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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 Phi Alpha
Which NPC sorority founded on this date 105 years ago counts among its founders two sets of sisters and a Catholic priest? Hint, it is the same NPC sorority whose former National President was honored this year by National Interfraternity … Continue reading
Theta Phi Alpha celebrates Founders’ Day on April 30, the Feast Day of St. Catherine of Siena.* St. Catherine is the patroness of the organization and her motto, “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring, ” is Theta Phi … Continue reading
Theta Phi Alpha was founded on August 30, 1912 at the University of Michigan. The organization celebrates Founders’ Day on April 30th, but this gives me an opportunity to apologize. The post a few back about legacies, at first omitted … Continue reading
Theta Phi Alpha’s roots can be traced to the 1909 establishment of a local organization, Omega Upsilon, at the University of Michigan. Father Edward D. Kelly, a Catholic priest and the pastor of the student chapel at Michigan, felt that … Continue reading
Marie Esther Funke was born on June 29, 1906 in Edwardsville, Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri. She died in Edwardsville almost 60 years later. She is buried there in the Calvary Catholic Church cemetary. Her professional name was … Continue reading
The World War II work done by sorority women is an interest of mine. Veronica Lucey (Conley), a Boston University Theta Phi Alpha, served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. She went on to earn a Master’s degree … Continue reading
From the heartwarming stories file: In 1950, while a student at the University of North Texas, Jack Marr became a member the Falcon Fraternity, a local organization which was hoping to join a national organization. After graduating in 1952, Marr … Continue reading
A few men have had roles in the founding of National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sororities. Dr. Wellesley P. Coddington (Syracuse Triad), George Banta (Delta Gamma), and Dr. Charles Richardson (Chi Omega) are some whose names quickly come to mind. Of that small … Continue reading
Reading old issues of fraternity and sorority magazines is one of my favorite hobbies. In flipping through the Winter 1946 issue of The Compass of Theta Phi Alpha, I found a page with the title “A Hot Pilot is Born.” The article tells the … Continue reading
Theta Phi Alpha celebrates Founders’ Day on April 30, the Feast Day of Saint Catherine of Siena.* Saint Catherine is the patroness of the organization and her motto, “Nothing great is ever achieved without much enduring,” is Theta Phi Alpha’s motto as … Continue reading