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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: Theta Chi
Theta Chi Fraternity was founded on April 10, 1856 at Norwich University, in Norwich, Vermont. Frederick Norton Freeman and Arthur Chase, military cadets, met in Freeman’s room in Norwich’s Old South Barracks. After taking an oath, they declared each other “true and accepted members” … Continue reading
Mary Elizabeth Lasher was a 1939 initiate of the Ohio Alpha chapter of Pi Beta Phi at Ohio University. She died March 9, 2016 at Friends Fellowship Community in Richmond, Indiana, a few days short of her 94th birthday. I … Continue reading
“We can conceive of no more fitting manner of honoring the early sacrifices of our Founders than to impress the new initiates with the deep meaning of fraternal duty and obligation through the inspiration of the initiation ceremony. In a … Continue reading
Here are some of the articles I’ve read over the past week: The inaugural Phillip A. Cox Volunteer Institute honors Sigma Phi Epsilon’s immediate past Grand President. Cox served from 2013-15 while at the same time battling cancer. The institute was funded during the 2015 Conclave … Continue reading
One does not often think of military colleges and fraternities. They seem mutually exclusive. I always find it interesting that several fraternities were founded at military colleges. On April 10, 1856, Theta Chi was founded at Norwich University, in Norwich, Vermont. … Continue reading
The tenth of the month seems a grand time for founding an “organization of our own.” In my opinion, that is a theme common to the founding of a good many, if not most or nearly all, Greek-letter organizations (GLOs). … Continue reading