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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
In 1877, four young Japanese men arrived in Greencastle, Indiana. They became students at the alma mater of their teacher, an American missionary. They, too, like their mentor, became fraternity men. Two joined Delta Kappa Epsilon and the other two … Continue reading
On this day, August 8 in 1839, Beta Theta Pi was founded. It was the eighth day of the eighth month at nine in the evening, so technically, I am not late with this post. Beta Theta Pi’s convention is happening … Continue reading
Getting collegiate GLO members hooked on history is an important part in getting them to be life long loyal members. Understanding that the organization spans generations and is greater than one chapter on one campus is heady stuff for a college … Continue reading
In 1856, the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi was built. It connected the Rock Island Arsenal in northwestern Illinois to Davenport, Iowa. The Eads Bridge in St. Louis was completed in 1874. Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, was established in 1851. Although the … Continue reading
Today is Pi Lambda Phi’s Founders’ Day. Pi Lambda Phi was founded in 1895 at Yale University by a group of men who were denied membership in the other Yale fraternities because of their religious and racial backgrounds. Frederick Manfred Werner, Louis Samter … Continue reading
Tomorrow, the first Monday of March, is the National Panhellenic Conference’s International Badge Day. This rare Sunday post is a reminder for my NPC friends to wear their badge and show the power of the 26 NPC organizations. NPC’s International … Continue reading
On February 13, 1913, the fraternity and sorority system composed of national organizations at the College of Wooster ceased to exist. Some of the chapters were more than 30 years old. The list below is from the statement issued by … Continue reading
I’m a day late for wishing Gamma Alpha Omega a Happy 22nd Birthday. I will offer my sincere congratulations nonetheless. The sorority was founded at Arizona State University. The sorority is a member of the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO). It … Continue reading
When I am in the car, I usually listen to the Broadway Channel on satellite radio. I remember hearing Seth Rudetsky, one of the channel’s hosts, tell a story about Betty Buckley. As I was driving at the time, I … 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