos to Kappa Alpha Theta’s Executive Headquarter’s staff; 100% have given to the Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation. Moreover, these stats from the website are impressive.

42 total employees work at Headquarters (not including ELCs)
27 are Fraternity employees
8 are Fraternity Housing Corporation employees
7 are Foundation employees
3 are men
39 are women
28 are members of Kappa Alpha Theta
19 have given to Theta Foundation for 10 years or more (that’s 45 percent—nearly half of staff!)
Collectively, the current staff has contributed over $54,000 in their lifetimes
Thus far in 2014, staff contributions total over $9,300

Kudos, too, to my friend Juli Holmes Willeman, Executive Director of Pi Beta Phi, who recently endowed an undergraduate scholarship. Preference will be given to members of Juli’s chapter, Iowa Beta at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. In a Pi Beta Phi Foundation press release, Juli said,

“I had no idea the impact Pi Phi would have on my life beyond college. My closest friends today are friends I made at 406 N. Buxton during those four treasured years at Simpson College. Professionally, I’ve been blessed to work with amazing Pi Phis that challenge me, inspire me and lift me up to do more than I ever thought possible. I am incredibly proud to be an Iowa Beta and I hope Iowa Beta is proud to have one of their own leading our beloved organization. We are all a part of something so much bigger, and my hope and wish with this scholarship is to give back to an organization near and dear to my heart and live our mission developing leaders for tomorrow.”


Three Recommends…

Take the Thank You Challenge! T.J. Sullivan, motivational Greek speaker and author of Motivating the Middle, has sent out a challenge to student leaders to thank those who have had an impact on their lives. Read about it at I am a true believer in thank you notes (see and so his post really touched my heart.

The controversy at the University of Virginia continues to make news after Rolling Stone magazine retracted the article about an alleged rape victim. For more information, see and/or . Both links are courtesy of the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee twitterfeed.

Five things that won’t fix your Greek System, an insightful post by John Shertzer on his Fraternal Thoughts blog –


Four Founders Days…

Happy Founding Day to three men’s fraternities and one sorority.

Kappa Sigma was founded on December 10, 1869 by five students at the University of Virginia.

Pi Kappa Phi was founded on this date in 1904 at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.

Sigma Sigma Rho, a South Asian-based sorority, was founded on December 10, 1998 at St. John’s University in Queens, New York.

Delta Sigma Phi was founded on December 10, 1899, at the City College of New York.

© Fran Becque,, 2014. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest

Posted in Chi Omega, Delta Sigma Phi, Founders' Day, Fran Favorite, Fraternity History, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Sigma, Notable Sorority Women, Pi Beta Phi, Pi Kappa Phi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The State by State Tour of Graves, Founding Sites, and HQs for NPC GLOs

In the process of compiling large amounts of information, there is a moment when I question my sanity. The point comes somewhere in the midst of spending too much time in research having too little to show for it, with a mound of unanswered questions smack dab in the middle of the road to the end. That is where I stand today. My goal was to compile a state by state guide to all Greek-letter organization (GLO) related sites.

I started by putting together a spreadsheet of all the founders of all the National Panhellenic Conference organizations. More than 175 names were on that list. I searched the books in my library. I googled. I found myself in many findagravecom and ancestrycom rabbit holes. I asked friends with access to the information for their own GLO for information.

Twelve for certain I knew, those being the Pi Beta Phi founders. I knew some of the Kappa Kappa Gamma founders were buried in the small cemetery in Monmouth, Illinois, where a number of Pi Phi founders are laid to rest. I was surprised to find out that one of the Alpha Xi Delta founders is buried there, too.

Although I just returned from a visit to the Student Life Archives at the University of Illinois, I was on another mission there and did not have time to research this question. Nor did I have to visit the grave of Frances Haven Moss, the Gamma Phi Beta founder who is buried in the cemetery near campus.

Who would guess that in a cemetery in Pasadena, California, far from Farmville, Virginia, and Syracuse, New York, are the graves of a Kappa Delta founder and Alpha Phi founder?

I added birth and death dates, if I could find them. Sometimes I only found one, so the other is an x;  “x-1942″ means that I do not know when she was born, but she died in 1942. On my spreadsheet, I have a column for husband and marriage date, if I came across that information. I also have a column for states in which she lived, if I found that info. I did not include that here.

My Chi Omega friends managed to find Mary Love Collins’ grave in a small town in Pennsylvania. That made me start on having the NPC Chairmen listed here, too. After all, last month I wrote about my quest to find Amy Burnham Onken’s grave. She was Pi Phi’s Grand President for more than years. She was NPC Chairman, so I’ve added her, too. 

I intend this to be a working document. I welcome all additions and corrections. I’d love to add information for the other GLOs . Send any corrections or additions to franbecque at hotmail.



Octavia Andrew Rush, Alpha Delta Pi Founder, 11/28/1835-11/6/1917, Oak Hill Cemetery, Plot 1572, Prattville, AL


The Chi Omega Amphitheater at the University of Arkansas

The Chi Omega Theatre at the University of Arkansas


Charles Richardson, Chi Omega Founder, 1864-1924, Fairview Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Fayetteville AR

Chi Omega Founding Campus, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

Chi Omega Greek Theatre, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR (It was a gift to the university from Chi Omega, completed in 1930. The structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. It is a replica of the Theatre of Dionysus at the foot of the Acropolis in Greece.)

Christina “Ina May” Boles Morton, Chi Omega Founder, 12/8/1877-10/14/1963, Brearley Cemetery, Dardenelle, AR

Jobelle Holcombe, Chi Omega Founder and NPC Chairman 1907,  2/5/1877-7/26/1962, Bluff Cemetery, Springdale, AR



Clara Bradley Wheeler Baker Burdette, Alpha Phi Founder, x-1954, Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA

Lenora D. “Nora” Ashmore Blackison, Kappa Delta Founder, 8/27/1880-10/28/1923, Mount View Cemetery, Pasadena, CA

Lewie (Louise) Strong Taylor, Alpha Xi Delta Founder, 1867-1950, Mount View Cemetery, Pasadena, CA

Sylvia Steierman Cohn, Delta Phi Epsilon Founder, 10/8/1900-2/6/1972, Congregation Beth Israel Cemetery, Fairfield, CA



Anne Simmons Friedline, Delta Zeta Founder, 1/23/1879-9/1/1932, Evergreen Cemetery, Colorado Springs, CO

Gamma Phi Beta HQ, Centennial, CO



Alpha Epsilon Phi HQ, Danbury CT



Alice Cary “Allie” Simonds Smith, Chi Omega Founder, 1872-10/1/1900, Congressional Cemetery, Washington, DC



Hannah Jeanette “Jennie” Boyd, Kappa Kappa Gamma Founder, x-9/26/1937, Hickory Grove Cemetery, Green Cove Springs, FL

Mary Ann DuPont Lines, Phi Mu Founder, 5/28/1836-1/4/1918, Evergreen Cemetery, Jacksonville, FL

Mary Louise “Lou” Bennett Boyd, Kappa Kappa Gamma Founder, 1876-1/17/1947, Hickory Grove Cemetery, Green Cove Springs, FL


Alpha Delta Pi Fountain at Wesleyan College

Alpha Delta Pi Fountain at Wesleyan College


Alpha Delta Pi Founding Campus, Wesleyan College, Macon, GA (Commemorative fountain on campus)

Alpha Delta Pi HQ, Atlanta, GA

Cannonball House (It is home to the Adelphean and Philomathean Collections pertaining to the early history of Alpha Delta Pi and Phi Mu, respectively), Macon, GA

Ella Pierce Turner, Alpha Delta Pi Founder, 5/6/1835- 5/6/1907, Sparta Cemetery, Sparta, GA

Eugenia Tucker Fitzgerald, Alpha Delta Pi Founder, 1/29/1834-12/10/1928, Rose Hill Cemetery, Macon, GA

Martha Bibb Hardaway Redding, Phi Mu Founder, 10/9/1836-10/15/1893, Riverside Cemetery, Macon, GA

Mary Elizabeth Myrick Daniel, Phi Mu Founder, Oakgrove Cemetery, Americus, GA

Mary Evans Glass, Alpha Delta Pi Founder, 1833-1914, Riverside Cemetery, Macon, GA

Phi Mu Founding Campus, Wesleyan College, Macon, GA

Phi Mu HQ, Peachtree City, GA

Sophronia Woodruff Dews, Alpha Delta Pi Founder, 1/6/1835-8/6/1913, Linwood Cemetery, Columbus, GA



Alice Grey Welsh, Zeta Tau Alpha Founder, 6/3/1880-6/21/1960, O’ahu Cemetery, Section 17, Lot 192, Honolulu, HI



Anna Lytle Tannahill Brannon, Pi Beta Phi, NPC Chairman 1908, Normal Hill Cemetery, Lewiston, ID


Pi Beta Phi was founded at Holt House in Monmouth, Illinois

Pi Beta Phi was founded at Holt House in Monmouth, Illinois



Alice Barlett Bruner, Alpha Xi Delta Founder, 1878-1966, Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouth, IL

Alpha Phi HQ, Evanston, IL

Alpha Xi Delta Adopted Founding Campus, Knox College, Galesburg, IL

Alpha Xi Delta Founding Campus, Lombard College, Galesburg, IL (no longer in existence)

Amy Burnham Onken, Pi Beta Phi, NPC Chairman 1945-47, Diamond Grove Cemetery, Jacksonville, IL

Anna Elizabeth Willits Pattee, Kappa Kappa Gamma Field Founder, 4/22/1853-8/11/1908, Pattee plot, Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouth, IL

Clara Brownlee Hutchinson, Pi Beta Phi Founder, 1/6/1850-1/4/1931, Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouth, IL

Eliza Drake Curtis Everton, Alpha Xi Delta Founder, 1867-1934, Ladies Union Cemetery, Stockton, IL

Emma Brownlee Kilgore, Pi Beta Phi Founder, 3/25/1848-1925, Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouth, IL

Fannie Thomson, Pi Beta Phi Founder, 11/23/1848-10/5/1868, Oquawka Cemetery, Oquawka, IL

Frances Elizabeth Haven Moss, Gamma Phi Beta Founder, Mount Hope Cemetery, Champaign, IL

Holt House, Founding site of Pi Beta Phi, Monmouth, IL

Inez Smith Soule, Pi Beta Phi Founder, 7/26/1846-3/31/1941, Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouth, IL

Jennie Horne Turnbull, Pi Beta Phi Founder, 4/29/1846-1932, Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouth, IL

Jennie Nicol, M.D., Pi Beta Phi Founder, 3/7/1845-3/28/1881, Cedar Creek Churchyard, Little York, IL

Kappa Kappa Gamma, Founding Campus, Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL (Plaque where stream once was. Plaques on former homes of founders.)

Libbie Brook Gaddis, Pi Beta Phi Field Founder, 3/7/1850-12/24/1933, Avon Mausoleum, Avon IL

Margaret Campbell, Pi Beta Phi Founder, 11/7/1846-10/15/1936, Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouth, IL

Mary Moore “Minnie” Stewart Nelson Field, Kappa Kappa Gamma Founder, x-6/21/1898, Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouth, IL

Nellie Gamble Childe, Alpha Chi Omega Founder, 1867-1960, Martinsville City Cemetery, Martinsville IL

Pi Beta Phi Founding Campus, Monmouth College Monmouth, IL

Rena Michaels Atchison Ph.D., Alpha Phi Founder, x-1933, Bluff City Cemetery, Elgin, IL

Stewart House, Kappa Kappa Gamma Constitution signed, Monmouth, IL

Susan Burley Walker, Kappa Kappa Gamma Field Founder, 6/27/1855-5/2/1897, Monmouth Cemetery, Monmouth, IL



Alfa Lloyd Hayes, Delta Zeta Founder, 1880-1962, Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, IN

Alice Allen Brant, Kappa Alpha Theta Founder, Brick Chapel Cemetery, Brick Chapel, IN

Alpha Chi Omega Founding Campus, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN

Alpha Chi Omega HQ, Indianapolis IN

Alpha Gamma Delta HQ, Indianapolis IN

Alpha Sigma Alpha HQ, Indianapolis IN

Alpha Sigma Tau HQ, Indianapolis IN

Alpha Xi Delta HQ, Indianapolis IN

Bertha Deniston Cunningham, Alpha Chi Omega Founder, 7/28/1869-1950, South Park Cemetery, Greensburg, IN

Betty Locke Hamilton, Kappa Alpha Theta Founder, Forest Hill Cemetery, Greencastle, IN

Hannah Fitch Shaw, Kappa Alpha Theta Founder, Greendale Cemetery, Lawrenceburg, IN

Kappa Alpha Theta Founding Campus, DePauw University, Greencastle IN

Kappa Alpha Theta HQ, Indianapolis IN

National Panhellenic Conference HQ, Indianapolis, IN

Olive “Ollie” Burnett Clark, Alpha Chi Omega Founder, 6/10/1867-4/18/1957, Crown Hill Cemetery, Sec 73, Lot 334 Indianapolis IN

Sigma Delta Tau HQ, Carmel IN

Sigma Kappa HQ, Indianapolis IN

Zeta Tau Alpha HQ, Indianapolis IN



Cora Bollinger Block, Alpha Xi Delta Founder, 1869-1944, Davenport Memorial Park, Davenport, IA



Ida Mabel Fuller Pierce, Sigma Kappa Founder, 11/26/1854-9/26/1930, Greenwood Cemetery, Eureka, KS



Betty Tipton Lindsey, Kappa Alpha Theta Founder, Machpelah Cemetery, Mt. Sterling, KY



Delta Delta Delta Founding Campus, Boston University, Boston, MA

Eleanor Dorcas Pond Mann M.D., Delta Delta Delta Founder, Evergreen Cemetery, West Medway, MA

Isabel Morgan Breed, Delta Delta Delta Founder, Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, MA

Sarah Ida Shaw Martin, Delta Delta Delta Founder, Forest Hill Cemetery, Boston, MA



Phi Sigma Sigma HQ, Elkridge, MD



Elizabeth Gorham Hoag, Sigma Kappa Founder, 1857-6/14/1875, Pine Grove Cemetery, Waterville, ME

Louise Helen Coburn, Sigma Kappa Founder, 9/1/1856-2/17/1949, Southside Cemetery, Skowhegan, ME

Sigma Kappa Founding Campus, Colby College, Waterville, ME



Alpha Sigma Tau Founding Campus, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI

Amelia McSweeney, Theta Phi Alpha Founder, 10/16/1868-1/4/1914, Riverside Catholic Cemetery, Kalamazoo, MI

Camilla Ryan Sutherland, Theta Phi Alpha Founder, 1886-1938, St. Thomas Catholic Cemetery, Ann Arbor, MI

Emily Helen Butterfield, Alpha Gamma Delta Founder, 8/4/1884-3/22/1958, Oaklawn Cemetery, Algonac, MI

Eva Stroh Bauer (Everson), Theta Phi Alpha Founder, 1893-1973, Elmwood Cemetery, Detroit, MI

Katrina Caughey Ward, Theta Phi Alpha Founder, 3/25/1887-3/20/1966, St. Thomas Catholic Cemetery, Ann Arbor, MI

Lillian Gordon Alpern, Phi Sigma Sigma Founder, 12/29/1895-6/2/1945, Beth El Memorial Cemetery, Sec. 7, Lot 67, G 4, Livonia MI

May C. Ryan, Theta Phi Alpha Founder, 1879 1935, St. Thomas Catholic Cemetery Ann Arbor MI

Mildred M. Connely, Theta Phi Alpha Founder, 1887-1979, St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Adrian, MI

Selma Gilday, Theta Phi Alpha Founder, 8/21/1877-6/10/1958, St. Joseph Cemetery, Monroe, MI

Theta Phi Alpha Founding Campus, University of Michigan Ann Arbor MI


Grave of Pi Beta Phi founder Fannie Whitenack Libbey, Red Wing, Minnesota

Grave of Pi Beta Phi founder Fannie Whitenack Libbey, Red Wing, Minnesota


Julia Maude Foster, Alpha Xi Delta Founder, 1875-1948, Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, MN

Fannie Whitenack Libbey, Pi Beta Phi Founder, 3/31/1848-5/21/1941, Hope Cemetery, Red Wing, MN



Julia Bishop Coleman, Delta Zeta, 1881-1959, Evergreen Cemetery, Miamiville, MO

Mary Louisa “Lou” Stevenson Miller, Kappa Kappa Gamma, x-12/3/1937, Tarkio, MO

Pi Beta Phi HQ, Town & Country, MO



Anna Boyd Ellington, Delta Gamma Founder, 1/22/1856-8/13/1907, Brister Cemetery, Rocky Point, MS

Delta Gamma Founding Campus, Lewis School, Oxford, MS

Eva Webb Dodd, Delta Gamma Founder, 8/5/1855-1/28/1934, Kosciusko City Cemetery, Kosciusko, MS

Mary Comfort Leonard, Delta Gamma Founder, 1/22/1856-8/4/1940, Kosciusko City Cemetery, Kosciusko, MS



Isabella Merrick Earle, Sigma Sigma Sigma Founder, 5/18/1879-12/31/1969, Memorial Park Cemetery, NC

Maud Jones Horner, Zeta Tau Alpha Founder, Elmwood Cemetery, Henderson, NC



Amy DuBois Reith, Alpha Chi Omega Founder, 12/31/1869-8/12/1915, Wyuka Cemetery, Lincoln, NE



Alpha Epsilon Phi Founding Campus, Barnard College, New York, NY

Alpha Gamma Delta Founding Campus, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Alpha Omicron Pi Founding Campus, Barnard College, New York, NY

Alpha Phi Founding Campus, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Delta Phi Epsilon Founding Campus, New York University, New York, NY

Dorothy Caughey Phalan, Theta Phi Alpha Founder, 4/19/1888-1969, St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Boonville, NY

Estelle Shepard Beswick, Alpha Gamma Delta Founder, 1882-1/9/1944, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, NY

Ethel Evelyn Brown Distin, Alpha Gamma Delta Founder, 2/21/1959, St. John’s in the Wilderness Cemetery, Paul Smith’s, NY

E. (Eunice) Adeline “Addie” Curtis Curtis, Gamma Phi Beta Founder, 12/26/1854-1/14/1923, Oakwood Cemetery, Sec. 39, lot 14, Syracuse, NY

Flora Knight Mayer, Alpha Gamma Delta Founder, x- 3/3/1959, Nondoga Cemetery, Bath, NY

Gamma Phi Beta Founding Campus, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Grace Mosher Harter, Alpha Gamma Delta Founder, 7/25/1912, Mills Pietrie Cemetery, Parish NY

Hattie Florence Chidester Lukens, Alpha Phi Founder, 1885-x, Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, NY

Helen Mary Dodge Ferguson, Gamma Phi Beta Founder, 9/26/1850-10/21/1937, Verona Cemetery, Section C, 101, Verona, NY

Ida Arabella Gilbert DeLamanter Houghton, Alpha Phi Founder, x-1916, Palmyra Cemetery, Palmyra, NY

Jane Sara Higham, Alpha Phi Founder, 1855-1949, Wright Settlement Cemetery, Rome, NY

Jennie C. Titus Smith Morris, Alpha Gamma Delta Founder, x-5/30/1958, Walnut Grove Cemetery, Jamesville, NY

Marguerite Shepard, Alpha Gamma Delta, 12/13/1947, Pioneer Cemetery, Forestville, NY

Martha Emily Foote Crow Ph.D., Alpha Phi Founder, 1854-1/1/1924, Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, NY

Mary Alice “Minnie” Bingham Willoughby, Gamma Phi Beta Founder, 1856-1/14/1916, Rome Cemetery, Plot Q40, Rome, NY

Phi Sigma Sigma Founding Campus, Hunter College, New York, NY

Regene Robinson Freund Cohane, Sigma Delta Tau Founder, 10/16/1899-6/5/1992, Salem Field Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY

Sigma Delta Tau Founding Campus, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY



Delta Gamma HQ, Columbus OH

Elizabeth Grace Hubbell Shults, Alpha Phi Founder, -1895, Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, OH

Kappa Kappa Gamma HQ, Columbus OH

Mabelle Minton Hagemann, Delta Zeta Founder, 11/6/1880-3/28/1929, Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus, OH

Mary Collins Galbraith, Delta Zeta Founder, 1877-1963, Union Cemetery, Columbus, OH

Theta Phi Alpha HQ, Bay Village, OH



Nancy Black Wallace, Pi Beta Phi Founder, 9/22/1845-9/23/1918, City View Cemetery, Salem, OR



Ada Bruen Grier, Pi Beta Phi Founder, 2/12/1848-3/25/1924, Uniondale Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA

Delta Phi Epsilon HQ, Philadelphia, PA

Edith MacConnell Hickok, Alpha Gamma Delta Founder, x-7/1/1973, Hanover, PA

Georgia Alberta Dickover, Alpha Gamma Delta Founder, 10/3/1965, Forty Fort Cemetery, Forty Fort, PA

Georgia Otis Chipman, Alpha Gamma Delta Founder, 8/17/1981, Wilkes Barre, PA

Mary Catherine Love (Collins), Chi Omega, NPC Chairman 1917-1919, 1882-1972, Grandview Cemetery, Tyrone, PA

Rosa Moore, Pi Beta Phi Founder, 7/1/1849-7/4/1924, Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Mechanicsburg, PA



Betty Williams Mitchell, Alpha Delta Pi Founder, 10/6/1832-7/23/1884, Elmwood Cemetery and Annex, Georgetown, SC


The statue in the Pi Beta Phi Centennial of Literacy Service Plaza, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

The statue in the Pi Beta Phi Centennial of Literacy Service Plaza, Gatlinburg, Tennessee


Alpha Omicron Pi HQ, Brentwood TN

Chi Omega HQ, Memphis TN

Kappa Delta HQ, Memphis TN

Pi Beta Phi Centennial of Literacy Service Plaza, Gatlinburg, TN



Delta Delta Delta HQ, Arlington, TX


The Farmville Four clock, Logwood, Virginia

The Farmville Four clock, Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia


Alice Bland Coleman, Zeta Tau Alpha Founder, 1880-1956, Bellamy Methodist Church Cemetery, Gloucester, VA

Alpha Sigma Alpha Founding Campus, Longwood University, Farmville, VA

Calva Watson Whootton, Alpha Sigma Alpha Founder, x- 8/3/1961, Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg, VA

Della Lewis Hundley, Zeta Tau Alpha Founder, 11/8/1881-7/12/1951, Forest Lawn Cemetery, Norfolk City, VA

Elizabeth Watkins Houston, Sigma Sigma Sigma Founder, 7/6/1881-8/13/1964, St. John’s Church Cemetery Hampton City, VA

Ethel Coleman Van Name, Zeta Tau Alpha Founder, 3/8/1879-1/24/1964, Bellamy Methodist Church Cemetery, Gloucester, VA

Frances Yancey Smith, Zeta Tau Alpha Founder, 5/7/1882-5/23/1977, Village Cemetery, Charlotte Court House, VA

Helen Crafford, Zeta Tau Alpha Founder, 5/26/1880-9/17/1964, Lebanon Church of Christ Cemetery, Newport News City, VA

Jean Vincenheller Dengler, Chi Omega Founder, 1878-1954, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

Julia Gardiner Tyler Wilson, Kappa Delta Founder, 12/7/1882-1/29/1965, University of Virginia Cemetery and Columbarium, Charlottesville, VA

Juliette Jefferson Hundley Gilliam, Alpha Sigma Alpha Founder, 11/10/1886-7/10/1970, Jonesboro Cemetery, Roseland, VA

Kappa Delta Founding Campus, Longwood University, Farmville, VA

Lelia Scott, Sigma Sigma Sigma Founder, 6/19/1913, Old Union Cemetery, Amelia County, VA

Louise Burks Cox Carper, Alpha Sigma Alpha Founder, 1886-1971, Scott Cemetery, Lynchburg, VA

Louise Davis Hall, Sigma Sigma Sigma Founder, 1880-1963, Coan Church Cemetery, Heathsville, VA

Margaret Lee Batten Randle, Sigma Sigma Sigma Founder, 9/11/1882, 9/16/1960, Ivy Hill Cemetery Isle of Wight County, VA

Martha Featherston, Sigma Sigma Sigma Founder, 1878-1972, Fair View Cemetery, Roanoke City, VA

Mary Campbell Jones Batte, Zeta Tau Alpha Founder, 12/30/1878-12/13/1957, Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk City, VA

Mary Sommerville Sparks Hendrick, Kappa Delta Founder, 10/20/1874-7/7/1910, Graham Cemetery Orange County, VA

Mary Williamson Hundley, Alpha Sigma Alpha Founder, 1/26/1885-8/31/1967, Old Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery, Clover, VA

Ruby Leigh Orgain, Zeta Tau Alpha, Private family cemetery, Dinwiddie, VA

Sallie Michie Bayley, Sigma Sigma Sigma Founder, 2/6/1883-1/2/1974, Emmanuel Episcopal Church Cemetery, Greenwood, VA

Sara Turner White, Kappa Delta Founder, 7/27/1882-2/15/1968, Forest Lawn Cemetery, East Lawn Lot 91N, Space 7, Norfolk City VA

Sigma Sigma Sigma Founding Campus, Longwood University, Farmville, VA

Sigma Sigma Sigma HQ (Mabel Lee Walton National Memorial Headquarters), Woodstock, VA

Virgina Lee Boyd Noell, Alpha Sigma Alpha Founder, 10/10/1884-11/19/1954, Evergreen Burial Park Roanoke VA

Zeta Tau Alpha Founding Campus, Longwood University, Farmville, VA



Mary Louise Snider, Alpha Gamma Delta Founder, x-6/9/1960, Watertown, WI



Bessie Grooms Keenan, Alpha Chi Omega Founder, 4/28/1867-11/4/1920, Non-cemetery burial

Anna Allen Smith, Alpha Chi Omega Founder, 1870-1933, Non-cemetery burial

Estelle Leonard, Alpha Chi Omega Founder, 1860-1955, Ashes scattered



Adriance Rice, Alpha Sigma Tau, 1881-1919

Almira Lowry Cheney, Alpha Xi Delta, 1875-1946

Amy Ruth Apfel Tishman, Sigma Delta Tau, 1896-1982

Anna Keen Davis, Delta Zeta

Augustina “Tina” Hess Solomon, Alpha Epsilon Phi 

Bertha Cook Evans, Alpha Xi Delta, 1874-1957

Claire Wunder McArdle, Phi Sigma Sigma   

Clara Sittser Williams, Alpha Phi, x-1925

Dora Bloom Turtletaub, Sigma Delta Tau, 1896-3/1/1970

Dorothy Cohen Schwartzman, Delta Phi Epsilon 

Elizabeth Heywood Wyman, Alpha Omicron Pi, x-8/30/1953  

Estelle Melnick Cole, Phi Sigma Sigma

Ethel Gordon Kraus, Phi Sigma Sigma

Eva Effron Robin, Delta Phi Epsilon, 1900-1987

Eva O’Keefe, Alpha Sigma Tau, 1879-1969

Florence Isabelle “Flora” Stewart, Delta Delta Delta, x- 1932

Frances Elisabeth Cheney, Alpha Xi Delta, 1869-1901

Frances Elliott Mann Hall, Sigma Kappa, 2/6/1935

Frieda “Fay” Chertkoff, Phi Sigma Sigma, 11/17/1893-3/1/1973

Grace Srenco Grossman, Sigma Delta Tau

Gwen Zaliels Snyder, Phi Sigma Sigma 

Harriet Luella McCollum, Alpha Xi Delta, 1874-1948

Harriet Marx, Alpha Sigma Tau, 1879-1965

Helen Phillips Lipman, Alpha Epsilon Phi, 11/9/1889-4/1/1973

Helen Rice, Alpha Sigma Tau

Helen Ryan Quinlan, Theta Phi Alpha, 10/1/1887-1960

Helen St. Clair Mullan, Alpha Omicron Pi, 1906-7/29/1936

Ida Beck Carlin, Alpha Epsilon Phi 

Ida Bienstock Landau, Delta Phi Epsilon, 1899-5/1/1986

Inez Dane Ross, Sigma Delta Tau, 8/20/1898-12/1/1986

Jeannette Lipka Furst, Phi Sigma Sigma   

Jessie Wallace Hughan, Alpha Omicron Pi, x-4/10/1955

Josephine Ellison Breakstone, Phi Sigma Sigma   

Kate Elizabeth Hogoboom Gilbert, Alpha Phi, 2/20/1855-1900

Lee Ries Liebert, Alpha Epsilon Phi 

Lenore (Leonora) Blanche Rubinow, Sigma Delta Tau, 9/6/1899-3/1/1972

Louise Viola Shepard Hancock, Alpha Phi, 1855-1932

Lucy W. Gilmer, Alpha Xi Delta 1872-1939

Lucy Wright James, Sigma Sigma Sigma  

Mable Chase, Alpha Sigma Tau

Marian Gerber Greenberg, Sigma Delta Tau, x-2/24/1987

Mary Caffrey Low Carver, Sigma Kappa, 3/22/1850-3/4/1926

May Gephart, Alpha Sigma Tau   

Mayene Tracy, Alpha Sigma Tau 

Minna Goldsmith Mahler, Delta Phi Epsilon, 1899-1989

Otilia Leuchtweis , Theta Phi Alpha, 1889-1963

Rose Gerstein Smolin, Alpha Epsilon Phi

Rose Salmowitz Marvin, Alpha Epsilon Phi

Rose Sher Seidman, Phi Sigma Sigma, x-11/1/1987

Ruth Dutcher, Alpha Sigma Tau

Shirley Cohen Laufer, Phi Sigma Sigma

Stella George Stern Perry, Alpha Omicron Pi, x-11/7/1956  

Stella Strauss Sinsheimer, Alpha Epsilon Phi 

© Fran Becque,, 2014. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest

Posted in Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Sigma Tau, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Collegiate Sorosis, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Delta Phi Epsilon, Delta Zeta, Fran Favorite, Gamma Phi Beta, Iota Alpha Pi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Phi Mu, Phi Sigma Sigma, Pi Beta Phi, Sigma Delta Tau, Sigma Kappa, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Theta Phi Alpha, Women's Fraternity History, Zeta Tau Alpha | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Where in the World is Fran Becque?

Guess where I am. One name will be chosen from all correct responses received by midnight, December 5, 2014. That lucky person will have a modest donation made in his/her honor to the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation or the Greek-letter organization Foundation of choice (or even the P.E.O. Foundation for my P.E.O. friends who read this). E-mail me at franbecque at (the spam account to end all spam accounts).

I had to make this a little hard for Lyn Harris, Chi Omegas Archivist)

I had to make this a little hard for Lyn Harris, Chi Omega’s Archivist

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© Fran Becque,, 2014. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest

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What Was So Normal About the College?

Michigan State Normal College was the founding site of Alpha Sigma Tau, one of the 26 National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sororities. Michigan State Normal College is now Eastern Michigan University. Virginia’s Longwood University, the founding home of the Farmville Four (Alpha Sigma Alpha, Kappa Delta, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and Zeta Tau Alpha), was once called the State Female Normal School. When we moved to Carbondale, I learned that Southern Illinois University Carbondale was once a Normal School. Frankly, at that time, more than 20 years ago, I had no clue what that meant. What was so normal about it?

In 1825, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed a Common School law which established a system of tax-supported public schools from the first through the eighth grade. In 1837, Horace Mann, one of the early supporters of the law, was made Secretary to the Massachusetts Board of Education which held oversight authority over the emerging system of public education.

Horace Mann, who likely be mortified to know that his name is being used to sell insurance.

Horace Mann, who would likely be mortified to know that his name is being used to sell insurance.

The passage of such laws required a growing cadre of trained teachers. At the time, only a few four year colleges offered courses in pedagogy and most teachers learned on the job. Recognizing this deficiency, Massachusetts chartered normal schools at Lexington, Barre, and Bridgewater.  These schools were to cover the geographic regions of the northeast, central, and southeastern parts of Massachusetts. The pattern of establishing state normal schools on a geographic basis was now a precedent. Lexington was the first to open under the principalship of the Reverend Cyrus Peirce, formerly high school superintendent on the island of Nantucket.

The curriculum of the school sought to cover the “common” branches taught in the elementary grades: spelling; reading; writing; grammar; geography; and arithmetic. In addition to ensuring competence in these core subjects, the students were lectured to on the art and science of teaching (pedagogy), the art of school government (organization of the school day), the physical, mental, and moral development of children (educational psychology), and practice teaching in the model school. Peirce personally taught all of the classes and supervised the model school. In 1844, the school was moved to West Newton and in 1853 to its current location in Framingham, about 25 miles west of Boston.

Normal schools got their name from their counterparts in France which had been organized in the Napoleonic era and provided teachers for the “ecole normale,” or common school curriculum. The “superiore,” or advanced curriculum, was to be taught in French secondary schools by graduates of the university. This same sort of division was established in the United States. Teachers for the elementary schools needed only to be eighth grade graduates with, preferably, some normal school training. Secondary school teachers were to be graduates from the universities.

This distinction became clouded after the American Civil War when state normal schools instituted four-year degree programs which trained secondary school teachers. They continued to train elementary teachers with a two-year program of studies well into the next century.

In the twentieth century, most of the states moved to upgrade requirements for teaching in the public schools. Eventually, the states would require a high school diploma to enter the normal school and a bachelors degree to teach at all grade levels.

The normal schools, having been organized on a regional basis for supplying teachers, often served as a cultural oasis for persons who resided in remote areas of sparse population and lengthy distances from large cities.

Normal schools grew and prospered and added programs beyond the scope of pedagogy. As such, they became true colleges offering courses and degrees in a variety of areas. With the passage of the G. I. Bill of Rights in 1944, many states found it economical to allow their regional normal schools to become full-fledged universities rather than to build new institutions. Today, most former normal schools are comprehensive universities.

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Cyber Monday – the GLO Cornucopia

My e-mail boxes tell me it’s Cyber Monday, one of the busiest on-line shopping days. There is a big sale going on at Pi Phi Express and I am certain that many other fraternity and sorority on-line merchants are having sales, too. It’s a great way to support GLOs and save some money at the same time.

A few news items caught my eye while I was browsing social media.

Lambda Theta Alpha, founded at New Jersey’s Kean University in 1975, raised more than $55,000 for St. Jude’s Give thanks. Walk on November 22. The sorority has been a general partner with St. Jude’s since 2010 and has raised almost $200,000 for the hospital’s fight against childhood cancer.


Kappa Delta Georgia O’Keeffe made history last week when her painting Jimson Weed, White Flower No. 1 sold for $44 million, breaking the record amount for a work by a female artist.


At last week’s Presidential Medal of Honor Ceremony, there were several honorees with GLO connections. Stephen Sondheim, Broadway composer and member of Beta Theta Pi wasn’t able to attend the ceremony, and will receive his award in 2015 (See and for more information about Sondheim). Honoree Marlo Thomas is a Kappa Alpha Theta. Tom Brokaw, whose wife Meredith Auld Brokaw is a Pi Beta Phi and Cottey College student, was also an honoree. 


The State of Ohio recently honored the building in which Kappa Kappa Gamma has its headquarters. An historical marker was placed on the front lawn of the Snowden-Gray House. The marker identifies the building as an important part of Ohio history and the history of women. Kudos to my friends at Kappa Kappa Gamma, especially the multi-talented Kylie Towers Smith, who played a large role in the effort! (P.E.O. friends will also be happy to know that Kylie is on the Ohio State Chapter delegation for P.E.O. and will be Ohio State President during P.E.O. 150th celebration). (See for more information on the Snowden-Gray House.)


A photo of Paul Rudd has been making the rounds. I’ve seen it identified as a graduation photo, but anyone familiar with GLOs would know right away that it was from a composite. Rudd’s photo is from the University of Kansas Sigma Nu chapter’s composite.

Sigma Nu, University of Kansas

Sigma Nu, University of Kansas


Last week astute Jeopardy! viewers alerted me that there was an Alpha Chi Omega competing. Jennifer Diederich Healy, a past AXO National Council was indeed on television and in addition to mentioning her AXO affiliation, she wore her badge(s).

Jennifer Diederich Healy, Alpha Chi Omega

Jennifer Diederich Healy, Alpha Chi Omega


Welcome to the twitterverse @PEOInternational and @PEOSisterhood!


Happy Founders’ Day to Sigma Lambda Upsilon Sorority, Inc. and Lambda Theta Phi. Sigma Lambda Upsilon, also known as  Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. was founded on December 1, 1987 at Binghamton University in New York. Lambda Theta Phi was founded at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, On December 1, 1975. (Lambda Theta Alpha, the sorority mention in the beginning of this post, was also founded in December 1975 at Kean University.)


And a reminder from my friends at the Phi Gamma Delta Archives. That first meeting likely deserves a post of its own. The North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) first met on November 27, 1909, and that, too, is on the docket for its own post.

11/26/1920 First conference of fraternity field secretaries organized in New York by Phil Lyon (Ohio Wesleyan 1916).


Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. The Circle of Sisterhood is a great cause (see Why not consider making a gift in honor of a mentor or special friend. Visit  It’s also a great time to support GLO foundations. While I have supported the Pi Beta Phi Foundation for decades, I also enjoy making donations to other GLOs. It’s all in the family.

© Fran Becque,, 2014. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest



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More Than Enough Love to Spread Around

I read blog posts and tweets from Greek-letter Organizations (GLOs) other than my own. I get teary-eyed reading some and I swell with pride after reading others. The feelings conveyed in the posts are ones I’ve had about my own organization. I think all GLOs have things of which they can be proud and things which they need to work on. I truly think we are all special in our own ways. We all have rich histories. We have those special people, places, and things which make us unique.

I have friends who belong to some of the other 25 National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) organizations. I expect that they love their organization more than mine.I think we each love our own organization more than any others. That is just the way it is. There is nothing wrong with that. Just as I love my own kids a tad bit more than my nieces and nephews, I love them deeply, too. They are my family.

Being proud of our collective history is important, but first things first. Chapter members need to know the history of their own chapter and their organization. 

The odds are overwhelmingly great that a member will be an alum of a GLO for much longer than they were a collegiate member. However, collegians hold the future of the chapter in their hands. The efforts put forth by those who stood where current members are standing today can be for naught depending on the commitment, knowledge and dedication shown by the current members.

Sometimes members get caught up in the “firsts” for their organization and/or the famous individuals who wore their letters. Our organizations stand for so much more than who had the first central office located in a city of more than 50,000 in a state beginning with the letter “M.”  Does anyone make a conscious decision to join a particular group because of those things? Frankly, I would be suspect of a member who became a member solely because of one of these “firsts” or a famous alum.

Why can’t we be proud of the sum total of men and women who have worn the badges of all our organizations? Would it mean we don’t love and cherish our own GLO? Absolutely not! An impressive number of notable men and women have belonged to our organizations over the years. An even greater number lived their lives in relative obscurity outside of their sphere of influence, and yet they gave of themselves and dedicated themselves to the ideals of their organization on a daily basis. 

All who take the oath of membership in a GLO have a responsibility to the organization. Knowing how your GLO spread from an idea, the “let’s have an organization of our own” moment, to what it is today, in 2014, can help cement dedication to the ideals put forth by those paved the way. Knowing the history of one’s GLO and chapter as well as a general knowledge of other organizations can only help the entire fraternity and sorority system grow. We are all in this together.

Months ago, I put together a series of Pinterest pages on GLO history. I haven’t revisited them in a while, but I needed some information,and I knew I had some of the answers there. Having forgotten most of the pins that were on there, I took a new look at it and what fun it was.  If you have some spare time or are getting tired of watching football, take a look It truly is a fun way to learn more about the history of GLOs.

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Four Founding Days (ΔΔΔ, ΦΣΣ, KA Society, and ΣAM), Ferguson, and UVA

Delta Delta Delta was founded at Boston University on November 27, 1888, which fell on the day before Thanksgiving that year. Founders’ Day is celebrated on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Its founders are Sarah Ida Shaw [Martin], Eleanor Dorcas Pond [Mann, M.D.], Florence Stewart and Isabel Breed.

In the fall of 1888, the four women seniors who had not joined any of the women’s fraternities then at Boston University (Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Phi, and Gamma Phi Beta) discussed their situation. Pond talked to Shaw and they decided to start a society of their own. Pond suggested that they use a triple Greek letter and Shaw chose the Greek letter Delta. Shaw and Pond threw themselves into the details associated with the founding. All was finished by Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, 1888, but the two met again on Wednesday afternoon, before leaving for the holiday. They met in the Philological Library at the top of the college building. Shaw and Pond embraced and said “Tri Delta is founded.”

Shaw and Pond were intent and ultimately successful in  getting the other two unaffiliated seniors, Florence Stewart and Isabel Breed, to join their organization. All four are considered founders.

The second chapter of Delta Delta Delta came about through the efforts of Etta May Budd, the daughter of an Iowa State College professor, who was in Boston studying art. She boarded at the Young Women’s Christian Association and there met Josephine Centre, an early initiate of the Alpha Chapter. Budd, who then became a member of the Alpha Chapter, belonged to two local organizations, one at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, and another at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. The organization Budd belonged to at Simpson College was called L. F. V. It stood for “Lovers of Fun And Victory,” but the men on campus called the group the “Light Footed Virgins.” L. F. V. was founded in 1871 and by 1889, it had 95 members. On April 25, 1889, nine L. F. V. members signed pledges to become members of Delta Delta Delta. A charter was secured and L. F. V. became the Delta Deuteron Chapter of Delta Delta Delta. An initiation followed on May 10, 1889. In 1897, it became known as the Delta chapter when the first national convention changed the system of naming chapters.

As she had done with the local organization to which she had belonged at Simpson College, Budd attempted to bring the local organization she had founded at Iowa State University, U. D. T. into the Delta Delta Delta fold. In May 1889, she returned to Iowa State with a charter for the local organization. There was much anti-fraternity sentiment on campus and U. D. T. had been forced to disband. Budd organized another group to have the Delta Delta Delta charter and was successful in 1890. However due to the continuing anti-fraternity sentiment, that charter was surrendered two years later. Fourteen members were initiated and two pledged before the charter was returned. Ultimately, the chapter was reestablished on September 21, 1912.


Phi Sigma Sigma was founded at New York’s Hunter College on November 26, 1913. Its founders are Lillian Gordon Alpern, Josephine Ellison Breakstone, Fay Chertkoff, Estelle Melnick Cole, Jeanette Lipka Furst, Ethel Gordon Kraus, Shirley Cohen Laufer, Claire Wunder McArdle, Rose Sher Seidman and Gwen Zaliels Snyder.

The organization’s original name was Phi Sigma Omega, but it was discovered that the name was already in use. In 1918, its second chapter was founded when a friend of one of the founders, a student at Tufts University, expressed an interest in the organization. A third chapter was chartered at New York University.

At the 1918 convention in New York City, founder Fay Chertkoff was elected the organization’s first grand archon. A constitution was approved and a Supreme Council was elected.


Two men’s fraternities were founded on this date. Kappa Alpha Society and Sigma Alpha Mu.

Kappa Alpha Society is the oldest of the Union Triad, the three fraternities founded at Union College in Schenectady, NY.  It was established in 1825 by nine men, John Hart Hunter, Thomas Hun, Isaac W. Jackson, John McGeoch, Orlando Meads, James Proudfit, Joseph Anthony Constant, Arthur Burtis, Jr., and Joseph Law. Its second chapter was founded at Williams College in 1833.

Sigma Alpha Mu was founded on  November 26, 1909 at the City College of New York. Its eight founders first met at a meeting of the sophomore class. Its founders are Lester Cohen, Hyman Jacobson, Adolph I. Fabis, Samuel Ginsburg, Abram N. Kerner, Jacob Kaplan, Ira N. Lind, David D. Levinson. 

Two years later, a second chapter was established at Cornell University, quickly followed by chapters at Long Island University and Columbia University.


 I know this post is getting a bit long, but there are two additional items I’d like to mention. Pi Beta Phi’s Headquarters is in a St. Louis suburb and I just returned from a quick visit there. What is going on in St. Louis is heartbreaking in so many ways. This was posted on facebook by the Missouri State Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood: 

As we all watch in amazement at the unrest in Ferguson MO., I want everyone to know that our P.E.O. sisterhood has 2 amazing chapters in Ferguson, Chapters IM and FH-HL. I had the privilege of helping with the merger of FH-HL just 2 years ago. I was embraced by their warmth and loving concern for each other! Please keep this area in your thoughts and prayers as this area regroups from unrest!  Lovingly the Missouri State PEO Executive State Board

Pete Smithhisler, President and CEO of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, wrote this in response to the University of Virigina’s suspension of all fraternity activities until January 2015,  A friend whose daughter is a UVA alumna added this  in a facebook post:

So sad to see the women lumped in with the men. As my UVA grad says, this problem is not only a Greek issue. She did her thesis on sexual assault at UVA. She won an award at graduation for it.

7 daisies

© Fran Becque,, 2014. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest

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“I’d Rather Be Nine People’s Favorite Thing…” – Giving Thanks

“I’d Rather Be Nine People’s Favorite Thing Than a Hundred People’s Ninth Favorite Thing” is the title of a song from a 2008 Broadway one-act musical [title of show], with words and music by Jeff Bowen and a book by Hunter Bell. It sums up my gratitude for the small fraternity of you who faithfully read this blog.

I had another title for this post, “Everyday is a New Day in the Blogosphere,” but that one reminded me too much of a certain former governor of the state in which I live. Hint – he’s doing time.

I’ve been asked why I do not write posts for every organization’s Founders’ Day. It’s a good question. I’ve tried my best to write posts for the 26 National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sororities/women’s fraternities and the four National Pan-Hellenic Council sororities. In those, I attempt to write something about an interesting fact or a prominent alumna. Some come quickly to me, others take a good deal of research. 

On occasion, I have written posts for the men’s and multi-cultural women’s groups. It just depends on my schedule and how much I know about the organizations.  (And by the way, Happy Founders’ Day to Psi Upsilon and Tau Theta Pi, founded on this day in 1833 and 1998, respectively.) I’d like to do more, and I hope to do so in the coming year, but researching takes time and it’s often time I am stealing from another project or commitment.

I have about 50 drafts of posts waiting for more research. I have stacks of papers and folders on my desktop of things I’d like to write more about. I have a few friends who send me ideas on a regular basis. I have been doing some freelance writing and some speaking and for those opportunities I am grateful. More time in a day would be a great Christmas present, Santa.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I want all of you who are reading this to know how thankful I am that you take time to read these posts. The generosity of your time is so very much appreciated. Happy Thanksgiving!

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P.S. I am most grateful for my generous Rotarian friends who honored me as a Paul Harris Fellow at the 25th anniversary celebration on Friday night. It was a total surprise and I thank you all so very much.

© Fran Becque,, 2014. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest

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There’s Celebrating in Columbia, SC – #‎SisMullisishappyhappy‬!

Two years ago, I made a promise to Joanne and Brenda, two Pi Phi friends. We were in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, celebrating the centennial of Pi Beta Phi’s commitment to literacy. A statue was being unveiled on the Arrowmont property and as we were standing around chatting, I promised them that if their chapter was ever reinstalled I would be there.

Their chapter, the South Carolina Alpha chapter of Pi Beta Phi at the University of South Carolina, is being rechartered this weekend. Unfortunately, circumstances do not allow me to attend. I will not be there and I feel awful about it.

I first heard of Sis Mullis decades ago. I was a new member of the Alumnae Advisory Committee (AAC) at the University of Michigan’s Pi Beta Phi chapter. Sis, a University of South Carolina alumna, was a Pi Phi volunteer. The Michigan Beta AAC chairman mentioned Sis’s name here and there. In my mind I pictured Sis as a tall, proper, southern belle with a hairdo adding a few extra inches to her stature. When I finally met Sarah Ruth “Sis” Mullis in 1984, I realized my mental picture was about a foot or so off the mark. But she was all that I’d  heard about and more.

I had the sheer luck and pleasure of working with her when I was Director of Collegiate Programming and she was my Grand Council counterpart. In those days before texts and e-mails, Dan and the kids knew that when the phone rang and it was Sis, I’d be busy for a while. And there would be a lot of laughing going on.

Sis and me at the 2013 Pi Beta Phi Convention Photo by Amanda Pilger)

Sis and me at the 2013 Pi Beta Phi Convention (Photo by Amanda Pilger)

Sis has attended every convention since she was initiated and she has been to more chapter installations than any living Pi Phi. She, along with Barbie Tootle, shared the 1965 Amy Burnham Onken Award, Pi Phi’s highest collegiate honor. I kid her that the Grand Council members who made the decision to have co-winners that year really got their money’s worth. She has served in every capacity and was able to squeeze in two years as Grand President before she termed off of Grand Council.

At her very first convention in 1962, Sis got to meet two of the Pi Phi greats, Grand President Emeritus Dr. May Lansfield Keller and Honorary Grand President Amy Burnham Onken. She is our link to those women who, in turn, met and knew most of the Founders.

While I feel awful about breaking a promise I made, I know Sis, Brenda, Joanne, and their South Carolina Alpha sisters will be having a fabulous time this weekend. And I can’t wait to hear all about it. A facebook post this morning from another Pi Phi  friend sums up my thoughts exactly:

On the road again. Flying from Columbia MO to Columbia SC. Looking forward to welcoming Pi Beta Phi SC Alpha chapter back to campus.‪#‎installation‬ weekend ‪#‎SisMullisishappyhappy‬!

Sis Mullis with her South Carolina Alpha pledge class sisters. Sis is front and center.

Sis Mullis with some of  her South Carolina Alpha sisters. Sis is front and center.


The Rotary Club of Carbondale - Breakfast is celebrating its 25th anniversary tonight. As the incoming president, I will be there tonight celebrating instead of enjoying a Cookie Shine with my South Carolina Alpha friends.

The Rotary Club of Carbondale – Breakfast is celebrating its 25th anniversary tonight. As the incoming president, I will be there instead of enjoying a Cookie Shine with my South Carolina Alpha friends but my thoughts will be with the women in Columbia, South Carolina.

© Fran Becque,, 2014. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest

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