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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: Northwestern University
It’s Women History Month and I have been trying to profile sorority women who served in World War I. It’s not as easy as it looks and frankly and I not sure if anyone is interested. That’s never stopped me … Continue reading
Garry Marshall, creator of Happy Days, Mork and Mindy, and a slew of other television and film hits, was a member of Alpha Tau Omega. He died yesterday. He was initiated into the Northwestern University chapter of ATO where he served as an … Continue reading
Ruth Johnson Colvin is 99 years young. She became a member of Kappa Delta while attending Northwestern University. She left Northwestern before graduation and she married Robert Colvin in 1940. After raising two children, she earned an undergraduate degree from Syracuse University … Continue reading
Perhaps writing a post a day during #WHM about a notable sorority woman wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had. I’d hoped to focus on women who have made notable contributions but who might not be as well known as others. … Continue reading
The title of Esther McDonald Lloyd-Jones’ dissertation is Student personnel work at Northwestern University. With her Columbia University Teachers College Ph.D. in hand, she became a pioneer in the field of Student Personnel. From 1935-37 Lloyd-Jones served as the seventh President … Continue reading
I chuckle when people say they want to return to the “good old days.” As one who looks at old newspapers on a regular basis, it’s evident that bad things happened in the “good old days.” One of these events … Continue reading
Bid Day isn’t a set day, but it is the last event in sorority recruitment. With today’s social media, it’s easy and fun to look at Bid Day pictures. Once upon a time, Bid Day was a time for business … Continue reading
Harper Lee, Chi Omega, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning To Kill a Mockingbird, announced the publication of her second book, Go Set a Watchman. She finished the book in the mid-1950s and it has the same characters and is set … Continue reading
Last weekend was spent working at the Friends of the Carbondale Public Library Book Sale. Through our book sales, the “largest in southern Illinois,” according to our claims, we are able to help the Library fund projects and events. Our … Continue reading
The meeting of 12th National Pan-Hellenic Congress (now known as the National Panhellenic Conference – NPC) opened on October 16, 1913 at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. Gamma Phi Beta Lillian Thompson chaired the meeting. “Last year, when she became … Continue reading