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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: Sigma Alpha Epsilon
William C. Levere compiled The History of Sigma Alpha Epsilon in the World War. It was published by the George Banta Company in 1928. It was indeed a labor of love for “Billy” Levere, who himself served the county. He and … 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
I chuckle when people say they want to return to the “good old days.” As one who looks at old newspapers on a regular basis, it’s evident that bad things happened in the “good old days.” One of these events … Continue reading
Syracuse has been on my mind lately. I’m not in Syracuse, but this view as I walked out the door yesterday morning reminded me of the quad at Syracuse. The school’s colors even involve orange. And for many years both … Continue reading
On this Cyber Monday, the last day of November and before December and Giving Tuesday, I am grateful for many things. I am grateful to the men and women who founded Greek-letter organizations, and the builders who came after the founders, … Continue reading
I just spent two days of research in my very favorite place to research, the Student Life and Culture Archives at the University of Illinois. I was on a specific quest, so I didn’t have time to just open books … Continue reading
On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, I want to acknowledge the servicemen who sacrificed so very much on that day. We are indebted to them. On June 6, 1944, 5,000 ships, 11,000 aircraft and 150,000 Allied troops began the operation to … Continue reading
On Memorial Day 2014, I thank the men and women who gave their lives so that others could live. World Wars I and II had a profound effect on the fraternity system. Many fraternity men went off to war. The … Continue reading
February has been a long month. I’ve spent it with a 17 year-old-dog whose days are truly numbered. We love him; he’s been a terrific member of our family, and it is heartbreaking to see him go downhill. Worse than toilet … Continue reading
One of my all-time favorite magazines is Banta’s Greek Exchange. Sadly, it has not been published since 1973. For 60 years Banta’s Greek Exchange printed information from fraternity and sorority magazines along with feature articles and other items of interest to … Continue reading