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/.