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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: Gamma Phi Beta
Yesterday morning, I found myself taking the 7:30 a.m. train to Champaign so that I could get some research done for a project I committed myself to early in the year. It needs to be off my to-do list. However, … Continue reading
Gamma Phi Beta Grace Banker joined Gamma Phi Beta at Barnard Colllege. Due to anti-fraternity sentiment, the chapter was short-lived. Banker was one of the women who served her country in World War I. Her service was in a unique … Continue reading
Frances Haven grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Evanston, Illinois, as her father, Dr. Erastus Otis Haven, headed up the University of Michigan and then Northwestern University. When Dr. Haven was elected Chancellor of Syracuse University, Frances moved to Syracuse, … Continue reading
Grace Smith Richmond, an 1884 initiate Gamma Phi Beta’s Alpha chapter, was a much-loved author. The daughter of a clergyman, she married Nelson Guernsey Richmond, a doctor, in 1887. Two of her more memorable characters had these professions – Robert McPherson Black was … Continue reading
Syracuse has been on my mind lately. I’m not in Syracuse, but this view as I walked out the door yesterday morning reminded me of the quad at Syracuse. The school’s colors even involve orange. And for many years both … Continue reading
Frances Haven (Moss) grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Evanston, Illinois, as her father, Dr. Erastus Otis Haven, headed up the University of Michigan and then Northwestern University. When Dr. Haven was elected Chancellor of Syracuse University, Frances moved to … Continue reading
Here are some of the articles I’ve read over the past week: The inaugural Phillip A. Cox Volunteer Institute honors Sigma Phi Epsilon’s immediate past Grand President. Cox served from 2013-15 while at the same time battling cancer. The institute was funded during the 2015 Conclave … Continue reading
On Friday, July 3, 1915 another president made his debut in the fourth-inning mascot race during the Washington Nationals baseball game. It happened to take place on the evening before his birthday. The new guy just happened to win the race … Continue reading
The local newspaper’s Monday edition is usually very light on news. This week, because Monday was a holiday and the newspaper was not published, Tuesday’s paper was like a Monday edition. Usually this annoys me, but when I opened the paper … Continue reading
The Phoenix Panhellenic Association (PPA) celebrated its 95th anniversary this weekend. I had the pleasure of being among the women of the PPA; they spend their year raising money to fund scholarships for sorority women attending Arizona universities. Since 1975, the PPA … Continue reading