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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: Woodrow Wilson
Today is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. President Woodrow Wilson, a Phi Kappa Psi, signed the National Park Service Organic Act on August 25, 1916. I’d like to tell you about an #amazingsororitywoman named Marguerite “Peg” Lindsley (Arnold). She … Continue reading
Frances Haven (Moss) grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Evanston, Illinois, as her father, Dr. Erastus Otis Haven, headed up the University of Michigan and then Northwestern University. When Dr. Haven was elected Chancellor of Syracuse University, Frances moved to … Continue reading
October is the month for celebrating Founders’ Days in National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) land. More than a quarter of the NPC organizations celebrate Founders’ Day in October. The NPC groups that celebrate Founders’ Day this month are Alpha Phi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Chi Omega, Zeta … Continue reading
Before September 11 became a day of national tragedy, it was a date important to all Alpha Tau Omega members. On September 11, 1865, 150 years ago, Alpha Tau Omega was founded by three young Virginia Military Institute cadets – Otis Allan … Continue reading
While it was started as a day to honor mothers, Mother’s Day can be a grim one for many people. It’s tough for women who want to be mothers but, for whatever reason, can’t have children. It’s a hard day for mothers … Continue reading
Phi Kappa Psi was founded on February 19, 1852 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, at Jefferson College (now Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania). Phi Kappa Psi’s founders are William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore. Phi Kappa Psi is … Continue reading
Today is Veterans Day, a day when we give thanks to the brave men and women who make it their business to protect the rest of us. The sacrifices they make are many and I, for one, am truly grateful. … Continue reading
World Wars I and II wreaked havoc on the American College Fraternity system. Chapter houses emptied almost overnight. Fraternity magazines from those years tell the heartbreaking stories of the sacrifice put forth by young fraternity men. Yesterday, May 8, V-E Day marked … Continue reading
January 3 is the birthday of Grace Goodhue Coolidge. Gracious and humble, she was a dedicated member of Pi Beta Phi, having been a charter member of the chapter at the University of Vermont. She also served as Alpha Province … Continue reading
Here is a post on the fraternity men and National Panhellenic Conference women who have lived in the White House seems quite appropriate. National Panhellenic Conference women who have served as First Lady Lucy B. Hayes, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Ohio Wesleyan … Continue reading