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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
When the Sixth Annual Convention of Sigma Sigma Sigma was held in September of 1909, the Hotel Patten in Chattanooga was only about a year old. The site of the convention was dedicated in 1908. Tri Sigma, which was founded on April … Continue reading
I’ve been AWOL. It’s the 12th of April and there has only been one post for Chi Omega’s Founders’ Day. There are several other NPC Founders’ Days coming along and I hope to commemorate those as well. Where have I … Continue reading
Chi Omega was founded on April 5, 1895 at the University of Arkansas. Ina May Boles, Jean Vincenheller, Jobelle Holcombe, and Alice Simonds, with guidance from Fayetteville dentist, Dr. Charles Richardson, a Kappa Sigma, created the organization. Dr. Richardson was known … Continue reading
When I learned that my friend Daphney, the driver of Pi Phi’s Ring Ching Roadshow car would be in Iowa at the same time I would be there, too, I asked if we could quickly meet and have a photo … Continue reading
Happy 100th Sigma Delta Tau. One hundred years ago, on March 25, 1917, seven female Cornell University students founded Sigma Delta Tau. Their organization was originally called Sigma Delta Phi, but when they discovered the name belonged to another Greek-letter … Continue reading
“Alexine Mitchell has returned from a trip abroad,” reported a 1911 Key of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Alexine and her sister Marion Otis Mitchell were both initiates of the Kappa chapter at Stanford University although Alexine later affiliated with the chapter at Berkeley. … Continue reading
“Blanche B. Grand-Maitre has sailed for France with the third unit of the French-American toll service,” read an entry in the May 6, 1918 Minnesota Alumni Weekly. Grand-Maitre was a 1911 graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she was … Continue reading
May Agness Hopkins was born in Austin, Texas on August 18, 1883. She graduated from the University of Texas in 1906, the same year the Kappa Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha was founded. May Bolinger (Orgain) was a member of … Continue reading
On March 17, 1917, on hundred years ago today, five coeds at Washington Square College Law, a Division of New York University, founded Delta Phi Epsilon. The DIMES, as they are referred to, are Dorothy Cohen Schwartzman, Ida Bienstock Landau, Minna … Continue reading
A profile of M. Estelle Angier was published in Volume 17 of The Angelos of Kappa Delta, the recap of convention edition. At that convention, she was elected National Secretary. Angier was an initiate of the Kappa Delta chapter at Hollins … Continue reading