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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: Goucher College
In 1897, Evalina “Eva” Orrick Bandel graduated from the Woman’s College of Baltimore before it changed its name to Goucher College. During her years there, she joined the Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi. After graduation, her plans were to study … Continue reading
The internet has made so many publications available at the click of a mouse. Last night while looking for some information about a prominent Delta Gamma, I came across, completely by accident, a digitized copy of the Goucher College yearbook. My … Continue reading
I love the pomp and circumstance of graduation ceremonies. After all, I earned a degree based mainly on the color of the hood (two of my favorite colors wine and silver blue, which just happen to be Pi Beta Phi’s … Continue reading
The Women’s College of Baltimore, today known as Goucher College, was founded in 1885 and graduated its first class in 1892. It was one of the few women’s colleges hosting chapters of national women’s fraternities. There is evidence of … Continue reading
The 100th Anniversary of the Suffrage Parade, Sorority Women, and a Guest Appearance by High School Student J. Edgar Hoover
This weekend marks the 100th anniversary of the March 3, 1913 Suffrage Parade in Washington, D.C. Among the women who marched were sorority/fraternity women. Pi Beta Phi Carrie Chapman Catt was one of the speakers. Pi Beta Phi’s former Grand … Continue reading
In 1870, there were 525 female doctors in the United States (Newcomer, 1959). Among the fraternity women who became physicians were founders of two NPC groups, Rachel Jane “Jennie” Nicol, a founder of Pi Beta Phi, and Eleanor Dorcas Pond … Continue reading
“American Girl German Ph.D.” read the second page headline in a 1904 edition of the New York Times. May Lansfield Keller had been awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg. The headline conveys both the esteem with which the … Continue reading
May Lansfield Keller is one of those amazing women who were born before the invention of most things that today’s college women take for granted. From her successful attempt to earn a German Ph.D., to her insistence that Westhampton College … Continue reading