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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 hear there is a big Pi Beta Phi celebration in the works – #PiPhi150. The receptionist at Pi Phi’s Headquarters is a Monmouth College alumna and the last time I was there, she shared with me a recent Monmouth College magazine. … Continue reading
When the Sixth Annual Convention of Sigma Sigma Sigma was held in September of 1909, the Hotel Patten in Chattanooga was only about a year old. The site of the convention was dedicated in 1908. Tri Sigma, which was founded on April … Continue reading
Alpha Xi Delta was founded at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois on April 17, 1893. Its founders are Cora Bollinger (Block), Alice Bartlett (Bruner), Bertha Cook (Evans), Harriett Luella McCollum (Gossow), Lucy W. Gilmer, Lewie Strong (Taylor), Almira Lowry Cheney, Frances … Continue reading
Acacia, FarmHouse and Triangle Fraternities are the only members of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) that do not use Greek-letters. The latter two celebrate Founders’ Day on the same day. What’s also interesting to note is that both were formed … Continue reading
I’ve been AWOL. It’s the 12th of April and there has only been one post for Chi Omega’s Founders’ Day. There are several other NPC Founders’ Days coming along and I hope to commemorate those as well. Where have I … Continue reading
Chi Omega was founded on April 5, 1895 at the University of Arkansas. Ina May Boles, Jean Vincenheller, Jobelle Holcombe, and Alice Simonds, with guidance from Fayetteville dentist, Dr. Charles Richardson, a Kappa Sigma, created the organization. Dr. Richardson was known … Continue reading
For Women’s History Month 2017, I’ve tried to highlight the service of sorority women during World War I. For the women who could not go abroad, there were things to do here at home, as this picture illustrates. The headline … Continue reading
When I learned that my friend Daphney, the driver of Pi Phi’s Ring Ching Roadshow car would be in Iowa at the same time I would be there, too, I asked if we could quickly meet and have a photo … Continue reading
Many thanks to Beth Applebaum, Tri Delta’s Fraternity Archives Manager, for graciously allowing me to post her Trident article about R. Louise Fitch. I have been a long-time admirer of “Our Louise,” as she was called by the Tri Deltas of … Continue reading
Happy 100th Sigma Delta Tau. One hundred years ago, on March 25, 1917, seven female Cornell University students founded Sigma Delta Tau. Their organization was originally called Sigma Delta Phi, but when they discovered the name belonged to another Greek-letter … Continue reading