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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: sorority history
For almost all of the time we have been married, Dan and I have lived our lives in 16 week segments, starting first when he was in grad school. Once Dan became a faculty member, the ebb and flow of life … Continue reading
Does the history of Greek-letter organizations (GLOs) matter? I just finished looking for some information on a fraternity and I realized that its website contains nothing about the organization’s very rich history. Some tell me that while history may be interesting, … Continue reading
Arizona Cleaver, along with her four friends, Pearl Neal, Myrtle Tyler, Viola Tyler, and Fannie Pettie, are the five pearls of Zeta Phi Beta. They are the organization’s founders. The idea for the organization happened several months earlier when Cleaver … Continue reading
A church oyster supper was the first social event Frances Haven (Moss) attended after enrolling in Syracuse University in 1874. Her father, Dr. Erastus Otis Haven, had been recently elected Chancellor of the university. At that supper, she met the … Continue reading
During the time frame of this study, 1867-1902, women had few legal rights. Therefore, it is interesting to note that several of these early fraternity women became lawyers at a time when women were not yet allowed to vote. In … Continue reading
The Women’s College of Baltimore, today known as Goucher College, was founded in 1885 and graduated its first class in 1892. It was one of the few women’s colleges hosting chapters of national women’s fraternities. There is evidence of … Continue reading
March 25, 1917 is the date that seven female Cornell University students founded Sigma Delta Tau. Their organization was originally called Sigma Delta Phi, but when they discovered the name belonged to another Greek-letter organization they changed the “Phi” to … Continue reading
The 20th National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) meeting took place at the Parker House in Boston from February 27 to March 1, 1928. By that time, more than 210,000 women had joined the 21 NPC organizations. At the meeting, it was … Continue reading
This spring two National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) organizations are recolonizing their Alpha chapters. Zeta Tau Alpha is returning to its birthplace at Longwood University. Alpha Omicron Pi is revitalizing the chapter whose home will be the now co-ed Columbia University, with … Continue reading
The Association of Fraternity Advisors (AFA) was founded on December 1, 1976. The momentous occasion took place in Williamsburg, Virginia, during the 1976 Bicentennial gathering of the National Interfraternity Conference. AFA began with 35 members. AFA offers professional growth and … Continue reading