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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 Nu
It’s Women History Month and I have been trying to profile sorority women who served in World War I. It’s not as easy as it looks and frankly and I not sure if anyone is interested. That’s never stopped me … Continue reading
Sigma Nu official Founders’ Day is January 1 for it was on that date in 1869 that the fraternity was publicly announced at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. In October 1868, three VMI cadets who were opposed to the physical abuse and … Continue reading
As time was passing rapidly, and we had that 17 mile drive still before us, I said goodbye, promising to think it over, and report favorably on Gatlinburg if I could. As we drove along the road, looking back I … Continue reading
“When the 17th of April rolls around again the Alpha Xi Delta idea will be eleven years old,” reads an account in the first issue of Alpha Xi Delta of the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority. “The seed planted so carefully by ten brave girls has … Continue reading
Sigma Nu became a Greek-letter organization on January 1, 1869. It was founded at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia by three young men who were opposed to the hazing that was a part of a cadet’s life at VMI. James … Continue reading
Sesquicentennial is a big word. It’s a fitting word because it means “of or relating to the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of a significant event,” according to that big internet dictionary in the sky. Kappa Alpha Order was founded at Washington College, now Washington … Continue reading
December 7, 1941, is a day that has lived in infamy. About a week earlier, fraternity men and women were meeting in New York City at the first joint meeting of the National Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and the National Panhellenic … Continue reading
This week began the 6th annual #40Answers twitter campaign for the 40 days leading to Hazing Prevention Week which will take place from September 21-25. Each day, HazingPrevention.Org (@PreventHazing) and Sigma Nu Fraternity (@SigmaNuHQ) will post a commonly heard excuse … Continue reading
On Saturday, the Southern Illinois Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi met for a quickly arranged luncheon at a local restaurant. For most of its 24 years, the club has had a dozen dues paying members. That does not sound … Continue reading
Summer is convention season for Greek-Letter Organizations and it has been for more than a century. In the 1800s, conventions tended to take place during the academic year or over the Christmas holiday. While many GLOs have different names for … Continue reading