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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: famous NPC women
It’s been a year since I started this blog. Some people stumble upon it while trying to find out which presidents were fraternity men, or which Olympic athletes were sorority members, or any odd number of searches that will lead … Continue reading
Today is Election Day. One hundred years ago women did not have the right to vote in presidential elections. A fraternity woman, Carrie Lane Chapman Catt, an Iowa State Pi Beta Phi, was a leading force in the suffrage movement. Catt … Continue reading
On November 4, 1899, eight young women, Mable Chase, Ruth Dutcher, May Gephart, Harriet Marx, Eva O’Keefe, Adriance Rice, Helene Rice, and Mayene Tracy, formed a sorority at the Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University) in Ypsilanti, Michigan. … Continue reading
In the fall of 1886, when Jane Marie Bancroft Robinson enrolled at Syracuse University, she had senior standing. Born in 1847, she graduated from the Emma Willard School in Troy, NY in 1871. She then entered the New York State … Continue reading
This post about the beginnings of the women’s fraternity system at Stanford University is in honor of the extremely intelligent and very athletic NPC women from Stanford who are competing in the 2012 Olympic games.* Stanford University, Palo Alto, California … Continue reading
Congratulations to the NPC women who brought home medals from the London Olympics: Gold medal Kristin Armstrong Savola, U.S. Cycling, Kappa Kappa Gamma, University of Idaho Rachel Buehler, U.S. Soccer, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Stanford University Erin Cafaro, U.S. Rowing, Pi … Continue reading
The second organized meeting of Panhellenic women took place July 19- 20, 1893, at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This gathering at the World’s Fair was one of the items discussed at the prior meeting that took place in Boston … Continue reading
The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) is the umbrella organization for 26 women’s fraternities/sororities. Millions of women have been members of NPC organizations. The early NPC women are particularly fascinating to me. They are women who went on to earn Ph.D.s, … Continue reading
May Lansfield Keller is one of those amazing women who were born before the invention of most things that today’s college women take for granted. From her successful attempt to earn a German Ph.D., to her insistence that Westhampton College … Continue reading