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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/.
Category Archives: University of California at Berkeley
Today’s post sounds eerily similar to yesterday’s post. Today it is a death and an anniversary. International Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta With great sadness, we report that a Phi Gamma Delta brother was among the 84 people who died … Continue reading
On this day, 97 years ago, June 20, 1919, Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman beat Marion Zinderstein (6-1, 6-2) in the 33rd U.S. Women’s National Tennis Championship. Wightman, a initiate of the Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter at the University of California-Berkeley, won the title four times, 1909, 1910, … Continue reading
Happy 90th birthday to Charlotte Rae Lubotsky, better known as Charlotte Rae, and to a generation as Mrs. Garrett on The Facts of Life. She became a member of Alpha Epsilon Phi at Northwestern University. Northwestern University holds a special place in film, … Continue reading
Here are some of the articles I’ve read over the past week: The inaugural Phillip A. Cox Volunteer Institute honors Sigma Phi Epsilon’s immediate past Grand President. Cox served from 2013-15 while at the same time battling cancer. The institute was funded during the 2015 Conclave … Continue reading
The Phoenix Panhellenic Association (PPA) celebrated its 95th anniversary this weekend. I had the pleasure of being among the women of the PPA; they spend their year raising money to fund scholarships for sorority women attending Arizona universities. Since 1975, the PPA … Continue reading
Yesterday was Alpha Kappa Lambda’s 101st anniversary. It was founded at the University of California, Berkeley on April 22, 1914. It was the first fraternity to be founded west of the Rockies (there were chapters of other fraternities on California campuses including … Continue reading
It’s February and all over the country, college seniors are thinking about their plans after graduation. Grad school will be the default for many of them. Do those young people realize that there was a time when going to graduate … Continue reading
In sorting books for the upcoming Friends of Carbondale Public Library Book Sale, I came across a vintage copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. It has a “Pulitzer Prize Novel” prominently displayed on it. That got me to thinking about sorority women … Continue reading
Congratulations to: Alpha Kappa Lambda upon its Centennial. The first national fraternity to be founded west of the Rocky Mountains, it started as Los Amigos Club, a local club at the University of California – Berkeley. Today, April 22, 2014, … Continue reading
On November 9, 1874, Sigma Kappa was founded by five young women, the only females enrolled at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. They received a letter from the faculty approving the organization’s petition, which included a constitution and bylaws. The … Continue reading