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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: Hunter College
Phi Sigma Sigma was founded at Hunter College on November 26, 1913. Its original name was Phi Sigma Omega, but it was discovered that the name was already in use. Its founders are Lillian Gordon Alpern, Josephine Ellison Breakstone, Fay … Continue reading
Women’s History Month is also a time to celebrate the National Panhellenic Conference organizations by the wearing of NPC badges on Monday, March 7. Badge day is the first Monday in March. NPC began in 1902 with seven founding members. In … Continue reading
Today, Thanksgiving 2015, is a double celebration for members of three Greek-Letter Organizations – Phi Sigma Sigma, Kappa Alpha Society (not to be confused with Kappa Alpha Order) and Sigma Alpha Mu. Phi Sigma Sigma was founded at New York’s Hunter … Continue reading
Not only does this year mark Phi Sigma Sigma’s Centennial, but it also celebrates the rebirth of its Theta Chapter at the University of Illinois. Chartered in 1923, the chapter counts among its alumnae Tatyana McFadden, Paralympic Gold Medalist, and Irna … Continue reading
From July 10-14, 2013, Phi Sigma Sigma members will gather at the 2013 convention and celebrate the organization’s Centennial. The convention will take place at the Crowne Plaza in Times Square. The festivities will include a trip to Hunter College, … Continue reading
The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) celebrates International Badge Day on the first Monday in March. NPC asks its members to “Wear Your Letters on Your Heart.” Men’s fraternities and other Greek-letter organizations have joined in on the fun. The more the merrier, … Continue reading
Phi Sigma Sigma’s first chapter was chartered at New York’s Hunter College on November 26, 1913. Its ten founders are Lillian Gordon Alpern, Josephine Ellison Breakstone, Fay Chertkoff, Estelle Melnick Cole, Jeanette Lipka Furst, Ethel Gordon Kraus, Shirley Cohen Laufer, … Continue reading