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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: Knox College
Many thanks to Beth Applebaum, Tri Delta’s Fraternity Archives Manager, for graciously allowing me to post her Trident article about R. Louise Fitch. I have been a long-time admirer of “Our Louise,” as she was called by the Tri Deltas of … Continue reading
Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, turns 180 years old today. Beta Theta Pi’s Xi Chapter is the oldest fraternity on campus. It was installed in 1855. It was the first fraternity chapter in Illinois. Currently on campus, Beta is joined … Continue reading
Delta Delta Delta was founded at Boston University on November 27, 1888, which fell on the day before Thanksgiving that year. Tri Delta’s Founders’ Day is celebrated on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Sarah Ida Shaw (Martin) and Eleanor Dorcas Pond … Continue reading
It’s July 4th, the date upon which America celebrates its independence. Here are some 4th of July appearances in the GLO world. Yesterday’s most viewed most was the one about Calvin Coolidge being the only U.S. President to be born … Continue reading
It should come as no surprise that many of these posts are written a hour or so before they are posted, with a cup of coffee at my side. This morning, I needed more coffee than usual. On Wednesday, my … Continue reading
“When the 17th of April rolls around again the Alpha Xi Delta idea will be eleven years old,” reads an account in the first issue of Alpha Xi Delta of the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority. “The seed planted so carefully by ten brave girls has … Continue reading
If I had a top ten list of the fraternity greats, living or dead, with whom I could have dinner, Sarah Ida Shaw Martin would be on that list. Tri Deltas know her as Sarah Ida Shaw; the rest of … Continue reading
April 29 is Founders’ Day for several GLOs – Theta Xi, Phi Kappa Theta, and Chi Psi Sigma. It’s Make-a-Wish’s World Wish Day. And this year it’s also Flunk Day at Knox College. Flunk Day at Knox College is a raucous celebration held every … Continue reading
Galesburg, Illinois. was once home to two colleges. Knox College is the oldest. It was founded 14 years before Lombard College, which was established by the Universalist Church in 1853. David Starr Jordan, of Indiana University and Stanford University fame, … Continue reading
Remembering a Theta and a Pi Phi, Their Lives Cut Short, Both Trying to Help Afghan Women and Children
Within the last ten months, two young American women were killed in Afghanistan. Both were trying to help make Afghanistan a better place for women and children. Anne Smedinghoff, an initiate of the Kappa Alpha Theta chapter at Johns Hopkins … Continue reading