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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: Notable Fraternity Women
When Grace Goodhue Coolidge fell asleep on the evening of August 2, 1923, she was the wife of the Vice President. In the middle of the night, she awoke to news that President Harding was dead. She dressed and went … 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
Alpha Sigma Alpha was founded on November 15, 1901 at the State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Virginia. Its founders had been asked to join some of the other sororities on campus, but they wanted to stay … Continue reading
I am not an easy person to render speechless. However, the women of the Iowa State University of Pi Beta Phi did just that on Sunday evening. While I was at Pi Phi’s Leadership Academy in July, a member of … Continue reading
Bettie Locke, the force behind the founding of Kappa Alpha Theta in 1870, is on the run this week. On Thursday, September 22, 2016, the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay will wind its way through Putnam County from 5-8 p.m. Putnam is the Indiana … Continue reading
Happy Founders’ Day to Chi Omega! It was founded on April 5, 1895 at the University of Arkansas. Ina May Boles, Jean Vincenheller, Jobelle Holcombe, and Alice Simonds, with guidance from Fayetteville dentist, Dr. Charles Richardson, a Kappa Sigma, created the … Continue reading
For today’s post about an Alpha Sigma Alpha, I was going to write about Dale Zeller, an educator. When I went searching for information about her, I found a tribute to Elva Doyle Reed written by Ida Shaw Martin. Mrs. Martin, … Continue reading
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity was founded on January 9, 1914, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., by three African American students, A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse, and Charles I. Brown. Happy Founders’ Day, Phi Beta Sigma! A goodly number of sports … Continue reading
Two days after her 54th birthday, Grace Goodhue Coolidge became a widow. The 30th President died suddenly on the morning of January 5, 1933. Calvin Coolidge was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta chapter at Amherst College. His wife was … Continue reading