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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: National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
Alpha Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha celebrate Founders’ Day on October 15. How amazing is it that the first organization and the last organization on the alphabetical listing of National Panhellenic Conference members share the same Founders’ Day? On Thursday, … Continue reading
A friend who attended the AAUW convention sent me a note about Julia T. Brown, the newly-installed Chairman of the AAUW Board (no longer President). Brown in a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. *** I also realize 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
From 1953 until 1965, Dr. Deborah Cannon P. Wolfe, served as Grand Basileus (President) of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Born in Cranford, New Jersey, in 1916, Wolfe attended Cranford Schools. Although she wanted to attend Oberlin College, Jersey City State … Continue reading
Today is the anniversary of the founding of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated, the first Greek-letter organization for African-American women. In the fall of 2016, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win … Continue reading
On January 13, 1913, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded at Howard University. All 22 founders – Winona Cargile (Alexander), Madree Penn (White), Wertie Blackwell (Weaver), Vashti Turley (Murphy), Ethel Cuff (Black), Frederica Chase (Dodd), Osceola Macarthy (Adams), Pauline Oberdorfer (Minor), Edna … Continue reading
Yesterday, January 8, was spent in a car driving from Florida to Illinois. I sat in the back seat between our two dogs. For one day, they had my undivided presence and attention. Yesterday was also my birthday. It’s a … Continue reading
It’s hard for today’s collegians to contemplate spending December 24 through January 2, part of the Holiday Break, on campus. Most higher education institutions and Greek-Letter Organizations (GLO) HQs shut down for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. … Continue reading
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated was founded at Cornell University on December 4, 1906. It is the oldest of the Black Greek-letter organizations (BGLOs) which form the National PanHellenic Council (NPHC). The seven founders, the “Jewels” of Alpha Phi Alpha, … Continue reading
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was founded on November 12, 1922 by seven young brave African American women educators in Indianapolis, Indiana. On December 30, 1929, a charter was granted to the Alpha chapter at Butler University making the organization a national college … Continue reading