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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
If you’ve seen the film Hidden Figures, you’ll be interested to know that Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson, Dorothy Johnson Vaughan, and Mary Winston Jackson were initiates of Alpha Kappa Alpha. Here are links to previous posts about sorority women who were … Continue reading
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In honor of his non-violent campaign against racism, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. It is also the day upon … Continue reading
The founders of Greek-letter organizations are revered. Every organization has its founders. They get the glory. Members know their names. Every organization also has builders, those who do the heavy lifting, who make difficult decisions, who work hard to advance … Continue reading
Congratulations… Pi Kappa Phi’s Miami University chapter was recently in the news for the way it spends its Fridays. These women of Kappa Delta at Wright State University each earned 4.0 honors. Condolences Condolences to Sigma … Continue reading
Will fraternity life be around in 20 years? I don’t know, but I do know that every time I see another headline about the state of fraternity life in 2018, it breaks my heart. For every incident and death, whether … Continue reading
Happy New Year! I thank you for reading this blog. And thanks to all of you who share these posts and tell others about this crazy woman who writes about fraternity and sorority history. I think it is imperative that … Continue reading
Zeta Beta Tau was created on December 29, 1898 when a group of young men attending several New York universities met at the Jewish Theological Seminary and formed an organization called Z.B.T. (yes, with the periods between the letters). The … Continue reading
An Iowa State Kappa Kappa Gamma set off a chain reaction among the sorority women at Iowa State and it served as a reminder why the power of sorority women is so potent. Kevin Hunsperger, a charter member of the … Continue reading
The time from a few days before Christmas to after New Year’s Day is a time when the world stands still. Collegians go home to family or spend time with friends away from campus. I can’t imagine a fraternity or … Continue reading