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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/.
Tag Archives: DePauw University
Alpha Chi Omega and Zeta Tau Alpha celebrate Founders’ Day on October 15. How amazing is it that the first organization and the last organization on the alphabetical listing of National Panhellenic Conference members share the same Founders’ Day? On Thursday, … Continue reading
Happy 200th Birthday to the state of Indiana. On December 11, 1816, Indiana became the 19th state. Today Indiana is home to many GLO headquarters, but its importance in the history of women’s fraternities happened about a century and a … Continue reading
Bettie Locke, the force behind the founding of Kappa Alpha Theta in 1870, is on the run this week. On Thursday, September 22, 2016, the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay will wind its way through Putnam County from 5-8 p.m. Putnam is the Indiana … Continue reading
Kappa Alpha Theta was founded at Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw University) in Greencastle, Indiana. The force behind the founding was one of the first women admitted to the college. Her name was Bettie Locke. On January 27, 1870, Bettie Locke (Hamilton) stood … Continue reading
In 1877, four young Japanese men arrived in Greencastle, Indiana. They became students at the alma mater of their teacher, an American missionary. They, too, like their mentor, became fraternity men. Two joined Delta Kappa Epsilon and the other two … Continue reading
On Saturday, the Southern Illinois Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi met for a quickly arranged luncheon at a local restaurant. For most of its 24 years, the club has had a dozen dues paying members. That does not sound … Continue reading
One of the great joys I’ve had is meeting Greek-Letter Organization Archivists and Historians. We are kindred spirits. It goes without saying that we love our own organization the most, almost as if it was our child. Yet, I, for one, … Continue reading
Last week, driving from southern Illinois to Indianapolis, I found myself about an hour ahead of schedule, so when I came upon the Greencastle exit, I took it. My quest was to get a glimpse of the DePauw University campus. In … Continue reading
Harper Lee, Chi Omega, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning To Kill a Mockingbird, announced the publication of her second book, Go Set a Watchman. She finished the book in the mid-1950s and it has the same characters and is set … Continue reading
On January 27, 1870, Bettie Locke [Hamilton] stood before a mirror and repeated the words of the Kappa Alpha Theta initiation vow she had written. She then initiated Alice Allen [Brant], Bettie Tipton [Lindsey], and Hannah Fitch [Shaw]. In 1867, … Continue reading