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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: Iowa Wesleyan College
The founders of Greek-letter organizations are revered. Every organization has its founders. They get the glory. Members know their names. Every organization also has builders, those who do the heavy lifting, who make difficult decisions, who work hard to advance … Continue reading
I often remark that I live in the exact center of nowhere. Apparently, I am in error. Carbondale, Illinois, is finally on the map and the hubbub of the upcoming total solar eclipse is at a crescendo. Carbondale is the spot … Continue reading
My life has been lived east of the Mississippi, the last half of it just miles from the river. When we first moved to Illinois, it was odd to tell people that we were five hours from Chicago, the only … Continue reading
Bess Truman is the only First Lady who was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. Her husband, President Harry Truman was considered a B.I.L. (brothers-in-law), the name given to the spouses and significant others of P.E.O. members. However, the organization has a … Continue reading
Alpha Xi Delta was founded at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois on April 17, 1893. Its founders are Cora Bollinger (Block), Alice Bartlett (Bruner), Bertha Cook (Evans), Harriett Luella McCollum (Gossow), Lucy W. Gilmer, Lewie Strong (Taylor), Almira Lowry Cheney, Frances … Continue reading
When I learned that my friend Daphney, the driver of Pi Phi’s Ring Ching Roadshow car would be in Iowa at the same time I would be there, too, I asked if we could quickly meet and have a photo … Continue reading
P.E.O., the Philanthropic Educational Organization, founded at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, celebrates its 148th birthday today. It was founded by seven young women. About a month earlier, Libbie Brook, who had previously been enrolled at Monmouth College, … Continue reading
The trip to Iowa was fun. To walk in the footsteps of the founders of both Pi Beta Phi and P.E.O. was thrilling. In the late 1860s, Mount Pleasant was called the Athens of Iowa. It was a bustling place and … Continue reading
On Friday, I drove to Mount Pleasant, Iowa. On the way, I made a quick stop at Holt House, the home where Pi Beta Phi was founded in 1867. When it was founded it was called I.C. Sorosis. Its motto … Continue reading
My P.E.O. chapter met on Monday night. The reminder e-mail which the President sent a few days before the meeting was a double reminder. No only did it refresh my mind about the meeting, but it also told me that … Continue reading