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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 Delta
A profile of M. Estelle Angier was published in Volume 17 of The Angelos of Kappa Delta, the recap of convention edition. At that convention, she was elected National Secretary. Angier was an initiate of the Kappa Delta chapter at Hollins … Continue reading
Kappa Delta was founded on October 23, 1897 at the State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Virginia. Its founders are Lenora Ashmore Blackiston, Julia Gardiner Tyler Wilson, Sara Turner White and Mary Sommerville Sparks Hendrick. Kappa Delta, along … Continue reading
Tonight’s Vice-Presidential debate will take place at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. Longwood has a prominent place in the history of sororities. Ever heard the phrase “Farmville Four”? It refers to the four NPC groups founded at the Virginia’s State Female … 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
At the Fraternity and Sorority Archives Conferences, Phi Kappa Psi’s Historian, Michael H. McCoy, “Mike” to us, was an elder statesman. Yet, he was up on the latest in social media and he shared his knowledge freely and with great glee. … Continue reading
Ruth Johnson Colvin is 99 years young. She became a member of Kappa Delta while attending Northwestern University. She left Northwestern before graduation and she married Robert Colvin in 1940. After raising two children, she earned an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University … Continue reading
I was given a tip on Myrtle Fahsbender, a 1927 initiate of the Sigma Omicron Chapter of Kappa Delta at the University of Illinois. I was told that she would be a fascinating woman to research. And she was. When I started … Continue reading
Kappa Delta was founded on October 23, 1897 at the State Female Normal School (now Longwood University) in Farmville, Virginia. Its founders are Lenora Ashmore Blackiston, Sara Turner White, Mary Sommerville Sparks Hendrick., and Julia Gardiner Tyler Wilson, the granddaughter of … 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
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