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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: Pi Beta Phi
On Friday night I fielded a phone call from my daughter about a small carnation guard attached to an arrow badge. I told her it was the old way that Pi Phi signified Golden Arrows, those who had been initiated for fifty … Continue reading
Phi Kappa Psi was founded on February 19, 1852 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, at Jefferson College (now Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania). Phi Kappa Psi’s founders are William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore. Today it celebrates 165 … Continue reading
Congratulations are in order! My Syracuse friends were celebrating Coach Jim Boeheim’s 1,000 win. He is a graduate of Syracuse where he became a member of the Delta Upsilon chapter. *** Yesterday, Super Bowl LI dominated the twitterverse. The first … 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
Yesterday, the Student Life and Culture Archives at the University of Illinois posted a link to a scrapbook in its collection. As one who has been on the Illinois campus and has studied the history of its fraternities and sororities, … Continue reading
P.E.O., the Philanthropic Educational Organization, founded at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, celebrates its 148th birthday today. It was founded by seven young women. About a month earlier, Libbie Brook, who had previously been enrolled at Monmouth College, … Continue reading
Yesterday, January 8, was spent in a car driving from Florida to Illinois. I sat in the back seat between our two dogs. For one day, they had my undivided presence and attention. Yesterday was also my birthday. It’s a … Continue reading
Yesterday, on my way home from St. Louis, I did something I haven’t done before on the highway between St. Louis and Nashville, Illinois, where I normally get on Route 127, a two-lane road. I missed the exit. I didn’t … Continue reading
Everything I know about Gatlinburg I learned because of Pi Beta Phi. Having the opportunity to visit Arrowmont while serving as a Pi Phi volunteer made the story of the Pi Beta Phi Settlement School come alive to me on my … Continue reading
Words escape me this morning. The fires in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains National Park are heavy in my heart. A recent post here highlighted Gatlinburg. Libbie, the Ring Ching Roadshow car, and her driver Daphney made a stop in Gatlinburg. … Continue reading