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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: E. Jean Nelson Penfield
Kudos to the Kappa Alpha Theta members at Columbia for making it to the pages of the Sunday issue of The New York Times. The title of the article was “When a Feminist Pledges a Sorority” as if that was … Continue reading
Yesterday, I made the mistake of getting caught up in the responses to several facebook and blog posts. NEVER A GOOD IDEA! It’s a big rabbit hole and there is a goodly amount of hate out there. A quick history of … 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
Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Emmy Awards. Phi Gamma Delta Seth Meyers hosted the event which took place yesterday, on a Monday night. Congratulations to the members of Greek-letter organizations who won Emmys. They include: Ty Burrell, Sigma … Continue reading
Eliza Jean Nelson (Penfield), who was born and raised in Greencastle, Indiana, graduated from DePauw University in 1893. While a student, she became a member of the Iota chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She attended the 1891 Panhellenic meeting in … Continue reading