On Saturday, I attended Alpha Tau Omega’s 150th celebration. Now I know how those few men at Pi Phi conventions must feel – outnumbered! After lunch, my daughter forwarded me an e-mail she received from a friend. It read, “I am working today and happened to click on a link to my fraternity’s national convention. It is Alpha Tau Omega’s 150th Anniversary Congress. I was kind of just listening, but wasn’t really watching the video. The lady speaking was very knowledgeable about our fraternity and that impressed me. I looked up and thought gee she looks kinda familiar. I looked and her name was on the screen and it said Dr. Fran Becque! I know her! Please forward my appreciation to your Mom for her kind words about our fraternity and for spending the time to speak there.”
It was an honor to speak to the ATOs about their history. There were a handful of men there who had attended ATO’s Centennial Convention in 1965. One of them, Amos Burns, has attended 30+ ATO Congresses; he came over and introduced himself and it was delightful to meet him after having read about him while researching the fraternity’s history. He, his two sons and two grandsons, Taus all, attended the Congress together.
In the amazing coincidences department there is a story involving two Chi Omegas. Jean Mrasek, Chi Omega and National Panhellenic Conference Chairman, was also in attendance at ATO’s 150th. Fifty years ago, in 1965, Elizabeth Dyer, Chi Omega and National Panhellenic Conference Chairman, attended ATO’s Centennial Congress.
True Merit Awards for outstanding chapters are given out at the final banquet. There are acceptance speeches and it was fun listening to the men (all in tuxedos!) give credit to their chapter brothers, their advisors, and the fraternity staff. The chapter at Belmont University won the top award.
Another item has been crossed off my GLO bucket list! I had a very good reason to visit Laurel Hall, home of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. I am working on the history of the fraternity’s University of Illinois chapter for the Society for the Preservation of Greek Housing and I was able to review documents pertaining to the chapter. I also was given a delightful tour by Phi Psi’s Archivist Timothy Tangen, whom I have met, along with Phi Psi’s Historian Mike McCoy, at the Fraternal Archives Conference. At the last conference, I asked Timothy how he became Phi Psi’s Archivist and he told a wonderful story of being influenced by Mike’s knowledge of and love of Phi Kappa Psi history. Thanks, Timothy, for the tour of the beautiful “castle on the hill.”
Pro Football Hall of Fame member Frank Gifford, Phi Sigma Kappa (University of Southern California), passed away over the weekend. He spent 13 years playing both offense and defense for the New York Giants. He then went on to a career in sports broadcasting.
© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2015. All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/