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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: Alpha Kappa Alpha
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
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
Heart disease is a killer. More women die from the complications of heart disease than all cancers combined. Today, February 5, is Wear Red Day. These are some of the posts from my twitter feed. Alpha Phi Foundation @APhiFoundation Today’s the … Continue reading
Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated, the first Greek-letter organization for African-American women, was founded on January 15, 1908 by nine young female Howard University students. They were led by the vision of Ethel Hedgeman (Lyle); she had spent several months sharing … 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
“We can conceive of no more fitting manner of honoring the early sacrifices of our Founders than to impress the new initiates with the deep meaning of fraternal duty and obligation through the inspiration of the initiation ceremony. In a … 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
I offer my heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of those whose lives were senselessly taken at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on the evening of Wednesday, June 17, 2015. A heartbreaking tragedy shatters more lives than the ones … 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