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Sigma Lambda Beta

Sigma Lambda Beta
Founded April 4, 1986; 29 years ago (1986-04-04)
University of Iowa
Type Social
Mission statement To nurture and further a dynamic, value-based environment which utilizes our historically Latino based fraternity as a catalyst to better serve the needs and wants of all people.
Motto Opportunity for Wisdom,
Wisdom for Culture.
Colors       Royal Purple
      Pure White
Symbol White Stallion Mustang
Skeleton Key
Flower Red Carnation
Publication El Iluminador
Philanthropy Big Brothers/Big Sisters
CPR Awareness Day
Latino Vote USA
Chapters 129 Established Undergraduate Chapters,
7 Colonies,
7 Alumni Associations,
15 Alumni Networks
Principles Brotherhood
Community Service
Cultural Awareness
Headquarters 900 West Penn Street
North Liberty, Iowa, USA

Sigma Lambda Beta (ΣΛΒ) (known as Lambda Betas or Betas) is the largest historically Latino-based social fraternity established with multicultural membership. Founded April 4th, 1986 at the University of Iowa, the primary purpose of ΣΛΒ is to promote Latino culture as well as standards of excellence in morality, ethics, and education. The four key principles that serve as pillars to this purpose are Brotherhood, Scholarship, Community Service, and Cultural Awareness. With over 150 entities, Sigma Lambda Beta has the largest combined network of undergraduate chapters, colonies, alumni associations/networks of any historically Latino intercollegiate fraternity.


In the early spring semester of 1986 at the University of Iowa, Baltazar Mendoza Madrigal, a member of Phi Beta Sigma, wanted to further expand the possibility of a Latino-based organization with multicultural membership that would promote a positive image of the Latino Community at the University of Iowa and other universities located throughout the nation by scholastic achievements, eternal Brotherhood, the dissemination of our unique and rich culture, and service to our community. The purpose of creating such an organization came from the social and cultural dynamics present at the time. The student body at the University of Iowa was predominantly Caucasian. Therefore, minorities on campus were underrepresented and lacked interaction. On Monday, March 7, 1986 Baltazar Mendoza Madrigal called a special meeting with some of the Latino students at the Chicano-Indian American Cultural Center in the University of Iowa.[1] The men at this meeting, soon to be known Founding Fathers, began to explore the idea of establishing a Latino-based fraternity in order to unify all under represented minorities and to promote cultural understanding along with academic excellence.

On Friday, April 4, 1986, the members finalized the philosophy of the organization and the eighteen men who came to study in the US from Latin America, Africa & Asia became the Founding Fathers of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Incorporated. They were inducted as brothers at the university's Danforth Chapel with the following principles in mind: brotherhood, scholarship, community service and cultural awareness.[2]

Consequently, the newly established Fraternity continued to spread its mission throughout the nation. According to Founding Father Ricardo Zamudio in Brothers and Sisters, Diversity in College Fraternities and Sororites by Craig LaRon Tobernson and Gregory S. Parks:

"There was a lot of travelling involved in going to other campuses to talk with men who were potentially interested, and having them come to our campus to learn more about our organization. From there it slowly became easier to expand to other campuses, as our network of members available to talk to groups at different campuses continued to expand."

The success of SLB's expansion earned its recognition as the "fastest growing fraternity" to the East Coast and the West Coast.[4] Ever since its establishment Sigma Lambda Beta has come a long way from being a secret society to student-directed entities to large business-savvy corporations. The following is a list of historical milestones significant in the growth of the fraternity:

Founding Fathers

This picture contains 13 of the 18 Founding Fathers of Sigma Lambda Beta.
  • Baltazar Mendoza-Madrigal
  • Thomas Carrasquillo
  • Manuel Chavarria
  • Luis Jimenez
  • Luis Marquez
  • Mario Buendia
  • Enrique Carbajal
  • Rudolfo Garza
  • Jose Fong
  • Eric Montes
  • Olakunle Oyeyemi
  • Kuy Ou
  • Jaime Ramirez
  • Olivero Rivera
  • J.J.R.C.
  • Eugenio Soria
  • Juan Valdez
  • Ricardo Zamudio

National Recognition

States with a Sigma Lambda Beta entity.

Sigma Lambda Beta is a member of the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), a confederation of 72 men's college fraternities with over 5,300 chapters on more than 800 campuses throughout Canada and the United States. The NIC represents over 350,000 collegiate members and four and one half million alumni. Its volunteer leaders and professional staff serve fraternity leaders in university, government, and media relations. The promotion of scholarship, leadership, service, and friendship among fraternity members is the NIC's purpose.


Víctor Correa CPR Awareness Day

Health Education & The Community

The Victor Correa CPR Awareness Day was created in honor of Brother Victor "Ziggy" Correa Ortiz. Correa was born and raised in Puerto Rico and came to the United States to earn his degree in engineering at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. As a freshman and newly inducted brother, Correra went back to Puerto Rico to visit his parents. Unfortunately, during that winter Correa drowned while wading off the shores of Puerto Rico. Bystanders were not informed on how to administer CPR at the time to save his life. Today, brothers of SLB are encouraged to become CPR certified and also provide an opportunity for members of their communities to be certified through the Victor Correa CPR Awareness Day (November).

Collegiate Leadership Development

Latinos, Politics & Policy

Brothers of Sigma Lambda Beta train and serve through the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute in the seven-week Collegiate Leadership Development Program. The program is an interactive, bilateral, policy-oriented training program for Latino student leaders, university staff, faculty, and administrators. The program is designed to focus on how to formulate, exercise, and influence policy. Given the setting, this policy analysis program focuses on university policies pertaining to the outreach, recruitment and retention of Latino students; the recruitment and retention of Latino staff, faculty and administrators; beginning or expanding a Latino studies curriculum; financial aid; involvement in student government; support for Latino student organizations; and financial literacy.

National Events

Sigma Lambda Beta organizes various social, business, professional and personal development events for its members annually. Most of them are held in different states from year to year.

  • Convention (BETACON): A business convention where delegates from every chapter vote on bylaws of the fraternity and discuss various business topics of interest for the development of the organization. Convention takes place every other summer.
  • The Leadership Institute: A personal development event where brothers take part in various workshops, bonding exercises, and networking events with other chapters around the nation. This retreat takes place every other summer, in years between Convention at a host university.
  • Founders: An annual social event that is hosted to celebrate the founding and existence of the fraternity. Brothers are also recognized across the nation for their contributions to the fraternity. The weekend of events take place during the beginning of April, near the founding date of the organization, as chapters nationwide alternate its location.
  • Festival Del Sol: An annual social held in Tampa, Florida on Labor Day weekend. (September)
  • Homecoming: An annual social held in Tucson, Arizona at the University of Arizona. (November)
  • Spanish Fly: An annual social held in Tallahassee, Florida during MLK weekend. (January)

Education Foundation

"Fueling the Light" since 2001, the Sigma Lambda Beta Educational Foundation is a charitable and educational 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, separate and independent from Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity. The Education Foundation is supported by tax-deductible charitable gifts from loyal members and friends of Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity. It receives, manages and distributes endowment gifts, deferred gifts, annual gifts, and special gifts for the purpose of funding educational and leadership development programs for Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity, as well as direct financial assistance for undergraduate and graduate student members. The Education Foundation is governed by a board of trustees composed primarily of alumni of Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity.


The Opportunity for Wisdom Fund is the first endowed fund established by the Sigma Lambda Beta Educational Foundation. The interest earned from the principal of this fund provided scholarships to the brothers of Sigma Lambda Beta.

See also


  1. ^ "National History". Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "Texas A&M University-Kingsville". Sigma Lambda Beta. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Parks, Toberson, Gregory S. , Craig L (2009). Brothers and Sister: Diversity in College Fraternities and Sororities. Rosewood Drive, Massachusetts: Rosemont Publishing & Printing Corp. p. 122. ISBN 0838641946. 
  4. ^ "USC University of Southern California: Greek Organizations". USC Student Affairs. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 

External links