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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: P.E.O.
I had no intention of writing a post today. However, I knew this morning, while sipping coffee and skimming social media, that I needed to write a post. After walking the dogs and having thoughts spin around in my head, … Continue reading
I often remark that I live in the exact center of nowhere. Apparently, I am in error. Carbondale, Illinois, is finally on the map and the hubbub of the upcoming total solar eclipse is at a crescendo. Carbondale is the spot … Continue reading
My life has been lived east of the Mississippi, the last half of it just miles from the river. When we first moved to Illinois, it was odd to tell people that we were five hours from Chicago, the only … Continue reading
My daughter became a P.E.O. during her senior college of college. She was initiated as a member of my chapter. She’d attend a meeting once a year, usually the holiday auction where her salted caramel sauce is a highly prized … Continue reading
Bess Truman is the only First Lady who was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. Her husband, President Harry Truman was considered a B.I.L. (brothers-in-law), the name given to the spouses and significant others of P.E.O. members. However, the organization has a … Continue reading
In case you have not heard, my arrow wearing sisters are celebrating a very big anniversary on Friday. This issue of The Arrow was sent to all members with a mailable address. Congratulations to Editor Constance Dillon Gibbs, an alumna of … Continue reading
Alpha Xi Delta was founded at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois on April 17, 1893. Its founders are Cora Bollinger (Block), Alice Bartlett (Bruner), Bertha Cook (Evans), Harriett Luella McCollum (Gossow), Lucy W. Gilmer, Lewie Strong (Taylor), Almira Lowry Cheney, Frances … Continue reading
For Women’s History Month 2017, I’ve tried to highlight the service of sorority women during World War I. For the women who could not go abroad, there were things to do here at home, as this picture illustrates. The headline … Continue reading
My dog walking route includes a mimosa tree. At the end of fall, when the leaves were down, I noticed a branch which was no longer attached to the trunk of the tree, but it was held in place by … Continue reading
As I was downloading photos from my phone I realized I has not written about the Illinois P.E.O. Home. Last fall, I learned the Knox County Historical Museum in Knoxville, Illinois had an exhibit about the home which one stood … Continue reading