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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: Zeta Tau Alpha
May Agness Hopkins was born in Austin, Texas on August 18, 1883. She graduated from the University of Texas in 1906, the same year the Kappa Chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha was founded. May Bolinger (Orgain) was a member of … Continue reading
October 15 is Founders’ Day for both Alpha Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha. In 1885, Alpha Chi Omega was founded at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Thirteen years later, in 1898, Zeta Tau Alpha was founded at the State … 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
Happy Founders’ Day, Chi Psi! The post below is doing an encore performance. It’s late morning and I just am too swamped to write another post, but I do not want the day to go by without acknowledging it. Last month, … Continue reading
Yesterday was Founders’ Day for Alpha Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha. How fabulous that the day was celebrated from A to Z! I spent the day at Pi Beta Phi Headquarters, where an Alpha Chi and a Zeta are … Continue reading
Alpha Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha celebrate Founders’ Day on October 15. In 1885, Alpha Chi Omega was founded at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Thirteen years later, in 1898, Zeta Tau Alpha was founded at the State Female Normal … Continue reading
Getting collegiate GLO members hooked on history is an important part in getting them to be life long loyal members. Understanding that the organization spans generations and is greater than one chapter on one campus is heady stuff for a college … Continue reading
Today, January 8, is the date of Dr. Charles Richardson’s birth. If he was still alive he’d be a well preserved 151. A Fayetteville, Arkansas, dentist, he did his undergraduate work at Emory & Henry College in Virginia and then studied dentistry … 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