Meet the Historian

Historian and Archivist Fran DeSimone Becque, New York Alpha, is the resident expert on all things Pi Phi, from historical events and antiques to current happenings and modern artifacts.

Pi Beta Phi's Resident Expert

Fraternity Archivist and Historian Fran Desimone Becque, New York Alpha, credits her love of Fraternity history to her time in the New York Alpha Chapter house, where she spent countless hours reading the collection of bound Arrow magazines.

Fran received her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University. She received a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), with her thesis focusing on the “History of the Fraternity System at SIUC 1948–1960.” The dates reflect when SIUC became a comprehensive University from its modest normal school roots (1948) and when the first of the Small Group Greek housing opened (1960).

She also completed her doctorate at SIUC. Her dissertation, “Coeducation and the History of Women’s Fraternities 1867–1902,″ chronicled the growth of the women’s fraternity system and the birth of the National Panhellenic Conference, the premier advocacy and support organization for the advancement of the sorority experience.

Her Pi Beta Phi volunteer roles include serving as an Alumnae Advisory Committee member for the Michigan Beta Chapter at the University of Michigan for over seven years. She then served as Collegiate Province President and Director of Collegiate Programming, during which she authored the “Arrows, Angels & Admiration” Fraternity Heritage Manual.

She also served as Director of Academics and Director of Fraternity Education. She was appointed as Fraternity Archivist in 1995 and Historian in 2003. Two years later, Fran spearheaded the coffee table book, “Hearts That Are Bound by the Wine & Silver Blue,” including compiling Fraternity history, photographs and other archival materials and authoring the book. Fran has also held many leadership roles for the Southern Illinois Alumnae Club.

Fran was the recipient of the Chapter Service Award in 1979. The award recognizes a senior member who has demonstrated consistent and dedicated service to the chapter throughout her collegiate years with emphasis on service to the Fraternity, not to the school or community.

She was honored with the Dorothy Weaver Morgan Award for Fraternity Loyalty in 2011. The award is given to an individual, chapter or club who exhibits a high level of Fraternity loyalty. It is presented at Pi Beta Phi’s biennial convention. It is an optional award; therefore, it is not presented every convention.

Fran is recognized in the fraternity and sorority community for her passion for Greek-letter organization history. She has conducted extensive research at the Student Life and Culture Archives at the University of Illinois and is the author of several fraternity histories, completed as part of the National Society for the Preservation of Greek Housing. She has spoken at numerous fraternity and sorority events and has authored a quarterly article in The Arrow for more than 10 years.

Fran is also a member of P.E.O., a Philanthropic Education Organization. She has a passion and knowledge for this organization as well and has spoken at many P.E.O. events over the years.

To learn more, please visit Fran’s blog.

The information within the historical section of our website has been compiled by chapters, alumnae clubs and Headquarters staff. It is meant to serve as a living history, continuously updated with new information. If you have any questions, edits or suggestions regarding content, please contact us.

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