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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: Lombard College
I spotted the name Ella B. Leib as I was studying Illinois P.E.O. history in preparation for a session at the Illinois State P.E.O. Convention this summer. Ella Boston Leib played an important role in the early history of Alpha … Continue reading
This spring two National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) organizations are recolonizing their Alpha chapters. Zeta Tau Alpha is returning to its birthplace at Longwood University. Alpha Omicron Pi is revitalizing the chapter whose home will be the now co-ed Columbia University, with … Continue reading
The birthplace of the women’s fraternity system is only a few miles west of Galesburg. Pi Beta Phi was founded on April 28, 1867 in the southwest second floor bedroom of the home of “Major “ Jacob Holt at 402 … 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
How exactly did those P.E.O.s at Iowa Wesleyan College become the Beta Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta? How was that connection made? It was such a defining moment in the history of both organizations. P.E.O. was founded as a collegiate … Continue reading
On April 28, 1867, a college society of women modeled after men’s Greek-letter fraternities was founded at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. Its name was I. C. Sorosis and its grip, the handshake of its members, was accompanied by the … Continue reading