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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: The Anchora of Delta Gamma
March 15 is the day on which both Delta Gamma and Phi Delta Theta celebrate Founders’ Day. The organizations are also connected by the efforts of a Phi Delt who was also an initiated member of Delta Gamma. It is … 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
Today, March 7, the first Monday in March 2016, is the National Panhellenic Conference’s International Badge Day. It’s a day for NPC women to wear the badge (pin) which signifies membership in one of the 26 NPC organizations. Other Greek-letter … Continue reading
Last night, I received an e-mail question and a facebook message. Both set me off on some research and led me to write this post. The first question was about a member of the Pi Phi chapter at Ohio State. … 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
Friday, November 22, 1963, is one of those hallmark dates. Almost everyone who was alive on that date remembers exactly where they were when they heard of President Kennedy’s death. Today’s collegians might not believe that there wasn’t a 24-hour … Continue reading
How many U.S. Vice Presidents have been in a fraternity? A goodly number, it turns out. Here is a list of Vice Presidents since 1869,* when Schuyler Colfax became the first fraternity man to become Vice President. I’ve included all … Continue reading
After the last post about convention trains, my friend Marilyn Haas, Delta Gamma Fraternity Archivist, sent me this information about Delta Gamma’s special trains: “The ‘Delta Gamma Convention Special’ first started in 1881. The private car of Mr. J.B. Mulliken … Continue reading
Fraternity and Sorority Magazines – Preserving History, Fostering Enthusiasm and Promulgating Lifelong Loyalty
This week, I had the opportunity to read hard copies of recently published sorority magazines.* What fun it was to turn the pages and read about some of the 26 National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) organizations! Good works are being done. … Continue reading
There are a few men who names emerge in the history of women’s fraternities/sororities. These men include Dr. Wesley P. Coddington, Dr. Charles Richardson, Dr. Guy Potter Benton, and the Right Reverend Edward D. Kelly. The man most influential in … Continue reading