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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: Women’s Fraternity History
But isn’t the badge a pin? And isn’t what you call a women’s fraternity really a sorority? And really, isn’t that just for when you are in college? Why in the world do you still volunteer for an organization you joined as … Continue reading
On May 17, 1902, Alpha Phi National President Margaret Mason Whitney sent postcards to the women who were scheduled to attend the first meeting on May 24, 1902. Inter-sorority Conference, Chicago On May 24 (Saturday) at 2:30 p.m. (sharp) the … Continue reading
For today’s post about an Alpha Sigma Alpha, I was going to write about Dale Zeller, an educator. When I went searching for information about her, I found a tribute to Elva Doyle Reed written by Ida Shaw Martin. Mrs. Martin, … 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
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, April 20, two sororities, Tri Sigma and Delta Xi Phi, celebrate anniversaries. Happy Founders’ Day to you both! On April 20, 1898, at Virginia’s State Female Normal School in Farmville, eight women – Lucy Wright, Margaret Batten, Elizabeth Watkins, Louise Davis, … Continue reading
On March 25, 1917, seven female Cornell University students founded Sigma Delta Tau. Their organization was originally called Sigma Delta Phi, but when they discovered the name belonged to another Greek-letter organization they changed the “Phi” to “Tau.” Sigma Delta Tau’s … Continue reading
The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) celebrates International Badge Day on the first Monday in March. NPC asks its members to “Wear Your Letters on Your Heart.” Men’s fraternities and other Greek-letter organizations have joined in on the fun. The more the merrier, … 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
Two years ago, I made a promise to Joanne and Brenda, two Pi Phi friends. We were in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, celebrating the centennial of Pi Beta Phi’s commitment to literacy. A statue was being unveiled on the Arrowmont property and as … Continue reading