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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: Beta Theta Pi
My life has been lived east of the Mississippi, the last half of it just miles from the river. When we first moved to Illinois, it was odd to tell people that we were five hours from Chicago, the only … Continue reading
When he was a student at Whitman College, William West Anderson became a member of Beta Theta Pi. A 1951 initiate of the chapter, he followed in the footsteps of his father, Otto, a 1925 initiate of the Whitman chapter. … Continue reading
When I learned that my friend Daphney, the driver of Pi Phi’s Ring Ching Roadshow car would be in Iowa at the same time I would be there, too, I asked if we could quickly meet and have a photo … Continue reading
Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, turns 180 years old today. Beta Theta Pi’s Xi Chapter is the oldest fraternity on campus. It was installed in 1855. It was the first fraternity chapter in Illinois. Currently on campus, Beta is joined … Continue reading
P.E.O., the Philanthropic Educational Organization, founded at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, celebrates its 148th birthday today. It was founded by seven young women. About a month earlier, Libbie Brook, who had previously been enrolled at Monmouth College, … Continue reading
August 13, 1839, was Commencement Day at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Five days earlier, on August 8, at the first official meeting, eight young men established Beta Theta Pi, the first men’s fraternity founded west of the Allegheny Mountains. … Continue reading
I often wonder why I couldn’t be interested in blogging about something with more mass appeal than the history of fraternities and sororities. Convincing members of GLOs that is important to know the history of their own GLO as well as … Continue reading
It’s July 4th, the date upon which America celebrates its independence. Here are some 4th of July appearances in the GLO world. Yesterday’s most viewed most was the one about Calvin Coolidge being the only U.S. President to be born … Continue reading
This past weekend was a fun one for us. The Becque5 clan gained another +1. Officially we are the Becque5 +2 after last fall’s wedding of our daughter. I made the hotel reservations in early January and didn’t think more … Continue reading
Two historic events which took place on April 15 had their beginnings on the evening of April 14. The RMS Titanic’s collision with an iceberg happened at 11:40 p.m. on Sunday April 14, 1914. The ship sank in the early morning hours of … Continue reading