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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.
Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi, the Monmouth Duo. were founded at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. Pi Phi was founded in 1867 and Kappa in 1870. By the late 1870s, their Alpha Chapters were forced off campus due … Continue reading
I know of only a handful of fraternity men and women who are competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Additions (or corrections) to this list are very welcomed as it isn’t always easy to find this information. To see the … Continue reading
After I published the last post, I remembered some of the things I meant to include, so technically, I am still playing GLO catch up. Thanks for reading along and indulging. The minute it was posted, I realized that I … Continue reading
I blinked and January turned in February. This weekend, sorority women are meeting in Atlanta for the Coalition for Collegiate Women’s Leadership (Former SEPC) meeting. It is the largest conference of female undergraduates in the United States. Ginny Carroll, found of the … Continue reading
“People support what they help to create,” and “Your chapter is not yours . . . it is in your keeping,” were two of the gems said by Sarah Ruth “Sis” Mullis, a legend among Pi Phis at the organization’s … Continue reading
When Bettie Locke, the first female enrolled at Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and one of five women in her class, was offered a Phi Gamma Delta badge to wear she could have accepted it. The … Continue reading
Two tie bar pins, 400 miles apart. One is in the Pi Beta Phi Archives in St. Louis. The other is in Columbus, Ohio in the Delta Gamma’s Frances Lewis Stevenson Archives. The Delta Gamma tie bar also has a … Continue reading
Established in 1636, Harvard University is the oldest of the Colonial Colleges which predate the establishment of the United States. It took women 200 years before they were able to be a part of any form of higher eduction in the … Continue reading
On January 21, 1869, seven young women, students at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, founded P.E.O. In the early years, they called it a Society and then, later, a Sisterhood. I’ve written about this before, but it is … Continue reading
If you’ve seen the film Hidden Figures, you’ll be interested to know that Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson, Dorothy Johnson Vaughan, and Mary Winston Jackson were initiates of Alpha Kappa Alpha. Here are links to previous posts about sorority women who were … Continue reading