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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: Phi Gamma Delta
When Grace Goodhue Coolidge fell asleep on the evening of August 2, 1923, she was the wife of the Vice President. In the middle of the night, she awoke to news that President Harding was dead. She dressed and went … Continue reading
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr., the 30th President of the United States, was born on July 4, 1872 in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts where he became a member of Phi Gamma Delta. After graduation, while working … Continue reading
Yesterday’s post about Dr. John McCrae’s poem is followed by a discovery of a poem written in response to it. The poem by Frank E. Hering appeared in the Gold Star Honor Roll: A Record of Indiana Men and Women who died in the … Continue reading
I spent Friday and Saturday in Monmouth, Illinois, where Pi Beta Phi was founded on April 28, 1867. I was able to stand in the very room where the organization came to life 150 years ago and I shared that … Continue reading
On December 14, 1972, Apollo 17 lifted off from the moon. Its mission commander Gene Cernan, Phi Gamma Delta, was the last astronaut to walk on the moon’s surface. The initiate of Phi Gam’s chapter at Purdue University took his Phi Gam … Continue reading
I realized this morning that the two U.S. Presidents whose homes I visited died on January 5 and January 6, in different years. The Calvin Coolidge homestead is in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. It is the boyhood home of the 30th … Continue reading
Yesterday was Ask an Archivist Day. Some of my GLO archivist friends and I used social media to answer questions. I also learned some fun facts yesterday by eavesdropping on their social media conversations. Towner Blackstock, Curator of the Phi … Continue reading
Tonight’s Vice-Presidential debate will take place at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. Longwood has a prominent place in the history of sororities. Ever heard the phrase “Farmville Four”? It refers to the four NPC groups founded at the Virginia’s State Female … Continue reading
Bettie Locke, the force behind the founding of Kappa Alpha Theta in 1870, is on the run this week. On Thursday, September 22, 2016, the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay will wind its way through Putnam County from 5-8 p.m. Putnam is the Indiana … Continue reading