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About Fran Becque, Ph.D.
Welcome! Chances are good you found this blog by searching for something about fraternities or sororities.
The history of Greek-letter organizations (GLOs) - fraternities and sororities - is one of my great passions. I was the last person anyone would have suspected of joining a sorority in college. I am sure I would have agreed with them, too.
When I made my way to Syracuse University, I saw the houses with the Greek letters that edged Walnut Park, and wished I could tour them. My roommate suggested I sign up for rush (as it was then called, today it’s known as recruitment) and go through the house tour round and then drop out of rush. It sounded like a plan. I didn’t realize that I would end up pledging.
In this blog I will share the history of GLOs and other topics. I wrote a dissertation on “Coeducation and the History of Women’s Fraternities 1867-1902.″ It chronicles the growth of the system and the birth of the National Panhellenic Conference.
My Master's thesis details the history of the fraternity system at Southern Illinois University Carbondale from 1948-1960. The dates are significant ones and the thesis is available on the top menu.
I have done research at the Student Life Archives and have written several histories of University of Illinois fraternity chapters for the Society for the Preservation of Greek Housing.
Other topics having to do with higher education also come into play. P.E.O., a Philanthropic Education Organization, was founded as a collegiate organization. I am a P.E.O. and I like to talk about its history. Colleges with which I have a personal connection - Knox College, Mount Holyoke, Washington and Lee, University of Michigan, Syracuse University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, to name a few - also find their way into these posts.
Thanks for dropping by! I hope you’ll follow my blog. We who enjoy fraternity and sorority history need to stick together. I put together a Pinterest board about fraternity and sorority history. It is at pinterest.com/glohistory/.
Author Archives: Fran Becque, Ph.D.
The cornerstone for the first building on Syracuse University’s campus, the Hall of Languages, the one pictured above, was laid on September 1, 1871. It was dedicated on May 8, 1873. Sometime between those two events, Alpha Phi was founded. … Continue reading
Many mid-year graduates are celebrating this weekend after donning caps and gowns and walking across a stage to culminate their undergraduate experience. The fraternity and sorority members among the graduates, who, when they first became members of their respective organizations, … Continue reading
The Panhellenic women at Harvard University – the members of Kappa Alpha Theta, Delta Gamma, and Alpha Phi – operate under extreme conditions at America’s oldest higher education institution, Harvard University. #HearHerHarvard is a campaign to bring this discrimination and … Continue reading
Ninety-three years ago today, First Lady Grace Goodhue Coolidge was getting ready for an important event. She may have been travelling to Boston or perhaps she was already there, visiting with friends. On the next day, December 12, 1924, she … Continue reading
If you look at the list of Founders’ Days at the bottom of this blog, you will see that I have Alpha Omicron Pi listed as celebrating Founders’ Day, today, December 8. According to the post on the AOPi website: … Continue reading
Yesterday I realized I had written 999 blog posts. What should I write about for post number 1,000? I posed that question on the Focus on Fraternity History Facebook group page and these are the questions I was asked. Has there … Continue reading
Daniel Webster Crofts, while a student at Jefferson College (now Washington and Jefferson College), became a founder of Phi Gamma Delta. He was born on December 3, 1828. After graduation, he tried his hand at teaching and then settled on … Continue reading
Jim Nabors, a member of Delta Tau Delta, who would forever be known for his portrayal of Gomer Pyle, died yesterday, November 30, 2017. His website gives this credit to his fraternity: The son of Mavis and Fred Nabors, Jim … Continue reading
Have you heard that Britian’s Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle, a Kappa Kappa Gamma? Odds are that her royal title will be Duchess of Sussex. Markle is an initiate of the Kappa chapter at Northwestern University. My Alpha Gam friend … Continue reading