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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: Kappa Alpha Theta
As a student at the University of Southern California, Vera Placida Gardner joined a local organization, Alpha Rho. She graduated from USC in 1910 and attended medical school at the University of Michigan. While in Ann Arbor, she became a member of … Continue reading
In researching the previous post about Louise Pellen’s scrapbook (see http://wp.me/p20I1i-3tX ), I came across a copy of her University of Illinois thesis Design for a Sorority House. The thesis was one of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science … Continue reading
Today is Kappa Alpha Theta’s 147th birthday. I’ve told the story of Bettie Locke and her three friends many times. Search “Kappa Alpha Theta” in the search box and you’ll find scores of blog posts about Theta and its founding … Continue reading
Yesterday was Ask an Archivist Day. Some of my GLO archivist friends and I used social media to answer questions. I also learned some fun facts yesterday by eavesdropping on their social media conversations. Towner Blackstock, Curator of the Phi … Continue reading
One of my favorite things to read are old issues of fraternity and sorority magazines. In the early 1900s, the National Panhellenic Conference organizations adopted a service project/philanthropy and members raised funds or did service for that cause. They also did war … Continue reading
Bettie Locke, the force behind the founding of Kappa Alpha Theta in 1870, is on the run this week. On Thursday, September 22, 2016, the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay will wind its way through Putnam County from 5-8 p.m. Putnam is the Indiana … Continue reading
The list of Olympians who are members of fraternity and sororities has been updated several times since it was first posted. It’s at http://wp.me/p20I1i-2Dv. I appreciate the emails that came my way about GLO members who weren’t yet recognized. Sister Madonna … Continue reading
“Reverting to immediately prior version; fact about Kappa Alpha Theta membeship (sic) is unsupported and a Google search suggests it refers to a different person altogether.” The subject of this wikipedia entry was Edith Schwartz Clements. She was indeed a member … Continue reading
Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends! Many fraternity and sorority conventions have taken place in Canada. The Bigwin Inn, Lake of Bays, Ontario was the site of many fraternity and sorority conventions including: Pi Beta Phi and Kappa Kappa Gamma in 1925; Phi Kappa … Continue reading
On this day, 97 years ago, June 20, 1919, Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman beat Marion Zinderstein (6-1, 6-2) in the 33rd U.S. Women’s National Tennis Championship. Wightman, a initiate of the Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter at the University of California-Berkeley, won the title four times, 1909, 1910, … Continue reading