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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.
May 24 is two days away. It will mark the 115th anniversary of the founding of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). Representatives from seven organizations – Alpha Phi, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa … Continue reading
Alpha Delta Pi was founded as the Adelphean Society on May 15, 1851 at Wesleyan Female College in Macon, Georgia. In 1905, the Society changed its name to Alpha Delta Phi and installed its second chapter at Salem College in … Continue reading
On Sunday, May 14, 2017, Miss USA 2016, Deshauna Barber, a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., will crown her successor. Here are the sorority women who are competing as far as I can determine. If there are additions or corrections … Continue reading
Bess Truman is the only First Lady who was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. Her husband, President Harry Truman was considered a B.I.L. (brothers-in-law), the name given to the spouses and significant others of P.E.O. members. However, the organization has a … Continue reading
On college campuses all across the country and Canada, young men and women are donning caps and gowns and walking across a stage. They are being presented with a diploma cover. Some of those diploma covers will have actual diplomas … Continue reading
William C. Levere compiled The History of Sigma Alpha Epsilon in the World War. It was published by the George Banta Company in 1928. It was indeed a labor of love for “Billy” Levere, who himself served the county. He and … Continue reading
I spent Friday and Saturday in Monmouth, Illinois, where Pi Beta Phi was founded on April 28, 1867. I was able to stand in the very room where the organization came to life 150 years ago and I shared that … Continue reading
Theta Phi Alpha celebrates Founders’ Day on April 30, the Feast Day of St. Catherine of Siena.* St. Catherine is the patroness of the organization and her motto, “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring, ” is Theta Phi … Continue reading
Today, Pi Beta Phi turns 150 years old. I wasn’t sure how I was going to celebrate this in a blog post. I was likely going to use the letter I wrote for the commemorative Arrow, but a few days … Continue reading
In case you have not heard, my arrow wearing sisters are celebrating a very big anniversary on Friday. This issue of The Arrow was sent to all members with a mailable address. Congratulations to Editor Constance Dillon Gibbs, an alumna of … Continue reading