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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 Panhellenic Conference
May 24 is two days away. It will mark the 115th anniversary of the founding of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). Representatives from seven organizations – Alpha Phi, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa … Continue reading
But isn’t the badge a pin? And isn’t what you call a women’s fraternity really a sorority? And really, isn’t that just for when you are in college? Why in the world do you still volunteer for an organization you joined as … Continue reading
The photo below is a gathering of National Panhellenic Conference women enjoying lunch in January of 1920. It was taken in Coblenz, Germany. When the French occupied the city after the first World War, they used a “C” in the name. Koblenz is on the banks … 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
The “Rushing Question” was the subject of an entry in the October 1898 Arrow of Pi Beta Phi. It read It has been very forcibly borne in upon the minds of fraternity women, at least in the larger colleges and universities, that … Continue reading
The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), the umbrella organization for women’s fraternities and sororities, was founded on May 24, 1902. Eleven of the first twelve NPC meetings took place in Chicago. The 1911 NPC meeting was held in Evanston on the Northwestern University campus. … Continue reading
On May 17, 1902, Alpha Phi National President Margaret Mason Whitney sent postcards to the women who were scheduled to attend the first meeting on May 24, 1902. Inter-sorority Conference, Chicago On May 24 (Saturday) at 2:30 p.m. (sharp) the … Continue reading
Today’s post was written by Christine Barr, a Gamma Phi Beta (Texas State University) who teaches English in Houston, Texas. She is a long time columnist for the Paris Post-Intelligencer. This post appeared in that paper on February 22, 2016 and … Continue reading
Kappa Delta was founded on October 23, 1897 at the State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Virginia. Its founders are Lenora Ashmore Blackiston, Sara Turner White, Mary Sommerville Sparks Hendrick., and Julia Gardiner Tyler Wilson, the granddaughter of … Continue reading
The National Panhellenic Conference, the umbrella organization for 26 women’s fraternities/sororities, officially met for the first time on May 24, 1902. It was at Alpha Phi’s invitation that the first meeting took place. A week prior to the meeting, Margaret Mason … Continue reading