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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: Syracuse University
December 21, 1988, four days before Christmas, was to have been filled with joyful reunions. It quickly turned horrible for the families and friends of the 259 people on board and 11 on the ground who perished when Pan Am … Continue reading
The cornerstone for the first building on Syracuse University’s campus, the Hall of Languages, the one pictured above, was laid on September 1, 1871. It was dedicated on May 8, 1873. Sometime between those two events, Alpha Phi was founded. … Continue reading
Today, Veterans Day, commemorates the date upon which World War I ended – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. It had been known as Armistice Day, but in 1954 it was renamed Veterans … Continue reading
Congratulations are in order! My Syracuse friends were celebrating Coach Jim Boeheim’s 1,000 win. He is a graduate of Syracuse where he became a member of the Delta Upsilon chapter. *** Yesterday, Super Bowl LI dominated the twitterverse. The first … Continue reading
In researching the previous post about Louise Pellen’s scrapbook (see http://wp.me/p20I1i-3tX ), I came across a copy of her University of Illinois thesis Design for a Sorority House. The thesis was one of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science … Continue reading
Phi Sigma Sigma was founded at Hunter College on November 26, 1913. Its original name was Phi Sigma Omega, but it was discovered that the name was already in use. Its founders are Lillian Gordon Alpern, Josephine Ellison Breakstone, Fay … Continue reading
Frances Haven grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Evanston, Illinois, as her father, Dr. Erastus Otis Haven, headed up the University of Michigan and then Northwestern University. When Dr. Haven was elected Chancellor of Syracuse University, Frances moved to Syracuse, … Continue reading
On September 18, 1872, Martha Foote (Crow) visited her friends Clara Sittser (Williams) and Kate Hogoboom (Gilbert), They were students at Syracuse University. At that time, there was a men’s fraternity at Syracuse. The Delta Kappa Epsilon chapter was founded in … Continue reading
It’s National Hazing Prevention Week. This year it began on September 21. My twitter feed is full of “These hands don’t haze” memes. It’s not a coincidence that the week happens when many students are assimilating into Greek-letter organizations. Hazing has no place … Continue reading
Hazing Awareness Prevention Week begins today. Sigma Nu’s #40Answers campaign preceded it. I have something I am writing for Hazing Awareness Prevention Week, but it’s still in the early stages. Hopefully, it will appear later this week. *** It’s Founders’ Day for Iota … Continue reading