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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 Trident of Delta Delta Delta
Thanksgiving Eve, November 27, 1888, is the date upon which Delta Delta Delta was founded. Although there are four founders, the force behind its founding was Boston University senior Sarah Ida Shaw [Martin]. In the days before research involved a few … Continue reading
The women I am writing about for #WHM seem, at least to me, to be about 100 years ahead of their time. One wonders what they could accomplish today! Bessie Leach was born in Illinois on January 18, 1871. She … 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
The Iota Chapter of Delta Delta Delta was founded at the University of Michigan in 1894. One of its early initiates, Nellie Adelesa Brown, became a plant pathologist when few women chose to pursue that career. After Brown graduated 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
The birthplace of the women’s fraternity system is only a few miles west of Galesburg. Pi Beta Phi was founded on April 28, 1867 in the southwest second floor bedroom of the home of “Major “ Jacob Holt at 402 … 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
Sorority whistles may have been the first social media used by National Panhellenic Conference organizations. Imagine being on a campus and hearing your organization’s whistle. What a comforting sound it must have been, knowing sisters were close at hand. Sorority whistles … 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
Winifred B. Chase, a member of the Iota Chapter of Delta Delta Delta at the University of Michigan was also a member of Chapter A, Michigan, of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She served as Chairman of the Tri Delta’s Fiftieth Anniversary … Continue reading