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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 Michigan
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
Yesterday, I read an essay, My Last Conversation with My Father, which a friend recommended. Written by Robin Wright, it appeared in the June 17, 2017 New Yorker (see http://bit.ly/2tOQlnt). The name rang a bell and after reading it, I … Continue reading
As a student at the University of Southern California, Vera Placida Gardner joined a local organization, Alpha Rho. She graduated from USC in 1910 and attended medical school at the University of Michigan. While in Ann Arbor, she became a member of … Continue reading
The photo below is a gathering of National Panhellenic Conference women enjoying lunch in January of 1920. It was taken in Coblenz, Germany. When the French occupied the city after the first World War, they used a “C” in the name. Koblenz is on the banks … Continue reading
The minutes of the founding chapter of Delta Kappa Epilson reveal that on December 16, 1854, 162 years ago today, “A Petition to establish at the University of Michigan was read and granted,” according to the “This day in DEKE … Continue reading
Theta Phi Alpha was founded on August 30, 1912 at the University of Michigan. The organization celebrates Founders’ Day on April 30th, but this gives me an opportunity to apologize. The post a few back about legacies, at first omitted … Continue reading
Today is the day on which Delta Kappa Epsilon was founded 172 years ago. There are many people, places, and things which have DKE connections. I’ve learned about many of them through This Day in Deke History posts on social … Continue reading
Theta Phi Alpha’s roots can be traced to the 1909 establishment of a local organization, Omega Upsilon, at the University of Michigan. Father Edward D. Kelly, a Catholic priest and the pastor of the student chapel at Michigan, felt that … 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
Ellen Bertha Person was a charter member of the Zeta Chapter of Sigma Kappa at George Washington University, where she was a student from 1904-07. The chapter had been a local organization, Omega Alpha, before obtaining the charter from Sigma Kappa. The installation and Person’s … Continue reading