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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: Indiana University
My dog walking route includes a mimosa tree. At the end of fall, when the leaves were down, I noticed a branch which was no longer attached to the trunk of the tree, but it was held in place by … Continue reading
Yesterday, an email from my Kappa Kappa Gamma friend, Kylie Smith, had me lost in an 1895 edition of The Key of Kappa Kappa Gamma. What had me intrigued? Never has an opening year brought greater occasion for rejoicing to Delta … Continue reading
Two days after her 54th birthday, Grace Goodhue Coolidge became a widow. The 30th President died suddenly on the morning of January 5, 1933. Calvin Coolidge was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta chapter at Amherst College. His wife was … 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
Bloomington, Indiana, is a college town, with a large, old state university. Herman B Wells, a Sigma Nu, was the 11th President of Indiana University leading the University from 1938-62. David Starr Jordan, Delta Upsilon, served as IU’s President from 1885, … Continue reading
When it was time for my husband to find an academic job, I told him I did not want to live in any of the “I” states – Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, or Idaho. And that is how I ended up … Continue reading
Last weekend was spent working at the Friends of the Carbondale Public Library Book Sale. Through our book sales, the “largest in southern Illinois,” according to our claims, we are able to help the Library fund projects and events. Our … Continue reading
This poster entitled “The truth about Greek life” is disingenuous. I was reading some Fraternity Insider newsletters written by Wilson Heller in the 1970s and he was railing about the “all but 2 U.S. Presidents” stat touted on the poster below. … Continue reading
Saturday was spent in Bloomington, Indiana, attending the Bloomington Alumnae Panhellenic Council’s Serving Up Sisterhood fundraiser. It was held at the Pi Beta Phi house on the Indiana University campus. My friend Mary Jane Hall served as chair of the event. … Continue reading
Today marks Kappa Alpha Theta’s 144th birthday. Whenever I see a tweet from @BettieLocke I wonder how the Thetas managed to make a 164-year-old woman so tech savvy. Seriously though, I have great admiration for Bettie Locke. I’ve included this … Continue reading