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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: Kappa Kappa Gamma
March is Women’s History Month (#womenshistorymonth, #WHM, #WHM2017). Last year I highlighted an outstanding sorority woman each day in March. I might try to do that this year, too, but it is a big commitment and other things might keep me from … Continue reading
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
The photo below is a gathering of National Panhellenic Conference women enjoying lunch in January of 1920. It was taken in Coblenz, Germany. When the French occupied the city after the first World War, they used a “C” in the name. Koblenz is on the banks … 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
Happy Founders’ Day, Kappa Kappa Gamma. Kappa Kappa Gamma’s founders are Mary Moore “Minnie” Stewart, Anna Elizabeth Willits, Susan Burley Walker, Hanna Jeanette “Jennie” Boyd, Mary Louise “Lou” Bennett, and Martha Louisa “Lou” Stevenson. Some of the founders recalled that the … Continue reading
I’m in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. I just toured the Memory Room in Old Main at Iowa Wesleyan University. I’ve been there before, but it is always a treat to tour the campus where P.E.O. was founded on January 21, 1869. … Continue reading
The truck attack in Nice, France on Bastille Day, July 14, 2016, claimed the lives of an American father and son. Sean Copeland, 51, and his 11-year-old son Brodie were killed in the attack. Maegan Copeland, a Kappa Kappa Gamma alumna, and Sean … Continue reading
“Kappa Delta Wasn’t For Me” is a blog post written by Heather Burke, Kappa Delta’s Communications and Technology Manager. It begins, “I didn’t want to be a sorority woman. When I took a job at Kappa Delta National Headquarters in 2012, … Continue reading
On this day, 97 years ago, June 20, 1919, Hazel Hotchkiss Wightman beat Marion Zinderstein (6-1, 6-2) in the 33rd U.S. Women’s National Tennis Championship. Wightman, a initiate of the Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter at the University of California-Berkeley, won the title four times, 1909, 1910, … Continue reading
Update 7/13/2017 – On July 12, 2017, a Harvard University faculty committee, in a 22-page report, recommended that Harvard students be forbidden from joining fraternities, sororities, and similar organizations, including ones that include both men and women as members. The … Continue reading