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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
Alpha Gamma Delta was founded at Syracuse University on May 30, 1904 at the home of Dr. Wellesley Perry Coddington, a Syracuse University professor. Alpha Gamma Delta is the youngest of the Syracuse Triad, the three National Panhellenic Conference organizations … Continue reading
“I get by with a little help from my friends,” has been playing in my mind all morning, including the hour I spent in the dentist’s chair. I had nothing for a post in mind. I was toying with using … Continue reading
Ruth Johnson Colvin is 99 years young. She became a member of Kappa Delta while attending Northwestern University. She left Northwestern before graduation and she married Robert Colvin in 1940. After raising two children, she earned an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University … Continue reading
Grace Smith Richmond, an 1884 initiate Gamma Phi Beta’s Alpha chapter, was a much-loved author. The daughter of a clergyman, she married Nelson Guernsey Richmond, a doctor, in 1887. Two of her more memorable characters had these professions – Robert McPherson Black was … Continue reading
Women’s History Month is also a time to celebrate the National Panhellenic Conference organizations by the wearing of NPC badges on Monday, March 7. Badge day is the first Monday in March. NPC began in 1902 with seven founding members. In … Continue reading
Last week, a former sorority member, a public relations major in the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, released a video. In it she bashed the entire women’s fraternity/sorority system for an “overwhelming lack of compassion for other … Continue reading
When I went through rush at Syracuse University four decades ago, it was on a whim. All I wanted to do was go on house tours and be done with it. I remember walking around Walnut Park on the day … Continue reading
Syracuse has been on my mind lately. I’m not in Syracuse, but this view as I walked out the door yesterday morning reminded me of the quad at Syracuse. The school’s colors even involve orange. And for many years both … Continue reading
I am writing this post on the Amtrak train grateful for the wifi. Last night as I was getting ready for this research trip, when I should have been packing, I was jumping down a rabbit hole, courtesy of a New … Continue reading
Today, Thanksgiving 2015, is a double celebration for members of three Greek-Letter Organizations – Phi Sigma Sigma, Kappa Alpha Society (not to be confused with Kappa Alpha Order) and Sigma Alpha Mu. Phi Sigma Sigma was founded at New York’s Hunter … Continue reading