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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: Fran Favorite
With Women’s History Month quickly approaching, here are links to previous posts about #amazingsororitywomen. Olga Achtenhagen, Kappa Delta, http://wp.me/p20I1i-1az Marian Anderson, Alpha Kappa Alpha, http://wp.me/p20I1i-A5 Violette Anderson, Zeta Phi Beta, http://wp.me/p20I1i-1Zu Mary Knight Wells Ashcroft, Gamma Phi Beta, http://wp.me/p20I1i-1Mj Mimi … Continue reading
Who knew it had a special day? Shouldn’t it be every day that we do random acts of kindness? Like serving others, shouldn’t kindness be a given? I am grateful for the RAOK thrown my way, from an email telling me … 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
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
January is a popular time for Greek-Letter Organizations (GLOs) to hold workshops for incoming chapter officers. Pi Phi’s College Weekend started on Friday. There are two Hyatt hotels at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. As I was waiting for my roommate … Continue reading
Today is Kappa Alpha Theta’s 147th birthday. I’ve told the story of Bettie Locke and her three friends many times. Search “Kappa Alpha Theta” in the search box and you’ll find scores of blog posts about Theta and its founding … Continue reading
The photo below is a gathering of National Panhellenic Conference women enjoying lunch in January of 1920. It was taken in Coblenz, Germany. When the French occupied the city after the first World War, they used a “C” in the name. Koblenz is on the banks … Continue reading
P.E.O., the Philanthropic Educational Organization, founded at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, celebrates its 148th birthday today. It was founded by seven young women. About a month earlier, Libbie Brook, who had previously been enrolled at Monmouth College, … Continue reading
A number of female United States senators are members of National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) women’s fraternities/sororities. I suspect there are a greater number of sorority women who are or have been state senators. This is the list … Continue reading
From 1953 until 1965, Dr. Deborah Cannon P. Wolfe, served as Grand Basileus (President) of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Born in Cranford, New Jersey, in 1916, Wolfe attended Cranford Schools. Although she wanted to attend Oberlin College, Jersey City State … Continue reading