Founded on April 17 in “I” States – Alpha Xi Delta, Beta Sigma Psi, and Gamma Phi Omega

When it was time for my husband to find an academic job, I told him I did not want to live in any of the “I” states – Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, or Idaho. And that is how I ended up in Illinois. Three GLOs celebrate Founders’ Day today. All were founded in “I’ states. Two of the organizations Alpha Xi Delta and Beta Sigma Psi were founded in Illinois, in 1893 and 1925, respectively. Gamma Phi Omega was founded in 1991 at Indiana University.

Gamma Phi Omega‘s founders are Veronica Montemayor, Monica Guzman, Cristina Rodela, Margaret Escabalzeta, Laura Garcia, and Barbara Graves. Montemayor had the dream of a sisterhood which celebrated the diversity of the Latino culture. Its motto is “Unity and Sisterhood, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable.” Two years later, the Beta chapter was established at the University of Illinois at Chicago. More chapters followed in Illinois and Indiana. The Pi Chapter at the University of North Texas was the first chapter outside of Indiana and Illinois; it was installed in 2013.

On April 17, 1925, Beta Sigma Psi National Lutheran Fraternity was founded at the University of Illinois. In 1911, the Rev. Frederick William Gustav Stiegemeyer was serving at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Champaign, Illinois. Serving the Lutheran students at the University was part of his duties. He organized ten students into the Lutheran Illini League in 1919. They met for religious instruction and discussion. In the fall of 1920, when the university did not have much on-campus housing, the Lutheran Illini League rented a house. A year later, they reorganized as the Concordia Club. The club regularly participated in campus activities and became known as the “Concordia Fraternity.”

Rev. Stiegemeyer, along with eight students – Harold Ahlbrand, Wilbur E. Augustine, Norbert W. Behrens, Herman H. Gilster, Arden F. Henry, Russell Henry, Julius J. Seidel, and William H. Welge – are Beta Sigma Psi’s founders. No doubt, the fraternity had the blessing of Thomas Arkle Clark, the Dean of Men at the University of Illinois.  The Mission of Beta Sigma Psi is “To provide the ideal environment for the Lutheran college man where he will grow Spiritually, Scholastically, and Socially.” The organization’s website has answers to these questions:


No. A Christian church is recognized by the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the sacraments. Although the Gospel is conveyed by word and deed among the brothers of Beta Sigma Psi, the sacraments rightly have their place among the whole people of God, of which Beta Sigma Psi is only a section. Therefore, Beta Sigma Psi is not a church.


Many Beta Sigma Psi chapters are dry, meaning alcohol is prohibited on the premises.  Beta Sigma Psi men sign a promise to adhere to a National Risk Management Policy that includes abiding by state laws regarding alcohol.  Finally our oath, reaffirmed at each chapter meeting, binds men to conduct themselves at all times as Christian gentlemen.


Beta Sigma Psi is a member of the North-American Interfraternity Conference, a trade association that governs and represents Greek organizations nationally.  On campus our men participate in all aspects of Greek life: homecoming celebrations, philanthropies, intramural athletics, and group social functions.

Alpha Xi Delta was founded at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois on April 17, 1893. Its founders are Cora Bollinger Block, Alice Bartlett Bruner, Bertha Cook Evans, Harriett Luella McCollum, Lucy W. Gilmer, Lewie Strong Taylor, Almira Lowry Cheney, Frances Elisabeth Cheney, Eliza Drake Curtis Everton, and Julia Maude Foster. At age 15, Alice Barlett Bruner was the youngest of Alpha Xi Delta’s founders; Eliza Curtis Everton, a 25-year-old widow, was the oldest founder.

Coeducational from its beginning, Lombard College was founded in 1853 by the Universalist Church. Originally called the Illinois Liberal Institute, its name was changed in 1855, after a fire damaged much of the college. Businessman and farmer Benjamin Lombard gave the college a large gift to build a new building and the institution was named in his honor. Among Lombard’s students was Carl Sandburg.

The book Alpha Xi Delta, A 100-Year History recounts an interesting story which Jessie Brown Robson recalled many years after it happened. Early in its history, the chapter opened a bank account in preparation for the organization’s desired expansion to other campuses. Founder Frances Cheney, whom Robson called “a saint,” wanted to lend some of the savings to the boy who mowed the Lombard College lawn for him to use for his tuition. “Cora (Bollinger Block) was indignant and said the money was for expansion,” wrote Jessie. “She said, ‘Can’t you see when Alpha Xi Delta will be in every first-rate college? How can we do that if we give money to Carl, who would probably hop a freight train to Heaven knows where?’” Robson added, “If Cora had known that the same Carl Sandburg would be known all over the world as one of America’s greatest writers, maybe she would not have been so stingy with the money.”

In 1902, Iowa Wesleyan College’s Chapter S of the P.E.O. Sisterhood became the Beta Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta. With this move, Alpha Xi Delta became a national organization, rather than just a local on the Lombard campus, and the P.E.O. Sisterhood became an organization of community adult women. (See and

The 1929 stock market crash and the onset of the Great Depression hit Lombard College extremely hard and the college closed its doors. The last class graduated in 1930. Knox College invited the Lombard students to transfer to Knox, with the same tuition cost as Lombard, and without loss of academic standing. Knox also incorporated the Lombard alumni into the Knox Alumni Association.

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Next week, a ground breaking ceremony will take place in Galesburg, Illinois for the installation of a statue of Carl Sandburg. I’d like to think that the Alpha Xi Delta founders would be very pleased to see their classmate honored in such a way.

© Fran Becque,, 2015. 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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1 in 5 Does Not Equal 6.1 in 1000, Prayers for Hokies, and a Jeopardy! Question

Recently, I was speaking with a sorority woman who was ready to graduate from a large midwestern state university. We began chatting about that 1 in 5 women statistic which has been bandied about in Congress and throughout all sorts of media. She said that never once in her four years in college had she felt in any danger when she was in a fraternity house. If you listen to media reports, fraternity houses are dens of iniquity; you enter at your own peril. The whole Rolling Stone rape allegation debacle happened, in my opinion, because the writer and editors were thrilled to have the opportunity to strike out against the fraternity system. They were so thrilled, in fact, that there was no effort to substantiate any of the claims, except for a phone call to the fraternity president with a nebulous question.

One recent attention grabbing headline touted “30 Frats Shut Down In The Past Month As Colleges Respond To Misconduct More Aggressively.” While 30 sounds like a big number, please note that there are more than 12,000 chapters on more than 800 campuses in North America. Moreover, most of those chapters were closed by the GLO itself. Again, I am in no way condoning the actions of the chapters which were closed. The vast majority of fraternity and sorority chapters are behaving themselves; they are trying to be good students, contributing members of the college community, while doing philanthropic service, living up to their fraternal values, and managing all the other things that come with GLO membership. Membership is a choice, and last I checked, no one is forced to join a Greek-letter organization. Those who make that decision do it of their own free will. Membership means extra responsibilities and expectations. But the haters, and there are people who HATE everything about GLOs, are out there and they are very vocal. Read the comment section of anything having to do with fraternities and sororities only if you want to get your blood boiling.

The two studies which came up with the 1 in 5 statistic have some inherent problems including small sample size, internet questionnaire with the carrot of a $10 amazon card for completion, and ambiguous questions. A 2014 U.S. Department of Justice Report, Rape And Sexual Assault Among College-Age Females, 1995-2013, puts the number of rapes of college women at 6.1 in 1000. Please know that I feel that one is one too many. In my ideal world that statistic would be zero.  Here is the synopsis of the DOJ report (available at

Compares the characteristics of rape and sexual assault victimization against females ages 18 to 24 who are enrolled and not enrolled in college. This report examines the relationship between the victim and offender, the involvement of a weapon, location of the victimization, reporting to police, perceived offender characteristics, and victim

demographics. Data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which collects information on nonfatal crimes, reported and not reported to the police, against persons from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households. The report also discusses methodological differences between the NCVS and other surveys that measure rape and sexual assault victimization and the impact of these difference on rape and sexual assault estimates.


The rate of rape and sexual assault was 1.2 times higher for nonstudents (7.6 per 1,000) than for students (6.1 per 1,000).

For both college students and nonstudents, the offender was known to the victim in about 80% of rape and sexual assault victimizations.

Most (51%) student rape and sexual assault victimizations occurred while the victim was pursuing leisure activities away from home, compared to nonstudents who were engaged in other activities at home (50%) when the victimization occurred.

The offender had a weapon in about 1 in 10 rape and sexual assault victimizations against both students and nonstudents.

Rape and sexual assault victimizations of students (80%) were more likely than nonstudent victimizations (67%) to go unreported to police.


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Remembering April 16, 2008 at Virginia Tech

My thoughts and prayers are with the Hokies of Virginia Tech and with the families and friends of those who were lost on the awful day.

  • Ross A. Alameddine
  • Christopher James Bishop
  • Brian R. Bluhm
  • Ryan Christopher Clark
  • Austin Michelle Cloyd
  • Jocelyne Couture-Nowak
  • Daniel Alejandro Perez Cueva
  • Kevin P. Granata
  • Matthew Gregory Gwaltney
  • Caitlin Millar Hammaren (Kappa Kappa Gamma)
  • Jeremy Michael Herbstritt
  • Rachael Elizabeth Hill
  • Emily Jane Hilscher
  • Jarrett Lee Lane
  • Matthew Joseph La Porte
  • Henry J. Lee
  • Liviu Librescu
  • G.V. Loganathan
  • Partahi Mamora Halomoan Lumbantoruan
  • Lauren Ashley McCain
  • Daniel Patrick O’Neil
  • Juan Ramon Ortiz-Ortiz
  • Minal Hiralal Panchal
  • Erin Nicole Peterson
  • Michael Steven Pohle, Jr.
  • Julia Kathleen Pryde
  • Mary Karen Read
  • Reema Joseph Samaha
  • Waleed Mohamed Shaalan
  • Leslie Geraldine Sherman
  • Maxine Shelly Turner (Founding member of the Alpha Omega Epsilon, social and professional engineering sorority)
  • Nicole Regina White



Yesterday’s Final Jeopardy! Question:


The answers: Epsilon, Omicron, and Upsilon. (Thanks to my friend Toni Martinovich for taking the screen shoot and letting me know about this.)

© Fran Becque,, 2015. 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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Was Lincoln in a Fraternity? and More

Today is Tax Day. It’s also the day on which Abraham Lincoln died in 1865, after having been shot the night before at Ford’s Theatre. Was Lincoln in a fraternity? The answer is no. Lincoln did not attend college. One could be a lawyer in those days, 150+ years ago, by reading the law. That is what Lincoln did. Given that the Civil War was raging and the American fraternity system, still in its infancy, was at a virtual standstill during the war, honorary membership was not offered to him. Perhaps it would have been offered by one of the fraternities after the war’s end, but Lincoln died and that became a moot point.

After I hit the “publish” button, I saw this on Beta Theta Pi’s facebook feed about two Betas who had ties to Lincoln:

1. Schuyler Colfax, DePauw 1854, was an energetic campaigner against slavery and helped found the Republican Party. He was, thus, a dear friend to President Lincoln. Colfax, the eventual vice president to Ulysses S. Grant, was the Speaker of the House during the latter half and end of the Civil War. He was sought after often by the wartime president for counsel, and as a Lincoln biographer noted, “The president rarely took any step affecting the interests of the nation without making his intentions known to and consulting with Mr. Colfax.” In fact…As Speaker of the House, it was Colfax who announced the final tally of the vote on the 13th amendment, thereby abolishing slavery. His voice shaking, “On the passage of the Joint Resolution to amend the Constitution of the United States (which required a constitutional majority of two-thirds affirmative), the ayes have 119, and the noes 56.” Colfax and his wife were invited by Lincoln to join him in the presidential box on the fateful evening of his assassination. They couldn’t attend as they were heading to California, to which the president said, “How I would rejoice to make that trip, but public duties chain me down here, and I can only envy you its pleasures.” It was the last time the two ever spoke.

2. Beta Founder and successful attorney John Reily Knox, Miami 1839, was part of the Electoral College when Lincoln ran for president in 1860 and, as such, cast his vote for Lincoln in the quest for his first term in office.

This bust of Abraham Lincoln resides in Morris Library on the Southern Illinois University campus in Carbondale. It is a copy of one sculpted in 1908 by Gutzon Borglum. The original marble bust is in the crypt of the U.S. Capitol.

This bust of Abraham Lincoln resides in Morris Library on the Southern Illinois University campus in Carbondale. It is a copy of one sculpted in 1908 by Gutzon Borglum. The original marble bust is in the crypt of the U.S. Capitol. (Photo courtesy of Morris Library)


Acacia, FarmHouse and Triangle Fraternities are the only members of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) which do not use Greek-letters. The latter two celebrate Founders’ Day on the same day. What’s also interesting to note is that both were formed for students in certain majors. In FarmHouse’s case it was agriculture. For Triangle it was engineering. Both organizations have since expanded membership eligibility criteria.

FarmHouse was founded on April 15, 1905 at the University of Missouri. D. Howard Doane, one of the seven founders, conceived the idea for the fraternity. The other founders are Melvin E. Sherwin, Robert F. Howard, Claude B. Hutchinson, Henry H. Krusekopf, Earl W. Rusk, and Henry P. Rusk. The young men were attending a Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Bible study in the spring of 1905. They discussed organizing a club and renting a house so that they could live together. It was Doane who envisioned a “farmers club,” and developed a plan. A second chapter was formed at the University of Nebraska in 1911 and a third chapter was chartered at the University of Illinois in 1914.

At the 1978 Conclave, the fraternity revised its membership criteria to include students whose subjects of study “can be applied toward a degree in agriculture or related fields, or he has a rural background, or he shares an agricultural interest; or he demonstrates qualities of character, scholarship and professional excellence to which FarmHouse men aspire.”

Triangle Fraternity was founded at the University of Illinois in the fall of 1906.  It celebrates Founders’ Day on April 15, the date in 1907 on which the Incorporation papers were granted by the state of Illinois. Sixteen civil engineering students conceived the idea to foster fellowship while in college and later as working professionals. Triangle’s founders are Edwin B. Adams, Wilbur G. Burroughs, Stanley G. Cutler, Ruby O. Harder, Theron R. Howser, Robert Emmett Keough, Thomas E. Lowry, Milton H. McCoy, Meryl S. Morgan, Ernest B. Nettleton, Raymond C. Pierce, Franklin N. Ropp, Arthur Schwerin, Charles M. Slaymaker, Charles E. Waterhouse, and Emil A. Weber.

Triangle became a national organization when similar groups at Purdue University and Ohio State were installed as Triangle Fraternity chapters in 1909 and 1911, respectively. At first, membership was limited exclusively to civil engineering students. In 1920, architecture and all engineering majors were added by a national referendum. In 1961, science students in chemistry, mathematics, and physics became eligible for membership. In 1981, computer science was added to the list.


A belated Founders’ Day to Kappa Delta Phi which was founded on April 14, 1900 at Bridgewater Normal School, now Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts.

© Fran Becque,, 2015. 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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Write a Letter to An Advisor Today

April is Advisor Appreciation Month. When I was a chapter member, I thought that our chapter advisor was 110. She wasn’t; she’s only a few years older than I am. 

For the first year or two in the chapter, I did not get it. I am sure I caused her much angst. But then I saw the light and I tried to leave the chapter better than I had found it. I think that I told her several times how much her support and faith in me meant to me. We’ve exchanged Christmas cards and she sent me baby presents. Her son was born at about the same time as my daughter. Today, we keep in touch through facebook. Her efforts helped me understand what it means to be a fraternity woman.

Make someone’s day. Write a note to an advisor (or someone) who has made a difference in your life. 

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In the “Day Late and Dollar Short” category, this is also Volunteer Appreciation Week. If you don’t have any advisors to thank, thank a volunteer, or become a volunteer. (I might even be able to use a volunteer editor.)


© Fran Becque,, 2015. 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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A Red Carnation on Theta Chi’s Founding Day

One does not often think of military colleges and fraternities. They seem mutually exclusive. I always find it interesting that several fraternities were founded at military colleges. On April 10, 1856, Theta Chi was founded at Norwich University, in Norwich, Vermont. In 1819, Norwich University was the first private military college founded as literary, scientific and military academy.

Frederick Norton Freeman and Arthur Chase, military cadets, met in Freeman’s room in Norwich’s Old South Barracks. After taking an oath, they declared each other “true and accepted members” of the Society. Chase became President and Freeman became Secretary. The next evening two more cadets – Edward Bancroft Williston and Lorenzo Potter – joined the order.

Theta Chi’s Beta chapter at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was installed on December 13, 1902. Other chapters quickly followed. The Alpha chapter lasted until 1960 when Norwich disbanded all its fraternities.

Theta Chi’s flower is the red carnation. I can’t help but share that fact because carnations are my favorite flower (although I am partial to wine carnations).

For Theta Chi's 75th Anniversary, a stone monument was dedicated at Norwich, Vermont.

For Theta Chi’s 75th Anniversary, a stone monument was dedicated at Norwich, Vermont.


Happy Founders’ Day, a day early, to Sigma Phi Delta and Theta Nu Xi.

Sigma Phi Delta, an engineering fraternity was founded at the University of Southern California on April 11, 1924. Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority was founded on April 11, 1997 at the University of North Carolina.


About yesterday’s posts about Bells Across the Land post -

Two of my favorite institutions of higher education, the University of Illinois and Monmouth College, participated in the effort.

© Fran Becque,, 2015. 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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2:15 p.m., April 9, 2015 – Bells Across the Land

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

On April 9, 1865, at 2:08 p.m. General Robert E. Lee and General Ulysses S. Grant met at the Appomattox Court House. The two agreed to end the hostilities which had gripped the nation for four years.

Today, 150 years later, bells will toll for four minutes at Appomattox, one for each year of the war. The Bells Across the Land program will have bells ringing throughout the nation at 2:15 p.m. (CDT), 3:15 p.m. (EDT).

The American collegiate social fraternity system took hold in 1825 with the founding of the Kappa Alpha Society, the first of the Union Triad, the three men’s fraternities founded at Union College in New York State. The Civil War put a large damper on the fraternity system as men left to fight in the war. After the war, several fraternities were founded in southern colleges and they expanded throughout the south. Alpha Tau Omega was founded at Virginia Military Institute in 1865 with the prime objective being to “restore the Union by uniting fraternally the young men of the South with those of the North.” Later this year, Alpha Tau Omega will celebrate its sesquicentennial.

The war also contributed to women being admitted to colleges, especially small colleges in the west (now the midwest). With men fighting in the war, the funds the women paid to study helped some colleges make it through the war.

One of the founders of Pi Beta Phi, Rosa Moore, grew up near Gettsyburg, Pennsylvania, and saw the war’s carnage first-hand. In 1867, she went to Monmouth to visit an aunt and get a change of scenery. She spent a year at Monmouth College and while there, joined 11 friends in founding the organization. In her last years, her fraternity took care of her and paid for her burial near her birthplace and the battlefields of the Civil War.


Happy Founders’ Day to Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. founded 25 years ago at the University of Iowa. “Culture is Pride, Pride is Success” is the sorority’s motto. Its founders are Gloria Cuevas, Julieta Maria Miller-Calderon, Maria Ester Pineda, Danell Marie Riojas-Carbajal, and Guadalupe Cruz Temiquel.

 (c) Fran Becque,, 2015. 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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A ΦΓΔ and an AΦ Meet at Syracuse – Ruth and Norman Vincent Peale

From the “Did I know about this?” file. One of the readers of this blog sent me an e-mail:

I was watching Turner Class Movies last night and stumbled onto “One Man’s Way”, a biopic about Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.

Per the movie, Peale is ordained and receives his first call at a university church in….Syracuse.  Per the movie he meets the woman of his dreams when she pulls into a service station and crashes into the back of his car.  She is feisty, outspoken and vivacious.  When he offers her a ride home she tells him that she lives in the Alpha Phi house.

Alpha Phi is mentioned a number of times hence.  Peale is smitten with the Phi but his affections are spurned. She gives him the Heisman on several occasions–on one occasion she is playing cards with the sisters…the house phone rings (remember those days?)…and the woman who answers gives him the time-honored, “She’s not here right now” even though she is sitting about five feet from the phone.

He even follows her into a class one day where he is dissed by the professor but professes his love for her in front of the other students. She tells him to take a hike, so to speak.

What a story! I had recently listened to the sound-track of Grey Gardens, the musical treatment of the documentary of the same name. The CD I have is the off-Broadway version; I saw it when it was in previews on Broadway. The main characters are a cousin and aunt to former First Lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Christine Ebersole did a fabulous job portraying mother Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter “Little Edie.” Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is one of the characters in the play; Edith loved listening to him on the radio. There is a scene where a radio broadcast leads to him singing a ballad, Choose to be Happy.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a member of Phi Gamma Delta’s Ohio Wesleyan chapter, met his wife in Syracuse, NY. Ruth Stafford, a Congregational minister’s daughter, was a member of the Alpha chapter of Alpha Phi. According to accounts, she and her Alpha Phi friends talked about the men they might someday marry. She is reported to have said that she had enough of living life in a parsonage and vowed never to marry a minister.

The clip from the movie, the one that takes place at the mechanic’s garage, is at Young Dr. Peale had just started as pastor of the University Methodist Church in Syracuse about a mile away from the Syracuse campus.

The meeting at the mechanic’s garage may have been fabricated to make for an interesting movie. According to Mrs. Peale, they were introduced in 1927 by her college roommate Phyllis. Mrs. Peale later said:

I heard about Norman for some time before I met him … ‘The last thing I want to do is find myself liking an unmarried minister,’ I said. But despite my resolve I was persuaded to go to a party being given by the young people’s group at the church. It was a great evening and the time passed quickly. At the end of the party Phyllis introduced me to Norman. We shook hands. Then a surprising thing happened. He held my hand just a fraction of a second longer than was necessary. I thought, ‘This is going to be interesting.’

She earned a bachelor’s degree in 1928, and then taught high school mathematics at Central High School in Syracuse. It took two years for Dr. Peale to persuade the Alpha Phi to be his wife, “No way did I want to be a pastor’s wife,” she later said.

Ruth Stafford Peale, Alpha Phi

Ruth Stafford Peale, Alpha Phi

Dr. Peale became pastor of the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. He also preached on the radio and television. In 1945, the Peales co-founded Guideposts, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to providing hope, encouragement, and inspiration to millions of people across America and the world.” is “committed to connecting people in the digital realm through the power of prayer and a common belief that through faith and the triumph of the human spirit you can overcome obstacles and live an extraordinary life.”

In 1952, Dr. Peale wrote the best seller The Power of Positive Thinking, a book which I see regularly as I sort books for the local library’s book sale. The manuscript had been rejected by many publishers and it was Mrs. Peale who kept encouraging her husband to persevere, once reportedly rescuing the manuscript from the trash can. The book sold more than 21 million copies.

In June 1963, when the film was in the midst of production, Dr. Peale wrote about it in his newspaper column:

My wife Ruth and I were invited to watch our lives being enacted on the motion picture sets. One depicted the Alpha Phi sorority house at Syracuse University where I courted Ruth back in 1928. We could have sworn we were on Walnut Street (Place) in Syracuse on a balmy spring night.

Ruth Stafford Peale received an honorary degree of Doctors of Law from Syracuse University in 1953. She also served as a trustee of Syracuse University. Alpha Phi honored her with its Frances Willard Award of Achievement. She was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood.

The Phi Gamma Delta Foundation awards a Peale Scholarship Grant. The grant is open to Phi Gams attending seminary and  Phi Gam ministers who are continuing their education. The NIC gave Dr. Peale its Gold Medal.

Ruth and Norman Vincent Peale

Ruth and Norman Vincent Peale

Dr. Peale died on Christmas Eve, 1993. The couple had been married for 63 years. Mrs. Peale died in 2008 at the age of 101.

 © Fran Becque,, 2015. 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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Monday Morning Musings – GLO Style

A Pi Phi friend sent me an e-mail this morning telling me that she just read that Ann Turner Cook, the Southern Methodist Pi Beta Phi, whose face became the “the face that launched a billion spoons,” was the subject of today’s news (–all-grown-up-and-almost-90-years-old-518748443) . When she was a small child, a charcoal sketch of Cook appeared on Gerber Baby Food products. The sketch was done by Dorothy Hope Smith who had been a neighbor of the Turner family when they lived in Connecticut. 



If you haven’t taken a look at the, please do so. 


Happy Founders’ Day to Kappa Delta Chi Sorority. It was founded on April 6, 1987 at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. The sorority’s website tells the story, “In 1987 four young women from the Rio Grande Valley had a vision while attending Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. Their vision was to create something so special and unique that it would leave a legacy for others who followed. They recognized the need to unify and promote leadership amongst Hispanic women at the university. That vision became Kappa Delta Chi. The Founders are Cynthia Garza-Fleitman, Nellie Flores-Ledesma, Irene Montoya and Melissa Montoya. With the strong foundations of service, Christianity and friendship, they created a sisterhood that 20 years later is stronger than ever. They sought to incorporate the principles of Unity, Honesty, Integrity, and Leadership into this organization.” Today, there are more than 50 active chapters and several colonies. The sorority is a member of the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO)


In mentioning Texas Tech, I realize I have been remiss in not acknowledging the passing of Pi Beta Phi’s former Grand President, Beth van Maanen Beatty. She became a member of the Pi Beta Phi chapter shortly after the local organization Ko-Shari became the Texas Gamma chapter of Pi Beta Phi. Beth became President of the chapter and the chapter became the top Pi Phi chapter and was awarded the Balfour Cup. I served under Beth when she was Grand Vice President of Collegians and I was a Collegiate Province President. She was a wonderful person and a Pi Phi extraordinaire. She will be missed and my heart breaks for her husband, two Pi Phi daughters and her precious grandchildren.



The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Report on the Rolling Stone University of Virginia rape allegation story was released and it offers a scathing review of the lack of due diligence on the part of the Rolling Stone’s writers, editors, fact checkers, et al. It was a “journalistic failure” all around, according to the report. I can’t help but wonder if that is due to the fact that it supposedly involved a fraternity. When the story was published, the entire system was indicted without due process, and all activities were halted by edict of the University of Virginia administration.

  © Fran Becque,, 2015. 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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On Chi Omega’s Founding Day – A Chautauqua Grounds Convention

Chi Omega was founded on April 5, 1895 at the University of Arkansas. Ina May Boles, Jean Vincenheller, Jobelle Holcombe, and Alice Simonds, with guidance from Fayetteville dentist, Dr. Charles Richardson, a Kappa Sigma, created the organization. Dr. Richardson was known as “Sis Doc” to generations of Psi Chapter members (the founding chapter at Arkansas is known as the Psi Chapter) and he is counted as a founder. He crafted Chi Omega’s first badge out of dental gold.

Photo courtesy of the Student Life and Culture Archives, University of Illinos

Photo courtesy of the Student Life and Culture Archives, University of Illinois.

The Eighth Biennial Convention of Chi Omega took place in Boulder, Colorado from June 20-27, 1914. Room and board would not exceed $2.50 per day, according to the pre-convention information. It was a camping convention; Chi Omega’s first camping convention. Attendees were warned, “See to it that your wardrobe is in harmony with it.”

The schedule of events:


2015-03-31 12.52.50


This is what automobiles looked like in 1914. The automobile trip to Estes Park would likely have been in automobiles looking like this.

This is what automobiles looked like in 1914. The automobile trip to Estes Park would likely have been in automobiles looking like this.


Convention attendees, 1914 (Courtesy of SLCA)

The banquet menu:

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Opened in 1898, the Colorado Chautauqua where the Chi Omegas met that summer of 1914 is now one of only 25 National Historic Landmarks in the state of Colorado and one of the few remaining chautauquas in the U.S. Chi Omegas can go visit the site of the 1914 convention and reflect upon what it would have been like for those collegians gathering from all corners of the U.S. in that summer more than a century ago.

Auditorium at the Colorado Chautuaqua in Boulder.

Auditorium at the Colorado Chautuaqua in Boulder.


Happy 35th Founders’ Day to Lambda Sigma Upsilon, founded on April 5, 1979, by 20 men at Rutgers University. It is a Latino oriented fraternity.

© Fran Becque,, 2015. 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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Sigma Beta Lambda, Delta Tau Lambda, and Alpha Sigma Rho

I’m not really making good on my 2015 promise to recognize all Founders’ Days.  I’ll keep plugging along, promise.

Sigma Beta Lambda International Fraternity founded at the University of Iowa. During the start of 1985-86 academic year, Baltazar Mendoza-Madrigal thought about establishing a Latino-based fraternity and started to research the possibility. A meeting held on March 7, 1986. The plans for the organization were finalized on April 4, 1986. 

Today, the fraternity is represented on more than 100 college campuses in 29 states. 1992 was an important year for the fraternity. It was the first Latino-based fraternity at an historically black institution, Prairie View A&M University. It reached from coast to coast when chapters were established at California State University-Dominquez Hills and SUNY-Stony Brook on Long Island. That same year, Sigma Lambda Beta joined the North-American Interfraternity Conference.

Sigma Beta Lambda’s website includes moving tributes to members who are now part of Omega chapter. One of those brothers, Victor Correa Ortiz, inspired the creation of the Victor Correa CPR Awareness Day efforts. While visiting his parents in Puerto Rico, he drowned. Bystanders did not know how to administer CPR. Sigma Beta Lambdas are encouraged to become CPR certified and to provide an opportunity for others to be certified through the Victor Correa CPR Awareness Day.


A Happy Belated Founders’ Day to Delta Tau Lambda and Alpha Sigma Rho, both founded on April 2.

Delta Tau Lambda was founded at the University of Michigan on April 2, 1994 by Darilís García and Maria Victoria Ramos. It is a Latina-based sorority with ten collegiate and six alumnae chapters.

Alpha Sigma Rho, an Asian interest sorority, was founded at the University of Georgia on April 2, 1998.  Its  founders are Irene Chien, Young Jeon, Juliette Taylor, Jessica Yoo, Suzanne Yoo, Jasmine Yu, Sandra Chu, Debbie Kwon, Angela Lu, Lynn Nguyen, Anne See, and Anna Suh. Its colors are white, red, and silver. The calla lily is its flower, the swan its mascot, the opal its gemstone and its symbol is “Nu,” the Chinese symbol for woman.


Happy Easter or Hoppy Easter as we like to say)

Happy Easter (or Hoppy Easter as we like to say)

© Fran Becque,, 2015. 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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