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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 Upsilon
On Monday, I headed east to Indiana to do some research in Carmel and get closer to completing a project. My dissertation, Coeducation and the History of Women’s Fraternities 1867-1902, covered the seven founding National Panhellenic Conference organizations, the campuses where these … Continue reading
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
Congratulations are in order! My Syracuse friends were celebrating Coach Jim Boeheim’s 1,000 win. He is a graduate of Syracuse where he became a member of the Delta Upsilon chapter. *** Yesterday, Super Bowl LI dominated the twitterverse. The first … Continue reading
In researching the previous post about Louise Pellen’s scrapbook (see http://wp.me/p20I1i-3tX ), I came across a copy of her University of Illinois thesis Design for a Sorority House. The thesis was one of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science … Continue reading
I am writing this post on the Amtrak train grateful for the wifi. Last night as I was getting ready for this research trip, when I should have been packing, I was jumping down a rabbit hole, courtesy of a New … Continue reading
Last week, while I was at the Pi Beta Phi Convention, one of the first things past Grand President Sarah Ruth “Sis” Mullis said to me, after she gave me one of her patented Sis hugs, was “Frances (and she’s one … Continue reading
Bloomington, Indiana, is a college town, with a large, old state university. Herman B Wells, a Sigma Nu, was the 11th President of Indiana University leading the University from 1938-62. David Starr Jordan, Delta Upsilon, served as IU’s President from 1885, … Continue reading
Happy Presidents’ Day! What better day to do my annual debunking of the “All but 2 US Presidents born after 1825…” myth. Fraternity men who have served as President of the United States Rutherford B. Hayes, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Honorary member James Garfield, Delta Upsilon, Williams College … 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
It’s hard to write a post on a day when there is so much to write about. It’s election day and it’s also the day when one of my favorite Phi Gamma Delta members (the one who was married to … Continue reading