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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 Key of Kappa Kappa Gamma
Happy Founders’ Day, Kappa Kappa Gamma. Kappa Kappa Gamma’s founders are Mary Moore “Minnie” Stewart, Anna Elizabeth Willits, Susan Burley Walker, Hanna Jeanette “Jennie” Boyd, Mary Louise “Lou” Bennett, and Martha Louisa “Lou” Stevenson. Some of the founders recalled that the … Continue reading
These last few weeks, I’ve been on a tour of “I” states. My recent visit to Iowa, although it has nothing to do with the Monmouth Duo – Pi Beta Phi or Kappa Kappa Gamma – has conjured up a post about the … Continue reading
It’s Founders’ Day for Kappa Kappa Gamma and Delta Chi. I haven’t had a moment to think about anything but pre and post wedding details since last week. Our daughter’s wedding was beautiful. To the men of Delta Chi, I … Continue reading
Today’s post is about things I’ve seen posted on the internet in the last 24 hours. The first is from an almost year-old news story which appeared in the Lansing State Journal last February. A friend posted it to her … Continue reading
While doing research for my dissertation I came across this newspaper ad; it was reprinted in a 1930s Key of Kappa Kappa Gamma. I made a copy and put it in a file. I had no idea that 12 years later … Continue reading
Eliza Jean Nelson (Penfield), who was born and raised in Greencastle, Indiana, graduated from DePauw University in 1893. While a student, she became a member of the Iota chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She attended the 1891 Panhellenic meeting in … 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
Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch was a social worker at a time when that discipline was in its infancy. She was also a fraternity woman and played a role in the first gathering of what came to be the National Panhellenic Conference. … Continue reading
In 1870, there were 525 female doctors in the United States (Newcomer, 1959). Among the fraternity women who became physicians were founders of two NPC groups, Rachel Jane “Jennie” Nicol, a founder of Pi Beta Phi, and Eleanor Dorcas Pond … Continue reading
Camp Panhellenic, located on Washington Island in Wisconsin’s Door County, celebrated its third year in the summer of 1922. “The venture is proving a boon to college women and alumnae as a place for rest and recreation as well as … Continue reading