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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: Monmouth College
My life has been lived east of the Mississippi, the last half of it just miles from the river. When we first moved to Illinois, it was odd to tell people that we were five hours from Chicago, the only … Continue reading
Despite belief to the contrary, it has never been easy to be a member of a Greek-letter organization. Anti-fraternity sentiment has been around since about the time of the founding of the first chapter of the first fraternity. I like to … Continue reading
I spent Friday and Saturday in Monmouth, Illinois, where Pi Beta Phi was founded on April 28, 1867. I was able to stand in the very room where the organization came to life 150 years ago and I shared that … Continue reading
Today, Pi Beta Phi turns 150 years old. I wasn’t sure how I was going to celebrate this in a blog post. I was likely going to use the letter I wrote for the commemorative Arrow, but a few days … Continue reading
I hear there is a big Pi Beta Phi celebration in the works – #PiPhi150. The receptionist at Pi Phi’s Headquarters is a Monmouth College alumna and the last time I was there, she shared with me a recent Monmouth College magazine. … Continue reading
When I learned that my friend Daphney, the driver of Pi Phi’s Ring Ching Roadshow car would be in Iowa at the same time I would be there, too, I asked if we could quickly meet and have a photo … Continue reading
Phi Kappa Psi was founded on February 19, 1852 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, at Jefferson College (now Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania). Phi Kappa Psi’s founders are William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore. Today it celebrates 165 … 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