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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: Mount Holyoke College
“That was the summer of 1963, when everybody called me ‘Baby’, and it didn’t occur to me to mind. That was before President Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles, when I couldn’t wait to join the Peace Corps, and I … Continue reading
A bit more than 250 miles and 37 years (and a day) separates the founding of Mount Holyoke College and Sigma Kappa, yet both share roots in New England. The story of each of their foundings reflects the New England sensibility of doing what needs to … Continue reading
All weekend, I have been jumping between projects. I’ve been writing my talk for the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis Alumnae Panhellenic (http://wp.me/s20I1i-indy). The celebration is Sunday, October 12, 2014, and if you haven’t reserved a spot, you might still have a … Continue reading
I’ve been writing. In fact, I’ve been writing a lot. Ice pack and Advil a lot. As a freelance project, I am writing about the history of a chapter of a men’s fraternity at a particular university. I love learning … Continue reading
I love the pomp and circumstance of graduation ceremonies. This year, for the first time in a long time, our attendance was not required at any offspring’s graduation ceremony. Dear fraternity and sorority graduates – this is not the end … 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
“Playing bridge in the sorority house any time of day or night,” is what a sorority alumna friend told me she remembered about living in a University of Missouri sorority house during the 1940s. Card parties were used as fundraisers … Continue reading
Today is St. Valentine’s Day, a holiday with creates either joy or angst in the hearts of Americans. A friend posted on Facebook, in a “where do they get these notions?” moment, that her preschooler daughter said, ‘The boys are … Continue reading
12/27/1932 – Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City. It was designed by Edward Durell Stone. Donald Deskey did the art deco interior designs. Stone attended the University of Arkansas where he was a member of Sigma Nu. … Continue reading
Twitterdom has informed me that today is Mountain Day. It is a day which Mount Holyoke women long for all fall. The actual date varies from year to year and it is a surprise for all except the very few … Continue reading