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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: Delta Tau Delta
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
Snow, snow, and more snow was the weekend’s theme. Facebook friends on the east coast keep me abreast of how much snow they were getting. Here in my neighborhood in the middle of the country, it was cold, but sunny. … 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
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
On January 17, 1847, Saint Anthony Hall also known as the Fraternity of Delta Psi, was founded at Columbia University. Fewer than 20 chapters have been chartered. Currently, about half those are active chapters, according to reports on the internet. The chapter … Continue reading
A century ago there was a concerted effort in at least three states – Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin – to ban Greek-letter organizations from some or all institutions in those states. These campaigns are but a few of the efforts … Continue reading
The tenth of the month seems a grand time for founding an “organization of our own.” In my opinion, that is a theme common to the founding of a good many, if not most or nearly all, Greek-letter organizations (GLOs). … Continue reading
How many U.S. Vice Presidents have been in a fraternity? A goodly number, it turns out. Here is a list of Vice Presidents since 1869,* when Schuyler Colfax became the first fraternity man to become Vice President. I’ve included all … Continue reading
When Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois opened in September 1856, 26 of the 99 students were women. Ten years later, when the 1866-67 academic year began, the cost of the first term was $12 in tuition and $9 for each … Continue reading
December 21, 1988, four days before Christmas, was to have been filled with joyful reunions. It quickly turned horrible for the families and friends of the 259 people on board and 11 on the ground who perished when Pan Am … Continue reading