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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
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
Bloomington, Indiana, is a college town, with a large, old state university. Herman B Wells, a Sigma Nu, was the 11th President of Indiana University leading the University from 1938-62. David Starr Jordan, Delta Upsilon, served as IU’s President from 1885, … Continue reading
On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded after take off. Nineteen years earlier, on January 27, 1967, Apollo 1 was involved in a training accident which killed the three astronauts on board. And on February 1, 2003, the crew … Continue reading
In the process of compiling large amounts of information, there is a moment when I question my sanity. The point comes somewhere in the midst of spending too much time in research having too little to show for it, with … Continue reading
On August 10, 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg took the oath of office as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. She is the first and only sorority woman to serve on the Supreme Court. She enrolled at Cornell University in Ithaca, … Continue reading
In sorting books for the upcoming Friends of Carbondale Public Library Book Sale, I came across a vintage copy of To Kill a Mockingbird. It has a “Pulitzer Prize Novel” prominently displayed on it. That got me to thinking about sorority women … Continue reading
I favorite a goodly number of twitter posts because they have info or pictures of interest. Here are a few of my favorite tweets from the last few days. *** The first is about a fellow Pi Phi, but I would … Continue reading
On Memorial Day 2014, I thank the men and women who gave their lives so that others could live. World Wars I and II had a profound effect on the fraternity system. Many fraternity men went off to war. The … Continue reading
If I could time travel one of the events I would put on my list is the very first National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) meeting. It took place 112 years ago on May 24, 1902. NPC is the umbrella organization for 26 women’s fraternities … Continue reading