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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: Alpha Xi Delta
Alpha Xi Delta was founded at Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois on April 17, 1893. Its founders are Cora Bollinger (Block), Alice Bartlett (Bruner), Bertha Cook (Evans), Harriett Luella McCollum (Gossow), Lucy W. Gilmer, Lewie Strong (Taylor), Almira Lowry Cheney, Frances … 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
The truck attack in Nice, France on Bastille Day, July 14, 2016, claimed the lives of an American father and son. Sean Copeland, 51, and his 11-year-old son Brodie were killed in the attack. Maegan Copeland, a Kappa Kappa Gamma alumna, and Sean … Continue reading
“When the 17th of April rolls around again the Alpha Xi Delta idea will be eleven years old,” reads an account in the first issue of Alpha Xi Delta of the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority. “The seed planted so carefully by ten brave girls has … Continue reading
Today’s post was written by my Alpha Xi Delta friend, Janet Hutchins. I am grateful for her research and generosity in allowing me to use it. Persis Dwight Hannah (1886-1965) was one of the charter members of Alpha Xi Delta’s … Continue reading
2015 is almost a memory. Less than 16 hours separates 2015 from 2016. Time flies! Greek-Letter Organizations (GLO) continue to exist on college campuses despite efforts to the contrary. Done well, GLO membership is one of the most valuable experiences of … Continue reading
Last night, I received an e-mail question and a facebook message. Both set me off on some research and led me to write this post. The first question was about a member of the Pi Phi chapter at Ohio State. … Continue reading
Condolences to the Alpha Chi Omega chapter at Pennsylvania State University. On Sunday, September 27, 2015, sophomore Vitalya “Tally” Sepot died at the scene in a one-car roll-over accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The seven students in the car were Alpha Chi Omega and Tau … Continue reading
Summer is convention season for Greek-Letter Organizations and it has been for more than a century. In the 1800s, conventions tended to take place during the academic year or over the Christmas holiday. While many GLOs have different names for … Continue reading
Last week, driving from southern Illinois to Indianapolis, I found myself about an hour ahead of schedule, so when I came upon the Greencastle exit, I took it. My quest was to get a glimpse of the DePauw University campus. In … Continue reading