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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: Sigma Chi
We were driving in I-70 to Dayton, Ohio, from the airport in St. Louis, where my husband picked me up. As we were almost through Illinois, I was looking out the window and I spotted a sign that noted we … Continue reading
Yesterday morning, I found myself taking the 7:30 a.m. train to Champaign so that I could get some research done for a project I committed myself to early in the year. It needs to be off my to-do list. However, … Continue reading
June 28 is the founding date of two fraternities. Sigma Chi was founded in 1855 at Miami University in Miami, Ohio. It is one of the Miami Triad. Sigma Tau Gamma was founded in 1920 at Central Missouri State Teachers College, … Continue reading
My daughter became a P.E.O. during her senior college of college. She was initiated as a member of my chapter. She’d attend a meeting once a year, usually the holiday auction where her salted caramel sauce is a highly prized … Continue reading
November 22, 1933, 11/22/33, was hopefully an important and happy one in the life of Mildred McCann Balfour, the wife of Lloyd G. Balfour. On that day, she became an alumna initiate of the Illinois Zeta Chapter of Pi Beta … Continue reading
The Elkhart, Illinois, exit off of I-55 in Illinois, just north of Springfield, has intrigued me ever since I wrote a history of Sigma Chi’s Kappa Kappa Chapter at the University of Illinois. For five seasons of football games at Knox … Continue reading
Heart disease is a killer. More women die from the complications of heart disease than all cancers combined. Today, February 5, is Wear Red Day. These are some of the posts from my twitter feed. Alpha Phi Foundation @APhiFoundation Today’s the … Continue reading
Sigma Chi’s 6th Merlin Olsen Day of Service took place on Tuesday. It has been held annually on September 15 since 2010. The day honors the philanthropic spirit of Merlin Olsen, a 1962 initiate of the Sigma Chi chapter at Utah … Continue reading
Before September 11 became a day of national tragedy, it was a date important to all Alpha Tau Omega members. On September 11, 1865, 150 years ago, Alpha Tau Omega was founded by three young Virginia Military Institute cadets – Otis Allan … Continue reading