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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: Student Life and Culture Archival Program
In researching the previous post about Louise Pellen’s scrapbook (see http://wp.me/p20I1i-3tX ), I came across a copy of her University of Illinois thesis Design for a Sorority House. The thesis was one of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science … Continue reading
When I listen to audiobooks, I need to like the narrator’s voice. In preparation for an upcoming drive to the Fraternity and Sorority Archivist Conference, I tested out the first disc of Glitter and Glue written and read by Kelly Corrigan. … Continue reading
It is official. The #WHM posts nearly did me in as they were combined with a to-do list that has its own zip code. But I loved writing about those “Unsung Heroines.” April has several Founders’ Days that I want … Continue reading
There are several GLOs which do not celebrate Founders’ Day on the actually date of founding. Alpha Phi was founded on September 18, 1872; it is stated in the minutes of Alpha chapter’s November 4, 1872 meeting. However, Alpha Phi celebrates Founders’ Day on October 10. Here’s … 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
What is the center of the universe for researching the history of the American college fraternity movement? I’m of the opinion that it is at the Student Life and Culture Archives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is one of … Continue reading
“He who enters selfishly here – endangers” is the quote from University of Illinois Dean of Women Maria Leonard which appears on a small card titled “A Code.” It was found in a 1938 scrapbook put together by a young … Continue reading
The Student Life and Culture Archival Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of my favorite places to visit. I just returned from a conference for fraternity and sorority archivists. Being among kindred spirits is always a … Continue reading