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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: Union College
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
Happy Founders’ Day, Chi Psi! The post below is doing an encore performance. It’s late morning and I just am too swamped to write another post, but I do not want the day to go by without acknowledging it. Last month, … 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
Today marks the 182nd anniversary of Psi Upsilon’s founding at Union College in Schenectady, New York. On November 24, 1833, Robert Barnard, Samuel Goodale, Sterling G. Hadley, George Washington Tuttle, Edward Martindale, Merwin Henry Stewart, and Charles Washington Harvey founded … Continue reading
On May 20, 1841, Chi Psi was founded at Union College in Schenectady, New York. It was the fifth fraternity founded at Union College. Its founders are Philip Spencer, Robert Heyward McFaddin, Jacob Henry Farrell, John Brush Jr., Samuel Titus Taber, … Continue reading
Phi Mu was founded on January 4, 1852 at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. Originally known as the Philomathean Society, it and Alpha Delta Pi, also founded at Wesleyan College, are known as the “Macon Magnolias.” Phi Mu was founded … Continue reading
On Thursday afternoon we left for New York State and a family wedding. We made it as far as Erie, Pennsylvania. The next morning we headed off the rest of the way to our destination, Skaneateles, New York. While the … Continue reading