The history of Greek-letter organizations – fraternities and sororities – has been one of my great passions. I was likely the last person anyone in my high school would have suspected of joining a sorority in college. I am sure I would have agreed with them, too. I call myself and accidential Pi Phi (see http://wp.me/s20I1i-9560).
My dissertation “Coeducation and the History of Women’s Fraternities 1867-1902″ chronicles the growth of the system and the birth of the National Panhellenic Conference. I have a Master’s degree from the College Student Personnel program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. My Master’s thesis details the history of the fraternity system at Southern Illinois University Carbondale from 1948-1960.
I have been a volunteer for Pi Beta Phi since the 1980s. I am currently the Historian and Archivist for Pi Beta Phi. My Pi Phi historical posts appear on at www.piphiblog.org.
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.
I love to speak about these topics, too. I like to tell stories, because in the telling of the stories I can help chapter members and alumnae embrace the heritage of their own organizations as well as the collective heritage of all the groups.
I have several programs that are adaptable to most campuses. These include Legacy of Leadership which spotlights the contributions of sorority women, May 24, 1902 – When NPC was Born, and Passion for Philanthropy which talks about the history of philanthropy in sororities. My current favorite is #amazingsororitywomen in which I highlight some of the amazing women who have been members of NPC and NPHC groups. I can also tailor these talks to both men’s and women’s groups, as well as the groups that are on a particular campus. I am happy to refine programs for a specific topic or event.
Telling the stories of our organizations is what I do best. I can make the heritage of Greek-letter organizations come alive!
E-mail me at franbecque at gmail.com.
I hope you’ll follow my blog. There’s a button to subscribe to updates. 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 http://www.pinterest.com/glohistory/.
Historical Pi Beta Phi blog posts at http://piphiblog.org/author/pibetaphihq/
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: A Pi Phi Served as Commissioner of Health, Fall 2016.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Pi Phi Clothing, Summer 2016.
Illinois Delta of Phi Kappa Psi, Society for the Preservation of Greek Housing, 2016.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Honoring Our Distinguished Alumnae, Spring 2016.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: A Pi Phi Celebration, Winter 2016.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember, A Banner Year, Fall 2015.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Handed Down from the Founders, Summer 2015.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Helping Communities by Caring for Hospital Rooms, Spring 2015
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: An Angelic Project, Winter 2015
AFA Essentials, Taking the Mystery Out of Fraternity History, Winter 2015.
1965-2015 History of Alpha Tau Omega.
Gamma Mu of Sigma Nu, Society for the Preservation of Greek Housing, 2014.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Determination Led to a Lifetime of Sisterhood, Fall 2014.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Experiences Abroad Launched Famed Photographer’s Career, Summer 2014.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Celebrating 200 Chapters Installed , Spring 2014.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Sharing Pi Phi Recipes and Memories, Winter 2014.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Convention Swag, Fall 2013.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: The Kansas Alpha Chapter House, Summer 2013.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Something Old, Something New, Something Wine and Something Silver Blue, Spring 2013.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Sarah Pomeroy Rugg – A Pioneering Pi Phi, Winter 2013.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Carrie Chapman Catt, A Pi Phi Suffragette, Fall 2012.
The P.E.O. Record, P.E.O. Fact or Fiction, July-August 2012.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Clara’s Watch, Summer 2012.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Grace Goodhue Coolidge and the Clarke School, Spring 2012.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Pierce Arrow Car, Winter 2012.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Grace Coolidge Library, Winter 2012.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Balfour Cup, Fall 2011.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Dell Gillette, First Pi Phi to Teach at Settlement School, Fall 2011.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Early Extension Efforts, Summer 2011.
The P.E.O. Record, Forks in the Road: What if P.E.O. Had Never Changed, July-August 2011.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Balfour Cup, Fall 2011.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Pi Phi Conventions, Spring 2011.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Archives, Fall 2010.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: First Lady of Literacy: Welthy Honsinger Fisher, Summer 2010.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Becoming Pi Phi, Spring 2010.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Holt House, Winter 2010.
Illinois Heritage Magazine, Forever Pi Phi, January-February 2010.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Arrowcraft Shop, Summer 2009.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Pi Beta Phi Archives, Summer 2009.
The P.E.O. Record, The Role of Religion in P.E.O., May-June 2009.
The Angel Sweets and Angel Treats Cookbook, Introduction, March 2009.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Sharing Recipes is a Pi Phi Tradition, Winter 2009.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Here’s to the Friendship True! A Tribute to the Pi Phi Cookie Shine, Co-authored with Wendy Drochelman, Winter 2009.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Remember: Where It All Began, Spring 2008.
The Arrow of Pi Beta Phi, Religion and Pi Beta Phi, Spring 2007.
Evelyn Peters Kyle: A Biography, introduction to Reflections: A Collection of Poetry by Pi Beta Phi’s Poet Laureate Evelyn Peters Kyle, Pi Beta Phi Foundation, 2006.
The History of Women’s Fraternities, essay on From Pi Beta Phi to Arrowmont website, www.lib.utk.edu/arrowmont.
Hearts That Are Bound by the Wine and Silver Blue, Pi Beta Phi Fraternity, Harmony House Publishers, 2005.
A New Fraternity First, Pi Beta Phi Convention program, June 2005.
Kappa Kappa of Sigma Chi, Society for the Preservation of Greek Housing, 2004.
Delta of Kappa Alpha Theta, Society for the Preservation of Greek Housing, 2003.
Illinois Zeta of Pi Beta Phi, Society for the Preservation of Greek Housing, 2003.
Grace Goodhue Coolidge: Pi Beta Phi. Published by the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, 2002, as Number 17 of its The Real Calvin Coolidge series.
Journal of the Midwest History of Education Society, The History of Women’s Fraternities and the Growth of Coeducation, 1996.
Arrows, Angels & Admiration: Pi Beta Phi Fraternity Heritage Resource Manual, September 1995.
Millikin University Panhellenic Council, #amazingsororitywomen, April 2015.
Chapter CT, Illinois State Chapter, P.E.O. Sisterhood, The Legacy of P.E.O., September 2015.
Alpha Tau Omega 150th Anniversary Congress, On the Sesquicentennial, August 2015.
Phoenix Alumnae Panhellenic, It Started in a Safety Deposit Vault, May 2015.
Chapter KZ, Illinois State Chapter, P.E.O. Sisterhood. The Legacy of Lulu Corkhill Williams, April 2015.
Kansas Beta of Pi Beta Phi Centennial, 100 Years of Kansas Beta, April 2015.
AFLV, Before There Was NPC, January 2015.
Centennial, Indianapolis Alumnae Panhellenic, The Importance of Indiana, October 2014.
Pi Beta Phi College Weekend, July 2014
Bloomington, Indiana Alumnae Panhellenic, Serving Up Sisterhood, May 2014.
St. Louis Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club, Holt House, April 28, 1867, April 2014.
P.E.O. Carbondale Round Table Founders’ Day, The Founding of P.E.O., March 2014.
Installation Banquet of the Florida Zeta Chapter of Pi Beta Phi, Our 200th Chapter, February 1, 2014.
St. Louis Alpha Chi Omega Alumnae Club, Fifteen Very Special Honorary Members, October 12, 2013.
Monmouth College Panhellenic Council, Monmouth and Galesburg: Where Magical Things Happen, October 2013.
Michigan Beta’s 125th Anniversary, Why I Am Grateful to an A-Maizing Chapter! October 4, 2013.
Illinois State Chapter of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, Lulu Corkhill Williams and the History of Illinois State Chapter, June 2013.
St. Louis Gamma Phi Beta Alumnae Club Founders’ Day, Syracuse, Sororities and a Pink Carnation, November 11, 2012.
St. Louis Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club, Elizabeth Clarke Helmick, Pioneering Spirit Behind the Settlement School, March 2012.
St. Louis Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club Founders’ Day, Eighty-five Years Ago at the White House, April 25, 2009.
Celebrating Women Luncheon, SIUC, Twenty-three Years of Reaching for Issues that Touch Our Hearts, March 18, 2009.
P.E.O. Sisterhood, Illinois Chapter JN, Twenty-three Years of Reaching for Issues that Touch Our Hearts, January 14, 2009.
Greek Week speaker, Knox College, April 27, 2006.
Grace Coolidge, Fraternity Woman, program given at Grace Coolidge Day, University of Vermont, September 2002.
The National Panhellenic Conference: A Glorious Hundred Years, program at the College Fraternity Editor’s Association annual meeting, June 2002.
Grace Goodhue Coolidge, Vermont Beta, Pi Beta Phi Convention program, 2001.
Washington and Jefferson College Panhellenic Association, Our Common Heritage, October 21, 2000.
Women’s Studies 2nd Annual Conference, Eastern Illinois University, Panhellenic House: Women Coming Together, April 8, 2000.
Scholarship for and by Women, Poster Presentation, The History of the Women’s Fraternity System at SIUC, April 15, 1999.
SIUC Panhellenic Council, NPC Badge Day Dinner Speaker, Women’s Fraternities at SIUC: A Proud Heritage, March 3, 1999.
SIUC 1998 Leadership Conference, Heritage and Ritual: What It Means to Your Organization’s Future, September 26, 1998.
New York Alpha Chapter of Pi Beta Phi, Syracuse University, Keynote speaker at chapter’s centennial banquet, A Hundred Years at Syracuse, April 20, 1996.
Phi Kappa Phi Research Day, SIUC, The History of the Fraternity System at SIUC, 1948-1960, March 25, 1996.
Midwest History of Education Society, Chicago, IL, The History of Women’s Fraternities and the Growth of Coeducation, October 27, 1995.
MMOGSISP, SIUC, A League of Our Own: The National Panhellenic Conference, October 19, 1995.
Women’s Studies/UWPA Juried Competition Research Grant, November 1994.
P.E.O. Sisterhood, Sesquicentennial Book Committee, 2015-present.
P.E.O. Sisterhood, Special Committee to Study Ceremonies and Meeting Procedures, 2009-2013.
Pi Beta Phi Centennial of Service Committee
Pi Beta Phi Gatlinburg Task Force
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, Ph.D., Educational Administration, 2002. Dr. William Eaton, Advisor. Dissertation: Coeducation and the History of Women’s Fraternities 1867-1902.
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, M.S. Higher Education, 1995. Thesis: The History of the Fraternity System at SIU, 1948-1960.
Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, B.S. Dual degree, Newhouse School of Public Communications, College of Human Development, 1979.
Pi Beta Phi Dorothy Weaver Morgan Award for Fraternity Loyalty, 2011.
Rotary Club of Carbondale Breakfast, Distinguished Service Award, 2010.
SIUC University Woman of Distinction, Doctoral Student, 2001.
National Interfraternity Foundation Balfour Fellowship, 1994.
Pi Beta Phi National Chapter Service Award, 1979.
Ruth Tolley Award, College of Human Development, 1978.