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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: Alpha Delta Phi
Update 7/13/2017 – On July 12, 2017, a Harvard University faculty committee, in a 22-page report, recommended that Harvard students be forbidden from joining fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations, including ones that include both men and women as members. The … Continue reading
Harper Lee, Chi Omega, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning To Kill a Mockingbird, announced the publication of her second book, Go Set a Watchman. She finished the book in the mid-1950s and it has the same characters and is set … Continue reading
Currently, PBS stations are airing The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. The seven part, 14 hour long series, is another of Ken Burns’ epic works. The series covers the fascinating lives of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Growing up on Long Island, … Continue reading
On May 15, 1851, Alpha Delta Pi was founded as the Adelphean Society at Wesleyan Female College in Macon, Georgia by six young women. The founders are Eugenia Tucker Fitzgerald, Ella Pierce Turner, Octavia Andrew Rush, Mary Evans Glass, Sophronia Woodruff … Continue reading
Today, March 27, 2014, marks 135 years of Greek life in Canada. Zeta Psi became the first fraternity in Canada when its chapter at the University of Toronto was chartered on March 27, 1879. Zeta Psi’s Grand Chapter met in … Continue reading
Monmouth College, in Monmouth, Illinois, has digitized its student newspapers. I spent Sunday afternoon trying to read them. Unfortunately, they were not printed on the best of paper and the pdfs are sometimes next to impossible to decipher. What I … 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
Meeting archivists from other fraternities has been a joy! Shirley McCann Gee is the Kappa Delta Foundation Archives Manager. Shirley and I have attended the two National Archives Conference for Fraternities and Sororities that have taken place at the University … Continue reading
It’s hard for today’s collegians to contemplate spending December 24 through January 2 on campus. Most higher education institutions shut down for the holiday week. However, that week has been a significant one in the history of Greek-letter organizations. Delta … Continue reading