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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 Kappa Gamma
My life has been lived east of the Mississippi, the last half of it just miles from the river. When we first moved to Illinois, it was odd to tell people that we were five hours from Chicago, the only … Continue reading
Yesterday, I read an essay, My Last Conversation with My Father, which a friend recommended. Written by Robin Wright, it appeared in the June 17, 2017 New Yorker (see http://bit.ly/2tOQlnt). The name rang a bell and after reading it, I … Continue reading
Despite belief to the contrary, it has never been easy to be a member of a Greek-letter organization. Anti-fraternity sentiment has been around since about the time of the founding of the first chapter of the first fraternity. I like to … Continue reading
Happy Founders’ Day, Kappa Kappa Gamma. Kappa Kappa Gamma’s founders are Mary Moore “Minnie” Stewart, Anna Elizabeth Willits, Susan Burley Walker, Hanna Jeanette “Jennie” Boyd, Mary Louise “Lou” Bennett, and Martha Louisa “Lou” Stevenson. Some of the founders recalled that the … 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
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
Update 7/13/2017 – On July 12, 2017, a Harvard University faculty committee, in a 22-page report, recommended that Harvard students be forbidden from joining fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations, including ones that include both men and women as members. The … Continue reading
These last few weeks, I’ve been on a tour of “I” states. My recent visit to Iowa, although it has nothing to do with the Monmouth Duo – Pi Beta Phi or Kappa Kappa Gamma – has conjured up a post about the … Continue reading
It should come as no surprise that many of these posts are written a hour or so before they are posted, with a cup of coffee at my side. This morning, I needed more coffee than usual. On Wednesday, my … Continue reading
Our newspaper carries an “On This Day in History” feature. Today it notes that on March 6, 1906, Nora Stanton Blatch (Barney) was elected to membership in the American Association of Civil Engineers. That sounds groundbreaking, and it was, but … Continue reading