100 Years of National Park Service and an #amazingsororitywoman

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 was the first woman to be hired as a full-time permanent Park Ranger. I “discovered” her only this past weekend as I was searching for something in a 1927 Arrow. This morning, as I was seeking a topic for today’s post, I discovered that today is the Centennial of the Park Service. Sometimes topics and people find me.

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Marguerite “Peg” Lindsley, the daughter of Chester A. Lindsley, the Superintendent of Yellowstone Park, was born at Mammoth Hot Springs in 1901. She grew up in Yellowstone. She was home-schooled until she went to Montana State College (now University) in Bozeman. When the Montana Alpha Chapter of Pi Beta Phi was installed on September 30, 1921, she was among its charter members.

Marguertite

Marguerite  is in the second row,  third from the left.

During the summers, when she was in school, she  served as a Yellowstone Park seasonal worker. She gave tours on the Park’s geology and wildlife. Her post-graduation plans included medical school, but she was not accepted. Instead, she enrolled in program in bacteriology at the University of Pennsylvania. She took a  job in a laboratory near Philadelphia.

As fascinating as the work in bacteriology was, she heard the call of Yellowstone and in a move that was uncharacteristic for women of the day, she gathered her pennies and purchased a used Harley Davidson motorcycle equipped with a side-car. She and a friend traveled the 2,500+ miles from Philadelphia to Yellowstone disguised as men. They camped out along the way, too. Remember that in the 1920s, there was no highway system. That trip must have been an adventure!

The Harley (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service)

The Harley (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service)

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The Arrow article noted that Lindsley was the first woman to receive the rank of permanent membership in the National Park Service, although a few women had previously served in part-time employment.

On April 17, 1928, she married Everett LeRoy (Ben) Arnold, a National Park Service Ranger, and she had to give up her full-time employment as married women of the day were often required to do. She continued working at Yellowstone on a seasonal basis. The Arnolds had a son. Marguerite Lindsley Arnold died in 1954.

© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2016. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/

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But I Wanted My Daughter To Be My Sister

Sorority recruitment is upon us. On some campuses, it is akin to an Olympic competition. However, prior to the establishment of the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)  in 1902, recruitment was like the Wild West. There were no across the board rules and regulations and any compact that may have been agreed upon on a particular campus was only as good as the paper it was written on. They didn’t call the process “Rush” for nothing.

A woman who is going through NPC sorority recruitment who has a mother, grandmother, or sister who was initiated into that group is considered a legacy. Some organizations also include other relatives and step-relatives in the definition of legacy. Therefore, it is possible for a woman to be a legacy to several chapters. 

Several of the 26 NPC organizations each have a pair of real sisters among their founders. Alpha Gamma Delta has Marguerite and Estelle Shepard. Helene and Adriance Rice founded Alpha Sigma Tau. Frances and Almira Cheney belong to Alpha Xi Delta and Clara and Emma Brownlee founded Pi Beta Phi. Only one organization, Theta Phi Alpha, has two sets of sisters among the founders – May C. Ryan and Camilla Ryan (Sutherland), and Katrina Caughey (Ward) and Dorothy Caughey (Phalan).

Some founders of NPC groups had younger sisters who followed in their footsteps and joined the organization their sister helped create. These sisters were the first legacies to be initiated. It took about 17 years, give or take a little, from the founding of an organization for the first daughter to be initiated into the organization. Having a sister, mom, or grandmother at one’s initiation is a very special occasion.

However, the sad fact is that not everyone’s daughter, granddaughter, or sister is going to end up wearing the pin of their legacy organization(s). There are a whole hosts of reasons why this might happen. Perhaps the number of legacies going through was too large to invite everyone back for more than one day.  Perhaps it wasn’t a good match. Perhaps the woman going through recruitment wanted to follow her own heart. 

Whatever the reason, dreams sometimes die when a new member opens a bid card and on it is an organization other than the one to which her mother, grandmother, or sister belong. And the dream that dies is usually the one belonging to the relative(s) of the new member.

To the ones who suffer hurt on Bid Day, my advice is to change the dream. The experience your daughter, granddaughter, or sister will have in any of the 26 NPC groups is essentially the same. And chances are very good that if she dedicates herself to the organization, she will leave it with the same feelings and love for her organization that you have for yours. In the end, isn’t that what you want for her?

Enjoy giving her things with her letters or symbols. Send her flowers after initiation. Revel in your time with her and the chapter at Parent’s Weekend, Homecoming, and Mom’s Weekend, or anytime you visit her. If the chapter has a Mom’s Club, get involved.

Yes, feeling sadness when a dream dies is normal.  If your legacy was raised with your sorority songs being sung to her when she was a baby, to helping with alumnae club or chapter advising, to touring your organization’s chapter house on campus visits, then the hurt will sting a little more. Don’t let your hurt affect your legacy’s experience. Let her enjoy it just as you enjoyed yours. Genuinely support her. Help her leave her chapter on graduation day feeling the same love for her organization as you do for yours. That is one of the greatest joys you can give her during her time at college.

The graphic that Delta Gamma posted on May 24, the date NPC was founded.

The graphic that Delta Gamma posted on May 24, the date NPC was founded.

© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2016. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/

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Oh, Those Olympians!

The list of Olympians who are members of fraternity and sororities has been updated several times since it was first posted. It’s at http://wp.me/p20I1i-2Dv. I appreciate the emails that came my way about GLO members who weren’t yet recognized. 

Sister Madonna Buder, an 86-year-old triathlete who has been the subject of a Nike ad running during the Olympics, is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She is an initiate of the chapter at Washington University in St. Louis.  The “Iron Nun” as she is known, is the current record holder as the oldest person to finish an Ironman Triathlon, a feat that happened in 2012 when she was 82.  See the ad at http://news.nike.com/news/unlimited-youth-sister-madonna-buder. She is certainly an #amazingsororitywoman!

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The Boys of ’36, a PBS American Experience episode, is the story of the University of Washington crew team. The men won the  gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Two of the men, Robert “Bobby” Moch and Donald Hume were initiates of the Phi Gamma Delta chapter at the University of Washington. The episode can be viewed at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/boys36/player/.

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Jesse Owens, Alpha Phi Alpha, also competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and won four gold medals. This post, from the blog Letters of Note, appeared on my facebook feed and it brought tears to my eyes. See  http://www.lettersofnote.com/2016/08/tell-him-about-his-father.html.

Owens was a 1935 initiate of the Kappa Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha at the Ohio State University. Earlier this year, a film, RACE,  was released and it is now available on dvd. See http://www.apa1906.net/celebrating-the-life-and-legacy-of-brother-jesse-owens.

Luz Long and Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics.

Luz Long and Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics.

© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2016. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/

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A Saluki and Zeta Phi Beta Throw the Hammer

It was also brought to my attention that Mary Gen Ledecky, Katie’s mom, is a Pi Beta Phi, as is golfer Matt Kuchar’s mom.

© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2016. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/

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Olympic Connections

Michael Phelps has made history Two women named Simone made their marks, and there was a meteor shower to boot.

For the past two days, we’ve gone outside at 4 a.m. to see what we could see in the night sky. On Thursday morning it was nothing, although my husband insists he did see one shooting star. When my internal alarm clock woke me ten minutes before the noisy one, I almost went back to sleep. I am glad I didn’t. This time sat on our neighbors back porch (they’re not home) which has a more unobstructed view of the sky. There were enough shooting stars to make it worthwhile.

Those who are the watching the Olympics or following along on social media have their eyes on some shooting stars, too. Michael Phelps is amazing and has the medals to prove it, making him the most decorated athlete in Olympic history. “What does that have to do with this blog?” you ask. Well, he was raised by a sorority woman. Debbie Phelps is a Phi Mu from Fairmont State.

The Fall 2009 Aglia cover, courtesy of Phi Mu

The Fall 2009 Aglaia cover, courtesy of Phi Mu.

 

And how about those two Olympians named Simone?  

Cele Hoffman Eifert (a Gamma Phi Beta Facebook friend)
 

So how many girl babies are gonna be named SIMONE this year after Olympic Gold medalists Simone Biles and Simone Manuel???

Things have been going super well for Olympians named Simone!

Simone Manuel became the first African American swimmer to win a gold. There is a sorority woman, Alia Atkinson, a Sigma Gamma Rho, who is swimming for Jamaica. She and a past Olympian, Maritza Correia McClendon, are helping their sorority with its Swim 1922 partnership with USA Swimming.

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We are focused on water safety. Read the latest article promoting our partnership with USA Swimming. Sigma Gamma Rho and Swim 1922 are making a splash across the country! ‪#‎SGRho‬ ‪#‎SigmaGammaRho‬‪#‎Swim1922‬

 

Through its Swim 1922 program, Sigma Gamma Rho and USA Swimming have teamed up to provide swimming and water safety classes to children from minority groups. The rate of drowing among black children aged 5 to 19 is more than five times greater than the rate for white children.

Swim 1922 reminded me of a program that is taking place in Carbondale, Illinois, where I live. An outdoor community pool opened this year, after decades, more likely half a century of talk. The Executive Director of the Carbondale Park District, Kathy Renfro, is a Rotarian, and a past President of the Rotary Club to which I belong. She and her board saw the project come to life over the last five or so years. It became a reality because of her vision and her belief that a community swimming pool would help the community in so many ways.

I learned about this special program learn to swim one night when I happened upon the Park District meeting on community access tv. It’s a partnership between the Park District and the Saluki Masters Swim Club. Fourteen members of the club provided eight free lessons to each of the 30 participants.

Congratulations to the graduates of our last Adult Learn to Swim class of the summer. Swimmers ranged in age from 23-80, proving that you are never too old to learn to swim! We are proud of you!

CARBONDALE — It was a celebration Thursday for some adults who proved you’re never too old to learn a new skill.

© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2016. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/

 

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“How Do We Rate?” Sorority Ranking in the 1930s

Louise Leonard, an Alpha Gamma Delta, served her organization in many ways, as Quarterly Editor, Grand President, and National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) delegate, to name a few. She served as NPC Chairman from 1926-28. Eighty years ago, she wrote something that resonates as well today as it did back then. “How Do We Rate?” is its title. It was published in several NPC member magazines. Note that when she wrote it, there were 23 NPC groups, today there are 26.  Sorority recruitment has started on some campuses and the sentiment of this is as true today as it was eight decades ago.

Last spring, when fall rushing plans were already in the air, there came to my desk by chance one of the prevailing booklets which are prepared for the information and edification of the presumably uninformed rushees who invade the campuses each fall. Persons will disagree concerning the details of what should go into such booklets, but it has always seemed to me that fraternity good taste is as valuable a requisite as personal good taste. Therefore it was with a distinct shock that I read among the ‘Do you knows’ of this booklet, prepared by a chapter of a fraternity other than my own, the startling query ‘that ____ fraternity ranks first of all the N.P.C. fraternities because of ___ .’  The reasons, which could easily be refuted by one with a Panhellenic background, I omit since the identity of the fraternity in question is not pertinent to the present discussion. 

A universal besetting sin of the human race is talking too much. Most of us love to talk and it is impossible to talk a great deal and not have a goodly amount of that talk worthless. With some of us a stronger designation must be used, dubbing our words harmful or even vicious. This is especially true in any superficial discussion of the relative rating of the NPC groups….

Each of the twenty-three N.P.C. fraternities is founded on ideals which dedicate its members to service and to honor and uprightness in all human relationships. Each fraternity was founded because it was felt that within its circle, deep friendship and high endeavor could be more easily fostered than without the bond of ritual. One fraternity could not possibly give membership to all who wished it and retain the close association which is an essential for the forwarding of its highest aims, It would all seem very simple then to think that one fraternity being good, and there being plenty of students to fill the ranks of twenty-three fraternities, the twenty-three would be just what was needed. And, since the problems of all twenty-three must be approximately the same, there would out of this similarity of purpose grow a solidarity which would tend toward cooperation and understanding among the individual chapters of those fraternities in working together. But the usual picture is quite different. There are campuses on which a really Panhellenic spirit prevails–where those chapters that, through some turn of the wheel, are undergoing a lean period are really given a helping hand, sympathy expressed for their present hard luck, and their good points enlarged upon in conversation . In general the campuses after rushing remind one who views them with a discerning eye very much of battle fields whereon national, chapter, and individual reputations lie torn in shreds without regard to truth or consequences, so long as the letter of the college Panhellenic rules is preserved. Theoretically everyone deplores the methods used in rushing, but we all go on year after year building up a more elaborate and complicated and devastating system of competition which completely undermines and at least temporarily annihilates the finer qualities of interfraternity relationships. Nothing in the whole system is more vicious than the complete lack of reticence in making statements which can not be proved by facts. It would indeed be a brave national officer who would undertake to prove the assertion that her fraternity was the “best” or “first,” for she knows .there is no such listing.

It is beneath the dignity of any fraternity woman to make such a statement concerning her own fraternity or to make derogatory remarks concerning the national or local rating of any other fraternity

A college Panhellenic should be a constructive body engaged in a progressive program of real value to its members and the general college community. There should be fostered a spirit of confidence in the integrity and fair play of all its members. Keen though competition is, it should be carried on without questionable methods and statements. It should not be necessary for any group to be forced into methods of which it disapproves in order to preserve its existence.

If all twenty-three N.P.C. fraternities would earnestly apply themselves to the task this change could be brought about. How does a fraternity “rate”? “first,” “best,” “Big Six,” and on and on? It rates by its members truly living the ideals of the fraternity, by their being contributing members in the better activities of the campus and their home communities, by remembering that there is a culture which is supposed to be acquired through a colIege education and intellectual contacts that is more than a veneer. It rates by actually being and not saying it is. In fraternity as in all else-“What you are thunders so loud I can not hear what you say.”

Louise Leonard at her typewriter.

Louise Leonard at her typewriter.

© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2016. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/

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On Beta Theta Pi’s Founders’ Day, Olympian Eddie Eagan

August 13, 1839, was Commencement Day at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Five days earlier, on August 8, at the first official meeting, eight young men established Beta Theta Pi, the first men’s fraternity founded west of the Allegheny Mountains. The men, “of ever honored memory” were John Reily Knox, Michael Clarkson Ryan, David Linton, Samuel Taylor Marshall, James George Smith, Charles Henry Hardin, John Holt Duncan, and Thomas Boston Gordon. The first three were members of the Class of 1839, at a time when there were no female students at Miami. 

The chapter became inactive in January 1848 due to the “Snowball Rebellion.” Erasmus D. McMaster, Miami’s president, wanted to rid Miami of fraternities; a decree was handed down banning the fraternities. The students rebelled. A heavy snow aided in the protest. The main entrance of Old Main was blocked off and at least a dozen huge snowballs found their way to the first floor. McMaster was livid! He was determined to expel the men involved. At the time of McMaster’s edict, they were the only two national groups on campus. The second chapter of Alpha Delta Phi had been founded at Miami in 1833. 

On the following evening, the rebellion continued. Doors were nailed shut, and Old Main was filled with snow. McMaster cancelled classes for a week and began disciplinary proceedings. All but nine seniors and five juniors were expelled from the University. 

Three of the men were admitted to Centre College in Kentucky and founded Beta’s Epsilon chapter. That spring, the two remaining members left. The Alpha chapter did not come back to life until 1855. Miami University’s decision to fire McMaster due to the loss in critical revenue resulted in a change of course for the institution regarding Greek-letter organizations. The story of Miami University’s role in the history of the fraternity movement is a rich one, but it will have to wait until another day. Happy Birthday to the first of the Miami Triad!

Eddie Eagan while at Yale.

Eddie Eagan while at Yale.

Since we seem to be caught up in Olympics, fever I offer you Edward Patrick Francis “Eddie” Eagan, a Beta who was a member of the University of Denver and Yale University chapters of Beta Theta Pi. Just as he experienced two Beta chapters, he also experienced the winter and summer Olympics. Eagan won the gold at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics in the 178-pound boxing category and a gold in bobsledding at the 1932 Lake Placid Olympics. After Yale, Eagan went to Harvard Law School and then to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He served in both World War I and World War II, lived and is buried in Rye, New York.

Two Olympic torches grace Eddie Eagan's gravestone.

Two Olympic torches grace Eagan’s gravestone.

 © Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2016. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/

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Carbondale Connections and a Shout Out to the Amazing Lyn Harris

The Fraternity and Sorority Archivists have the opportunity of attending a biennial conference coordinated the Student Life and Culture Archives at the University of Illinois. One of the best parts of the conference is the opportunity to interact with kindred spirits – fellow fraternity and sorority members who love the history of their own organization and who are charged with protecting and preserving that history. It is through those conferences that I had the opportunity to meet the one and only Lyn Harris, Chi Omega’s Archivist. Recently, Lyn had a big-time mention in an Odyssey on-line feature article Things That Only Chi Omegas Understand. The title is a bit misleading as this Pi Phi understands #5 completely. I’ve seen the owl shoes and I love all that she does to make Chi Omega’s history come alive to its members.

Post from Odessey

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Recently, Lyn has been in a myth busters campaign of her own.

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Late Sunday evening, July 31, 2016, a member of the Carbondale Police Department was shot in the line of duty. The officer, 26-year-old Trey Harris, was on the force a little more than three years. After the shooting, he was transported to a St. Louis hospital for treatment.  Officer Harris was initiated into Phi Kappa Tau at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. According to the Carbondale Police Department, anyone wishing to donate monetarily to Officer Harris can send checks to: City of Carbondale Police Department, “CPD Injured Officers Fund,” 501 South Washington Street, Carbondale, Illinois 62901.

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Last night as I was in the middle of  a scanning project, I was reading the twitter feed. I saw that the opening of the Alpha Tau Omega Congress was being covered live. I tuned in just as the chapter at Southern Illinois University was being honored with a Storm Strap Award. The award honors a chapter or individual who have been able to withstand and prevail over severe chapter operational difficulties.

SIU Chapter President Nolan McConnell accepting the Storm Strap Award from Wynn Smiley, ATO's CEO

SIU Chapter President Nolan McConnell accepting the Storm Strap Award from Wynn Smiley, ATO’s CEO.

The spring semester was a very trying one for the chapter. It was accused of releasing a racist video. Congratulations Nolan on the award! Your leadership helped the chapter get through a very difficult episode.

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© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2016. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/

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OTD – A Phi Gamma Delta and Pi Beta Phi Became the President and First Lady

On August 3, 1923, Americans were waking to the news that Warren Harding had died suddenly, late in the evening, after he became ill in a San Francisco hotel. The Vice-President, Calvin Coolidge, and his wife Grace, were visiting the Coolidge homestead in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, where the Vice-President’s father, John, lived.

For about fours hours, the country was without a President, as it took that long for the news to travel from the west coast, where Harding died, to the hills of the small New England town where the Coolidges were staying.  

Colonel John Coolidge’s home did not have a telephone. President Harding’s secretary telegraphed the initial message of Harding’s death to White River Junction, Vermont. The public telephone operator who received the message sought out Coolidge’s stenographer, W. A. Perkins, and Joseph N. McInerney, his chauffeur. They alerted a reporter. Much activity ensued in a short amount of time. They went to the Coolidge homestead at about 2:30 a.m. and knocked. Colonel Coolidge answered the door and received the news. He trudged up the stairs to wake his son.  The President recounted the night in his autobiography:

I noticed that his voice trembled. As the only times I had ever observed that before were when death had visited our family, I knew that something of the gravest nature had occurred.

He placed in my hands an official report and told me that President Harding had just passed away. My wife and I at once dressed.

Before leaving the room I knelt down and, with the same prayer with which I have since approached the altar of the church, asked God to bless the American people and give me power to serve them.

The Coolidge family - Calvin, Jr., Calvin, Grace, and John shortly before Calvin, Jr.'s death. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

The Coolidge family – Calvin, Jr., Calvin, Grace, and John shortly before Calvin, Jr.’s death. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Grace Coolidge went downstairs to join her husband in the parlor. A Bible belonging to Calvin Coolidge’s mother, who died when he was young, was on the table. As her father-in-law, a Windsor County notary, administered the oath of office to her husband by the light of a kerosene lamp in the small (14′ x 17′) parlor, she became the First Lady of the United States. 

First-hand accounts vary as to the people in the room when the oath was administered. That is understandable given the haste of the activity, the darkness of the night, and the solemness of the occasion.

On that night, Grace Coolidge, a charter member of the Pi Beta Phi chapter at the University of Vermont, and Calvin Coolidge, a member of the Phi Gamma Delta Chapter at Amherst College, became the first President and  First Lady to have been initiated into Greek-letter societies as college students.

This full size portrait of President Coolidge was painted by Ercole Cartotto. Although it is now at the Phi Gamma Delta's Headquarters, it was originally commissioned. by the Xi Graduate Chapter originally commissioned this for the Phi Gamma Delta Club in New York City. Ercole Cartotto's painting was dedicated on February 20, 1929, in the Club library. It is "life size."

This full size portrait of President Coolidge was painted by Ercole Cartotto. Although it is now at the Phi Gamma Delta’s Headquarters, it was originally commissioned. by the Xi Graduate Chapter originally commissioned this for the Phi Gamma Delta Club in New York City. Ercole Cartotto’s painting was dedicated on February 20, 1929, in the Club library.

Grace Coolidge in her official First Lady portrait

Grace Coolidge in her official First Lady portrait. In it, she is wearing her Pi Beta Phi arrow. The portrait was given to the United States by Pi Beta Phi.

If you’re ever near Plymouth Notch, Vermont, you can stop by and see the room where Grace Coolidge became First Lady by the light of a kerosene lamp. For more posts about the Coolidges see:

The Only President Born on the 4th of July. And He’s a Fiji!

Calvin Coolidge, Pride of the Amherst College Phi Gamma Delta Chapter

Grace Coolidge and Orange, Connecticut

Signed, Grace Coolidge

Grace Goodhue and Calvin Coolidge – Pi Beta Phi and Phi Gamma Delta – The First President and First Lady Initiated into Greek-Letter Societies while in College

GRACE GOODHUE COOLIDGE – MY FAVORITE FIRST LADY AND A LOYAL MEMBER OF THE VERMONT BETA CHAPTER OF PI BETA PHI

“If My Father Were Your Father, You Would.” – Calvin Coolidge, Jr.

© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2016. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/

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Bogus Greek Life Statistics and Condolences

It’s August 1. I will fully admit I am not sure how we arrived at this date or what happened to June and July. It was just Memorial Day the day before yesterday and we were in Pennsylvania, touring the hallowed GLO ground of Washington and Jefferson College. Smack dab and it’s now the dawning of another academic year.

The twitter feed is full of “it’s almost recruitment” posts. It’s also a ripe time for the “if it’s on the internet somewhere, it must be true” posts about the benefits of fraternity and sorority life.

Exhibit A – 

I am not sure this is still on the cited address.

This appeared on twitter within the last week.

Here are the current statistics from the NIC website (http://www.nicindy.org/fraternity-statistics.html):

  • Greeks in 112th US Congress: 42 Senators (42%), 101 Congressmen (23%)
  • Greeks in 113th US Congress: 39 Senators (39%), 106 Congressmen (24%)
  • 50% of the Top 10 Fortune 500 CEOs are fraternity men; 15% of Fortune 100 CEOs are Greek
  • 44% of all US Presidents have been members of a social fraternity
  • 31% of all US Supreme Court Justices have been fraternity alumni

I dare someone to do the research that would take to compute the 63% of all U.S. Cabinet members since 1900 factoid. I have no doubt that there was a year in time when it was a correct number, but I suspect it was a long time ago, perhaps when the grandparents, or even great-grandparents of today’s potential new members were just young ones themselves. 

As for the astronaut statistics, see http://wp.me/p20I1i-le. Short story – Sally Ride was at Stanford when there were no NPC organizations there. And as for Apollo 11, only Neil Armstrong was a fraternity man. His Phi Delta Theta badge did indeed travel to the moon with him. For the debunking of other GLO myths see http://wp.me/p20I1i-2JE

The graphic which appears above includes its source. However, a trip to the url produces this screen.

The graphic which appears above included its source. However, a trip to the url produced this screen.

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A reader of this blog sent me a link to the obituary of Dr. Thomas Spotswood Glazebrook Jr., a Columbia, South Carolina physician, whose funeral was held yesterday. “Spots” as he was affectionately known, according to the obituary, was the great-grandson of Otis Allan Glazebook, one of the three founders of Alpha Tau Omega. Dr. Glazebrook was an initiate of the ATO chapter at the University of South Carolina. The obituary noted, “In lieu of flowers and memorials, if one wishes to honor the life of Dr. Glazebrook, his family suggests that a selfless act be done for a person in need.” Condolences to the family, friends and ATO brothers of Dr. Glazebrook.

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This sad news is from the Sigma Phi Epsilon facebook page. Michael Lopez’s girlfriend survived the shooting by her former boyfriend and is in critical condition. My prayers for all involved.

It is with a heavy heart that we bring the news of the death of our undergraduate brother Michael Lopez, Florida International ’17.

He was shot and killed on July 30th. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and chapter brothers during this time.

May the red rose serve as an expression of our enduring fraternal love for our departed brother. ‪#‎VDBL‬ ‪#‎SigEpStrong‬

 

© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2016. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/

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