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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: University of Illinois
Alpha Gamma Delta was founded on May 30, 1904 at Syracuse University, when Syracuse was still in session at the end of May. As academic calendars changed, it became difficult celebrating a Founders’ Day when school was not in session. … Continue reading
Acacia, FarmHouse and Triangle Fraternities are the only members of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) that do not use Greek-letters. The latter two celebrate Founders’ Day on the same day. What’s also interesting to note is that both were formed … 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
Yesterday, the Student Life and Culture Archives at the University of Illinois posted a link to a scrapbook in its collection. As one who has been on the Illinois campus and has studied the history of its fraternities and sororities, … 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
The Elkhart, Illinois, exit off of I-55 in Illinois, just north of Springfield, has intrigued me ever since I wrote a history of Sigma Chi’s Kappa Kappa Chapter at the University of Illinois. For five seasons of football games at Knox … Continue reading
Yesterday, Agnes Eckhardt Nixon died. She is considered the Queen of Modern Soap Operas. Unlike some of her soap opera characters, there will never be anyone to replace her. Nixon became a member of the Northwestern University chapter of Alpha … Continue reading
Zeta Psi was founded on June 1, 1847 at New York University. John Bradt Yates Sommers, John Moon Skillman, and William Henry Dayton are its founders. The NYU chapter is the Phi chapter. In trying to figure out what to write … Continue reading
It is official. The #WHM posts nearly did me in as they were combined with a to-do list that has its own zip code. But I loved writing about those “Unsung Heroines.” April has several Founders’ Days that I want … Continue reading
Marie Esther Funke was born on June 29, 1906 in Edwardsville, Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri. She died in Edwardsville almost 60 years later. She is buried there in the Calvary Catholic Church cemetary. Her professional name was … Continue reading