2015 – GLOing, GLOing, Gone

2015 is almost a memory. Less than 16 hours separates 2015 from 2016. Time flies!

Greek-Letter Organizations (GLO) continue to exist on college campuses despite efforts to the contrary. Done well, GLO membership is one of the most valuable experiences of a college career. My wish for 2016 is that every member of every GLO would have a top-notch experience. Unfortunately, membership changes from year to year, sometimes from semester to semester, and lessons need to be learned again and again with each new crop of officers. While experience is sometimes the best teacher, the lessons learned are offset by the collective backlash that envelopes all GLOs whether they are the guilty party or not.

Twenty years ago, when the internet was in its infancy, Alpha Tau Omega was honored by the Smithsonian Institute for its innovative use of technology. What did ATO do 20 years ago that was so innovative?  The fraternity connected alumni and chapters in a CompuServe chat room. That was cutting edge 20 years ago.

Over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed writing this blog and hope that it’s made a difference. One of the most read posts is about the U.S. Presidents who have been members of fraternities. I hope that post helps put to rest the “all but two presidents” statistic that is still bandied about the internet.

I thank those of you who read this blog and encourage others to read it. I am grateful for the e-mails and messages about posts, errors I’ve made, and suggestions for future efforts. Every now and then I get presents. This came a few months ago and I’ve been meaning to write about it.


When I opened to the title page, I did not know about the author Irene Pierson (Priebe), but I recognized the name of the illustrator, Robert Vogele.

IMG_4388Vogele was initiated into the Alpha Tau Omega chapter at the University of Illinois and I suspect he was a student when he illustrated the first edition of Campus Cues. In addition to being an award winning designer he has been a loyal Tau, serving in various capacities on the Palm of Alpha Tau Omega staff, including Editor, and designing materials for the Centennial in 1965.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, Pierson earned an A.B. in 1925 and a Master’s in 1944. She was a member of Alpha Xi Delta and Mortar Board. She was the first woman president of the Student Senate. From 1932-39, she served as Assistant Dean of Women at her Alma Mater. In 1940, she began her tenure as social director for the Illini Union and held that position until her retirement in 1962. In 1966, at the 25th anniversary reunion of the Illini Union Board the Irene Pierson Award was established to honor her service.

The first edition of Campus Cues was published in 1948. The second edition, the one I was given, was published in 1956. A third edition was released in 1962. It is an etiquette guide that instructs on proper social behavior. Reading the book provided a glimpse into a world which no longer exists. I shudder to think what she would think about the manner in which electronic devices (phones, headphones, tablets, laptops) are used as barriers to face-to-face communications.


And with that thought, I offer my best wishes for a wonderful 2016. Thanks, Carolyn, for the book. And to all who have made it this far, thanks for reading this post and blog! Please know that I appreciate your time.

© 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/

This entry was posted in Alpha Tau Omega, Alpha Xi Delta, Fran Favorite, University of Illinois and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.