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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: Grace Lass Sisson
Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, turns 180 years old today. Beta Theta Pi’s Xi Chapter is the oldest fraternity on campus. It was installed in 1855. It was the first fraternity chapter in Illinois. Currently on campus, Beta is joined … Continue reading
It’s July 4th, the date upon which America celebrates its independence. Here are some 4th of July appearances in the GLO world. Yesterday’s most viewed most was the one about Calvin Coolidge being the only U.S. President to be born … Continue reading
Tomorrow, the first Monday of March, is the National Panhellenic Conference’s International Badge Day. This rare Sunday post is a reminder for my NPC friends to wear their badge and show the power of the 26 NPC organizations. NPC’s International … Continue reading
Travelling from Illinois to Connecticut via the interstate highway system offered me plentiful opportunities to ponder random thoughts. Whenever we are on the highway through metro New York and I see the sign for Yonkers, I want to take a … Continue reading
The birthplace of the women’s fraternity system is only a few miles west of Galesburg. Pi Beta Phi was founded on April 28, 1867 in the southwest second floor bedroom of the home of “Major “ Jacob Holt at 402 … Continue reading
“There are local ladies societies at Barnard (Alpha Omicron Pi), Wellesley (Alpha Kappa Gamma), U. of Miss (Sigma Tau), U of Ark (Chi Omega), Wesleyan (Phi Sigma), Dickerson (sic) (Phi Gamma Zeta), Sigma Kappa (Colby) – Wouldn’t it be a … Continue reading
The story of their castle is on my blog, but here is the story I wrote of their Wednesday evening wedding from Pi Phi’s web-site. http://piphiblog.org/2012/06/18/a-greek-letter-royal-wedding/ If you enjoy reading this post, subscribe to updates, or like it on facebook … Continue reading
William Raimond Baird was a patent lawyer and mineralogist, but his hobby was his fraternity and the fraternity world at-large. He spent 25 years as editor of Beta Theta Pi’s magazine and his manual American College Fraternities is considered a … Continue reading
February 15, 2012, was the 175th anniversary of the founding of Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Although it is the only remaining site of a Lincoln-Douglas debate, in the fraternity world it has another special distinction. Francis Hinckley and Grace … Continue reading