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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: women’s fraternity history
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
My thanks to Christopher Walters, a fraternity history enthusiast and a member of Phi Mu Alpha, for writing this blog post. In 1879 a revolution occurred in the fraternity world. It was in March of that year when a little booklet, … 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
Today is 12/12/2012. One hundred years ago, on 12/12/1912, a Thursday, the world was a different place. Taking a glimpse into what was happening in the Greek-letter organization world a century ago offers a wonderful insight. While life is vastly … Continue reading
It’s been a year since I started this blog. Some people stumble upon it while trying to find out which presidents were fraternity men, or which Olympic athletes were sorority members, or any odd number of searches that will lead … Continue reading
From November 27-December 1, 1951, the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) met in Williamsburg, Virginia. Edith Reese Crabtree, Kappa Kappa Gamma, served as chairman. Alpha Phi Margaret Hutchinson served as secretary and Delta Gamma Mavis Mann was treasurer. The 11 associate … Continue reading
Phi Sigma Sigma’s first chapter was chartered at New York’s Hunter College on November 26, 1913. Its ten founders are Lillian Gordon Alpern, Josephine Ellison Breakstone, Fay Chertkoff, Estelle Melnick Cole, Jeanette Lipka Furst, Ethel Gordon Kraus, Shirley Cohen Laufer, … Continue reading
It’s Thanksgiving and that always makes me think of an event that happened in 1898 in Burlington, Vermont. The installation of the Vermont Beta Chapter of Pi Beta Phi took place in the Goodhue family home. The Goodhue’s only child … Continue reading
Delta Delta Delta was founded at Boston University on November 27, 1888, which fell on the day before Thanksgiving that year. Founders’ Day is celebrated on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Sarah Ida Shaw [Martin] and Eleanor Dorcas Pond [Mann, M.D.] … Continue reading
In 1870, there were 525 female doctors in the United States (Newcomer, 1959). Among the fraternity women who became physicians were founders of two NPC groups, Rachel Jane “Jennie” Nicol, a founder of Pi Beta Phi, and Eleanor Dorcas Pond … Continue reading