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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: Sorority History
If I had a top ten list of the fraternity greats, living or dead, with whom I could have dinner, Sarah Ida Shaw Martin would be on that list. Tri Deltas know her as Sarah Ida Shaw; the rest of … 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
As I pack for the Pi Beta Phi Convention in Chicago, I can’t help but think back on a convention which took place 100 years ago. In 1915, Berkeley, California was the site of Pi Phi’s first west coast convention. … Continue reading
Today, April 20, two sororities, Tri Sigma and Delta Xi Phi, celebrate anniversaries. Happy Founders’ Day to you both! On April 20, 1898, at Virginia’s State Female Normal School in Farmville, eight women – Lucy Wright, Margaret Batten, Elizabeth Watkins, Louise Davis, … Continue reading
The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) celebrates International Badge Day on the first Monday in March. NPC asks its members to “Wear Your Letters on Your Heart.” Men’s fraternities and other Greek-letter organizations have joined in on the fun. The more the merrier, … Continue reading
In sorting books for the upcoming Friends of Carbondale Public Library Book Sale, I came across a vintage copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. It has a “Pulitzer Prize Novel” prominently displayed on it. That got me to thinking about sorority women … Continue reading
A – Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Theta Phi Alpha was founded. B – Boston University, where Delta Delta Delta was founded. C – Colby College, where Sigma Kappa was founded. D – DePauw University, where Kappa Alpha … Continue reading
This past weekend, the University of Illinois Archives’ Student Life and Culture Archival Program hosted the third National Archives Conference for Fraternities and Sororities. The conference is designed to provide archival training and support to headquarters staff and volunteers who oversee their organization’s archives. … Continue reading
Alpha Gamma Delta was founded at Syracuse University on May 30, 1904 at the home of Dr. Wellesley Perry Coddington, a Syracuse University professor. It is the youngest of the Syracuse Triad, Alpha Phi, Gamma Phi Beta and Alpha Gamma … Continue reading
On May 15, 1851, Alpha Delta Pi was founded as the Adelphean Society at Wesleyan Female College in Macon, Georgia by six young women. The founders are Eugenia Tucker Fitzgerald, Ella Pierce Turner, Octavia Andrew Rush, Mary Evans Glass, Sophronia Woodruff … Continue reading