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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 women of I.C. Sorosis are in St. Louis celebrating a century and a half. One hundred and fifty years is a long time and the world of 1867 is vastly different from the one of 2017. The young women … Continue reading
Thirty years ago, I left three young children, ages four and under, with my husband and travelled to New Orleans for my first Pi Beta Phi convention. I was apprehensive about sharing a room with a complete stranger, but she … Continue reading
A friend who attended the AAUW convention sent me a note about Julia T. Brown, the newly-installed Chairman of the AAUW Board (no longer President). Brown in a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. *** I also realize that … Continue reading
Although I feel somewhat like an ambulance chaser, I think this information might be of interest to the readers of this blog. My thoughts and prayers are with those who were injured on June 14 while practicing for the Congressional … Continue reading
My daughter became a P.E.O. during her senior college of college. She was initiated as a member of my chapter. She’d attend a meeting once a year, usually the holiday auction where her salted caramel sauce is a highly prized … Continue reading
When he was a student at Whitman College, William West Anderson became a member of Beta Theta Pi. A 1951 initiate of the chapter, he followed in the footsteps of his father, Otto, a 1925 initiate of the Whitman chapter. … Continue reading
Despite belief to the contrary, it has never been easy to be a member of a Greek-letter organization. Anti-fraternity sentiment has been around since about the time of the founding of the first chapter of the first fraternity. I like to … Continue reading
There is no universe in which I condone fraternity hazing. As a mother and as someone who believes deeply in the ideals of the fraternal world, I find hazing to be abhorrent to everything that should fraternity and sorority life. I … Continue reading
Alpha Gamma Delta was founded on May 30, 1904 at Syracuse University, when Syracuse was still in session at the end of May. As academic calendars changed, it became difficult celebrating a Founders’ Day when school was not in session. … Continue reading