An Illustrious History

On March 1, 1993, a group of women gathered at KansasState Student Union to form an organization for Latina/Hispanic women. Their goal was to form a group that would provide academic as well as moral support for women of all cultures.

The organization began with a group of eight women. These women were Patricia Armendariz, Elsa Diaz, Deda Kim, Melissa Muiller, Suad Suleiman, Lisa Tamayo, Jeannette Torres, and Sonia Torres. These women met for the remainder of the semester with the advice of Anita Cortez. On April 21, 1993, these women were officially recognized as an interest group of Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority at Kansas State University.

The beginning of the Fall 1993 semester the interest group began to meet again. The original eight grew to eighteen. These women were Lisa Altamira, Patricia Armendariz, Irene Assad, Debra Bratina, Susan Campbell, Elsa Diaz, Michele Dominguez, Christina Florez, Joni Frontera, Deda Kim, Ginger Maes, Melissa Muiller, Michelle Smith, Suad Suleiman, Lisa Tamayo, Jeannette Torres, Sonia Torres, and Cecelia Vite. Laura Grabhorn became the new advisor for the 93-94 school year.

On October 23, 1993, the interest group hosted a fundraising dinner at the Ecumenical Campus Ministry Center. Silvia Sauter, a professor in Modern Languages, was the guest speaker at the dinner. Santos Ramirez, president of the interest group for Sigma Lambda Beta lead the convocation, and other members of the Sigma Lambda Beta interest group provided support as well as Arleen Baiges, a student at K-State.

On October 29-31, 1993, nine members of the interest group attending the 11 th Annual United States Hispanic Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The members that attended were Lisa Altamira, Patricia Armendariz, Elsa Diaz, Michele Dominguez, Joni Frontera, Deda Kim, Lisa Tamayo, Jeannette Torres, and Sonnia Torres. At the conference, the women attended a Sigma Lambda Gamma meeting. At this meeting, on October 30, 1993, at 5:20 p.m., the women were inducted and became an official colony of Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority. Lisa Tamayo was elected as the line’s Captain and Sonnia Torres was elected as the line’s Anchor. The Founding Line became known as “Las Determinadas” (The Determined Ones).

On February 4, 1994, Big Sister Danell Riojas (Founder of Sigma Lambda Gamma) traveled to Kansas State from Chicago, Illinois. On March 4, 1994, Big Sister Danell came back along with Big Sister Juanita Secor (Delta Chapter) to provide support to the colony.

On March 25, 1994, six members of the colony traveled to the University of Illinois-Champaigne, Urbana to attend the 4 th Annual Founder’s Ball of Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority. These members were Elsa Diaz, Deda Kim, Suad Suleiman, Lisa Tamayo, Jeannette Torres, and Sonnia Torres. On March 25, 1994, at 3:30 p.m., the members of the colony crossed over and earned their letters at Big Sister Annissa “Kuki” Aguilar’s house.

In the Fall semester of 1994, the colony worked on their paperwork to achieve their chapter status. On October 15, 1994, the colony became an official chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority and earned the Greek letter “Iota”. On October 29, 1994 at the 12 th Annual United States Hispanic Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois, the Founding Line of the Iota Chapter was initiated.