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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: Columbia University
The title of Esther McDonald Lloyd-Jones’ dissertation is Student personnel work at Northwestern University. With her Columbia University Teachers College Ph.D. in hand, she became a pioneer in the field of Student Personnel. From 1935-37 Lloyd-Jones served as the seventh President … Continue reading
On January 17, 1847, Saint Anthony Hall was founded as the Fraternity of Delta Psi at Columbia University. It is the feast day of Saint Anthony the Great. The University of North Carolina was chartered in 1789 and began classes on February 12, 1795. The Xi … Continue reading
Last week, while I was at the Pi Beta Phi Convention, one of the first things past Grand President Sarah Ruth “Sis” Mullis said to me, after she gave me one of her patented Sis hugs, was “Frances (and she’s one … Continue reading
Today is Pi Lambda Phi’s Founders’ Day. Pi Lambda Phi was founded in 1895 at Yale University by a group of men who were denied membership in the other Yale fraternities because of their religious and racial backgrounds. Frederick Manfred Werner, Louis Samter … Continue reading
July 4, 1939 was “Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day” at Yankee Stadium. On that day, baseball great Lou Gehrig, Phi Delta Theta, became the first major league baseball player to have his number retired. There are still people who were at Yankee … Continue reading
March 25, 1917 is the date on which seven female Cornell University students founded Sigma Delta Tau. Their organization was originally called Sigma Delta Phi, but when the group discovered the name belonged to another Greek-letter organization they changed the … Continue reading
Today is Stephen Sondheim’s 84th birthday and I offer my heartiest birthday greetings. He is one of my favorites composers. I mentioned this in yesterday’s post, but something on my facebook feed this morning prompted me to write this post. … Continue reading
On January 17, 1847, Saint Anthony Hall also known as the Fraternity of Delta Psi, was founded at Columbia University. Fewer than 20 chapters have been chartered. Currently, about half those are active chapters, according to reports on the internet. The chapter … Continue reading
Alpha Omicron Pi was founded on January 2, 1897, at the home of Helen St. Clair (Mullan). She and three of her Barnard College friends, Stella George Stern (Perry), Jessie Wallace Hughan, and Elizabeth Heywood Wyman had pledged themselves to … Continue reading
As a Syracuse University alumna and an American whose roots are Italian,* I offer Alpha Phi Delta best wishes upon its 99th birthday. Alpha Phi Delta was founded on November 5, 1914 when seven young men, all of Italian descent, … Continue reading