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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: NPHC
For most of the country, fraternities and sororities mean one thing – raucous men and spacey blond women coasting through life on Mom and Dad’s fortune. Those of us who wear badges don’t share that sentiment. We know that is … Continue reading
What do Carrie Chapman Catt and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity have in common? Catt was born on January 9, 1859. On January 9, 1914, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., three African American students, A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse, and … Continue reading
Today, January 9, 2014, is the Centennial of Phi Beta Sigma, Inc. It was founded 100 years ago at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Founders A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse, and Charles I. Brown, formed their organization on the … Continue reading
Alpha Phi Alpha’s Founding Day and the Fraternity’s Role in Making a Monument to Martin Luther King, Jr. a Reality
Alpha Phi Alpha 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, are Henry Arthur … Continue reading
Tri Sigma Carrie Underwood will perform a tribute to 1960’s television at tonight’s 65th Emmy Awards. Past Emmy winner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a Delta Gamma, is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. (And she won!) I suspect there … Continue reading
Chicago was the place to be in the summer of 1893. The World’s Columbian Exposition, also known as the Chicago World’s Fair, was taking place. July 19, 1893 also has the distinction of being the first time the men and … Continue reading
This morning, Friday, July 12, 2013, at 6:45 a.m., Delta Sigma Thetas and their friends and families began gathering in front of the Lincoln Memorial for a 5K Centennial Walk and Health Fair. Sponsored by the Delta Research and Educational … Continue reading
Arizona Cleaver, along with her four friends, Pearl Neal, Myrtle Tyler, Viola Tyler, and Fannie Pettie, are the five pearls of Zeta Phi Beta. They are the organization’s founders. The idea for the organization happened several months earlier when Cleaver … Continue reading
There is an updated post for 2016. See http://wp.me/s20I1i-9537. 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 … Continue reading
The Miss America pageant began in 1921 and a number of sorority women have worn the Miss America crown since then. One winner even crowned a chapter sister as her successor. In 1960, outgoing Miss America Mary Ann Mobley crowned … Continue reading