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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: Gamma Phi Beta
Here are some of the articles I’ve read over the past week: The inaugural Phillip A. Cox Volunteer Institute honors Sigma Phi Epsilon’s immediate past Grand President. Cox served from 2013-15 while at the same time battling cancer. The institute was funded during the 2015 Conclave … Continue reading
The Phoenix Panhellenic Association (PPA) celebrated its 95th anniversary this weekend. I had the pleasure of being among the women of the PPA; they spend their year raising money to fund scholarships for sorority women attending Arizona universities. Since 1975, the PPA … Continue reading
Bloomington, Indiana, is a college town, with a large, old state university. Herman B Wells, a Sigma Nu, was the 11th President of Indiana University leading the University from 1938-62. David Starr Jordan, Delta Upsilon, served as IU’s President from 1885, … Continue reading
Today is Veterans Day, a day when we give thanks to the brave men and women who make it their business to protect the rest of us. The sacrifices they make are many and I, for one, am truly grateful. … Continue reading
On August 10, 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg took the oath of office as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. She is the first and only sorority woman to serve on the Supreme Court. She enrolled at Cornell University in Ithaca, … Continue reading
I spent the weekend cataloging digital scans of 100+ year old chapter pictures. If I was so inclined, I could write a post on the evolution of the chapter composite. The women who are in the pictures, immortalized as young college … Continue reading
I favorite a goodly number of twitter posts because they have info or pictures of interest. Here are a few of my favorite tweets from the last few days. *** The first is about a fellow Pi Phi, but I would … Continue reading
The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) celebrates May 24, 1902 as its first meeting date.* However, there was a meeting which took place in Boston more than a decade earlier than the 1902 meeting. The first meeting was called to order … Continue reading
A church oyster supper was the first social event Frances Haven (Moss) attended after enrolling in Syracuse University in 1874. Her father, Dr. Erastus Otis Haven, had been recently elected Chancellor of the university. At that supper, she met the … Continue reading
“Why are some National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) groups women’s fraternities and some are sororities?” is a question I am often asked. It’s a tough one because the 26 NPC organizations are typically referred to as sororities in everyday conversation (i.e. … Continue reading