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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.
“Eclipse! What eclipse?” is how I interrupted a speaker at the Rotary Club of Carbondale-Breakfast meeting about two years ago. The speaker was gracious and answered my question before moving on but I could tell I wasn’t the only one … Continue reading
Every time I hear sorority women mention the newest members as “babies,” I cringe. The women who have just made commitments to be members of a National Panhellenic Conference organization are anything but babies. The young women have graduated from … Continue reading
I often remark that I live in the exact center of nowhere. Apparently, I am in error. Carbondale, Illinois, is finally on the map and the hubbub of the upcoming total solar eclipse is at a crescendo. Carbondale is the spot … Continue reading
It’s that time of year. The academic year is beginning and along with it, sorority recruitment is taking place on many campuses. Along with the majority of excitement and giddyness of Bid Day, the day when the Prospective New Members … Continue reading
There are sorority women competing in the Miss America 2018 contest. You can help make one of them the People’s Choice Candidate. Vote once a day at www.missamerica.org/vote/. Voting closes on September 5th! For the list of sorority women competing in the … Continue reading
A few days ago I wrote a post, Beta, Pi Phi and P.E.O. When I wrote it, I’d forgotten that Beta Theta Pi’s Founders’ Day was just around the corner – the eighth day of the eighth month. In that … Continue reading
“Did they get all their facts right Fran?” a friend asked on my Facebook page. She was referencing one of the posts ranking sororities – best, prestigious, most sought after – the adjectives don’t matter. The posts appear on a … Continue reading
When Grace Goodhue Coolidge fell asleep on the evening of August 2, 1923, she was the wife of the Vice President. In the middle of the night, she awoke to news that President Harding was dead. She dressed and went … Continue reading
My life has been lived east of the Mississippi, the last half of it just miles from the river. When we first moved to Illinois, it was odd to tell people that we were five hours from Chicago, the only … Continue reading