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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.
I have several dear friends who are proud Hillsdale College and Pi Beta Phi alumnae. They are over the moon about one of their own, Elizebeth Smith Friedman, who has recently been the subject of several books and magazine articles. … Continue reading
Lord Baden Powell, founder of the scouting movement, is too busy spinning in his grave to comment on my assertion that the Boys Scouts of America have just jumped the shark with their recent announcement that the Boys Scouts of … Continue reading
Alpha Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha celebrate Founders’ Day on October 15. How amazing is it that the first organization and the last organization on the alphabetical listing of National Panhellenic Conference members share the same Founders’ Day? On Thursday, … Continue reading
I have been to Monmouth, Illinois, many times and on each trip, I try to envision Monmouth College as it might have been in 1870. I walk past the spot where it is said two women talked about forming an … Continue reading
I had no intention of writing a post today. However, I knew this morning, while sipping coffee and skimming social media, that I needed to write a post. After walking the dogs and having thoughts spin around in my head, … Continue reading
October 10, 1872 – Alpha Phi, founded at Syracuse University. It is the oldest of the Syracuse triad of NPC organizations founded at Syracuse. In September of 1872, Martha Foote (Crowe), Clara Sittser (Williams), and Kate Hogoboom (Gilbert) pondered the thought of … Continue reading
Being a member of a Greek-Letter Organization entails certain responsibilities. A member is expected to take part in the activities of the organization, serving in the day-to-day life of the chapter. A member is expected to be responsible for him/herself, turning … Continue reading
*** I recommend viewing Returning the Favor. It helps restore one’s faith in humanity.
On Monday, I headed east to Indiana to do some research in Carmel and get closer to completing a project. My dissertation, Coeducation and the History of Women’s Fraternities 1867-1902, covered the seven founding National Panhellenic Conference organizations, the campuses where these … Continue reading
A very special initiation happened this summer at the Pi Beta Phi convention. On June 25, 2017, Susan Reese Sellers, a past International President of P.E.O. (2011-13), was one of a group of honorary alumnae initiates of Pi Beta Phi. … Continue reading