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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 Arrow of Pi Beta Phi
The “Rushing Question” was the subject of an entry in the October 1898 Arrow of Pi Beta Phi. It read It has been very forcibly borne in upon the minds of fraternity women, at least in the larger colleges and universities, that … 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
On Friday, July 3, 1915 another president made his debut in the fourth-inning mascot race during the Washington Nationals baseball game. It happened to take place on the evening before his birthday. The new guy just happened to win the race … Continue reading
I am knee-deep in the 1880s researching an upcoming talk. I’m going through an 1887 Arrow of Pi Beta Phi which has the organization’s first directory of members included in it. My mind is wandering to all corners of the … Continue reading
“Indianapolis boasts a local Pan-Hellenic, representing thirteen fraternities. Since its establishment during the winter, two luncheons have been given and well attended, and at present, this organization is establishing a scholarship fund, part of the money to be furnished by the different alumnae clubs in this … Continue reading
On Memorial Day 2014, I thank the men and women who gave their lives so that others could live. World Wars I and II had a profound effect on the fraternity system. Many fraternity men went off to war. The … Continue reading
This past weekend was spent working at the Friends of the Library book sale. Every now and then, while straightening up, I’d find an interesting book. The 2003 Illio, the University of Illinois yearbook, suddenly appeared and, of course, I … Continue reading
The meeting of 12th National Pan-Hellenic Congress (now known as the National Panhellenic Conference – NPC) opened on October 16, 1913 at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. Gamma Phi Beta Lillian Thompson chaired the meeting. “Last year, when she became … Continue reading
“Baconian Biliteral Cipher, on the Estate of Colonel Fabyan,” National Security, and a Fraternity Woman
“Elizebeth Smith, ’15, and Wm. F. Friedman, Cornell, ’13. May 21, (1917). At home. Riverbank, Geneva, Ill.. where both are engaged on the Baconian Biliteral Cipher, on the estate of Colonel Fabyan,” is the notice of the marriage of a … Continue reading
This weekend, there was a gathering in a church hall for a local woman who was celebrating her hundredth birthday. I first met her when I came to town and joined the University Women’s Club. She was one of the … Continue reading