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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: Monmouth College
Happy Founders’ Day, Kappa Kappa Gamma. Kappa Kappa Gamma’s founders are Mary Moore “Minnie” Stewart, Anna Elizabeth Willits, Susan Burley Walker, Hanna Jeanette “Jennie” Boyd, Mary Louise “Lou” Bennett, and Martha Louisa “Lou” Stevenson. Some of the founders recalled that the … Continue reading
These last few weeks, I’ve been on a tour of “I” states. My recent visit to Iowa, although it has nothing to do with the Monmouth Duo – Pi Beta Phi or Kappa Kappa Gamma – has conjured up a post about the … Continue reading
When I was at Monmouth College last week, I happened upon the most recent issue of the College’s alumni magazine. As I quickly turned the pages, a name popped out at me. In the list of newly deceased members was … 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 I accidentally became a member of the New York Alpha Chapter of Pi Beta Phi, I had no idea where Monmouth, Illinois, was located. It was there in Monmouth on April 28, 1867 that the organization was founded. As … Continue reading
This #tbt (throw back Thursday) picture appeared on the Monmouth College facebook page yesterday. It was recently sent to the college. It is a picture taken in June of 1934 after an honorary degree was conferred upon Pi Beta Phi’s Grand President, … Continue reading
Kappa Delta was founded on October 23, 1897 at the State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Virginia. Its founders are Lenora Ashmore Blackiston, Sara Turner White, Mary Sommerville Sparks Hendrick., and Julia Gardiner Tyler Wilson, the granddaughter of … Continue reading
It’s Founders’ Day for Kappa Kappa Gamma and Delta Chi. I haven’t had a moment to think about anything but pre and post wedding details since last week. Our daughter’s wedding was beautiful. To the men of Delta Chi, I … Continue reading
I’m on my way out the door without time to write a real post, but there are three things I want to write about. Cyndy Bittinger, the former Executive Director of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, is an expert on Grace … Continue reading
When I pledged the Pi Beta Phi chapter at Syracuse University, I learned that the organization was founded in Monmouth, Illinois. As a native Long Islander, with a New Yorker’s view of the world, I likely would not have been … Continue reading