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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: Syracuse University
Grace Smith Richmond, an 1884 initiate Gamma Phi Beta’s Alpha chapter, was a much-loved author. The daughter of a clergyman, she married Nelson Guernsey Richmond, a doctor, in 1887. Two of her more memorable characters had these professions – Robert McPherson Black was … Continue reading
Women’s History Month is also a time to celebrate the National Panhellenic Conference organizations by the wearing of NPC badges on Monday, March 7. Badge day is the first Monday in March. NPC began in 1902 with seven founding members. In … Continue reading
I’ve been away for a week on a research project, my mind is swimming with places, dates, and the faces of those long gone. One of the most interesting tidbits I picked up last week was that Emma Patton Noble, … Continue reading
Last week, a former sorority member, a public relations major in the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, released a video. In it she bashed the entire women’s fraternity/sorority system for an “overwhelming lack of compassion for other … Continue reading
When I went through rush at Syracuse University four decades ago, it was on a whim. All I wanted to do was go on house tours and be done with it. I remember walking around Walnut Park on the day … Continue reading
Sometimes holiday traditions need to change and in the first Christmas without my sister, I could not put my heart into the traditions our family had cultivated over 25+ years. Instead, we headed to Disney World for some pre-Christmas fun. … Continue reading
Syracuse has been on my mind lately. I’m not in Syracuse, but this view as I walked out the door yesterday morning reminded me of the quad at Syracuse. The school’s colors even involve orange. And for many years both … Continue reading
Today, Thanksgiving 2015, is a double celebration for members of three Greek-Letter Organizations – Phi Sigma Sigma, Kappa Alpha Society (not to be confused with Kappa Alpha Order) and Sigma Alpha Mu. Phi Sigma Sigma was founded at New York’s Hunter … Continue reading
Today marks the 182nd anniversary of Psi Upsilon’s founding at Union College in Schenectady, New York. On November 24, 1833, Robert Barnard, Samuel Goodale, Sterling G. Hadley, George Washington Tuttle, Edward Martindale, Merwin Henry Stewart, and Charles Washington Harvey founded … Continue reading
On November 1, 1901 Sigma Phi Epsilon was founded. It was founded by twelve young men who were students at the University of Richmond. One of the twelve, Carter Ashton Jenkins, was a Chi Phi member from Rutgers University; he first sought … Continue reading