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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 Minnesota
“Blanche B. Grand-Maitre has sailed for France with the third unit of the French-American toll service,” read an entry in the May 6, 1918 Minnesota Alumni Weekly. Grand-Maitre was a 1911 graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she was … 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
Her name at birth was Diderikke Johanne Bothne, but for most of her life she was known as Dikka. A 1917 graduate of the University of Minnesota, where her father was a professor, she was an initiate of the Alpha … Continue reading
The Gamma Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi at the University of Maine was installed in 1908. Mary Ellen Chase, who would later served as editor of To DRAGMA of Alpha Omicron Pi, became a member of the chapter along with her older … Continue reading
Edith Gertrude Schwartz was born in 1874. She entered the University of Nebraska and became a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1898. As an undergraduate, she was junior class president, a member of Sigma … Continue reading
The Phi Beta Kappa Society was founded on December 5, 1776 by five College of William and Mary students. The first meeting of the organization took place in the Old Raleigh Tavern’s Apollo Room. As the first Greek-letter collegiate society, it … Continue reading
During the time frame of this study, 1867-1902, women had few legal rights. Therefore, it is interesting to note that several of these early fraternity women became lawyers at a time when women were not yet allowed to vote. In … Continue reading
The University of Minnesota was established February 13, 1851, under a charter from the territory of Minnesota. It was reorganized under a state charter on February 18, 1868. Although there was faculty opposition to coeducation, the cause was heralded by … Continue reading
Today is 12/12/2012. One hundred years ago, on 12/12/1912, a Thursday, the world was a different place. Taking a glimpse into what was happening in the Greek-letter organization world a century ago offers a wonderful insight. While life is vastly … Continue reading