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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: Greek-letter Organization History
The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) celebrates International Badge Day on the first Monday in March. NPC asks its members to “Wear Your Letters on Your Heart.” Men’s fraternities and other Greek-letter organizations have joined in on the fun. The more the merrier, … Continue reading
I’ve been writing. In fact, I’ve been writing a lot. Ice pack and Advil a lot. As a freelance project, I am writing about the history of a chapter of a men’s fraternity at a particular university. I love learning … Continue reading
Canadian Greeks @CanadianGreeks Fun fact: Maryon Moody Pearson (@KKGBetaPsiUofT @UofTSororities) famously said “Behind every successful man, there stands a surprised woman” That fun fact, posted on the Pearson’s 89th wedding anniversary made me smile this morning. I was planning a post about … Continue reading
With a new academic year on the horizon, there is a lot going on in the world of fraternities and sororities. Recruitment is in full swing on some campuses and others are preparing for it. The Circle of Sisterhood, that wonderful … Continue reading
I spent the weekend cataloging digital scans of 100+ year old chapter pictures. If I was so inclined, I could write a post on the evolution of the chapter composite. The women who are in the pictures, immortalized as young college … Continue reading
This past weekend, the University of Illinois Archives’ Student Life and Culture Archival Program hosted the third National Archives Conference for Fraternities and Sororities. The conference is designed to provide archival training and support to headquarters staff and volunteers who oversee their organization’s archives. … Continue reading
On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, I want to acknowledge the servicemen who sacrificed so very much on that day. We are indebted to them. On June 6, 1944, 5,000 ships, 11,000 aircraft and 150,000 Allied troops began the operation to … Continue reading
If I could time travel one of the events I would put on my list is the very first National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) meeting. It took place 112 years ago on May 24, 1902. NPC is the umbrella organization for 26 women’s fraternities … Continue reading
The academic year is coming to a close. Many Greek-letter organization (GLO) members graduated this past weekend. Others celebrated Greek Week, an event which typically includes service and raising funds for a non-profit organization. Others celebrated Founders’ Day or hosted … Continue reading
Phi Gamma Delta was founded on May 1, 1848. The “Immortal Six” – John Templeton McCarty, Samuel Beatty Wilson, James Elliott, Daniel Webster Crofts, Ellis Bailey Gregg and Naaman Fletcher – were students at Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, when they founded … Continue reading