explore our History

A sisterhood that pushed boundaries and paved the way as the first Latina sorority in the nation

It began with a vision

Traditionally, the role of the Latina woman was that of maintaining the family institution and falling into the realm of the machismo stigma. However, as the Latino migration to the United States increased, so did the emergence of independent Latina women who were eager to be at the forefront of an era of a new educational, political and social consciousness. College and university enrollment mirrored this influx. With this growth, the need for support groups and outreach programs were at an all time high, primarily for the low percentage of Latina women in higher education.

In 1975, Kean University introduced bilingual and Latino/Caribbean studies. Although this enabled the educational advancement of the Latina woman, still missing was the support needed to bridge the equality gap. It was during this time that 17 women convened to discuss the formation of a sorority for Latina women. Its focus would be to actively integrate itself into the social, political and community service arena that other students had been involved with. Together, they could collaborate and assist with any student-run programs, thus making their voices as loud as the majority voice and their concerns equally as important.

our founding mothers

The year 1975 saw the birth of what started as a vision – an idea of an organization, a sisterhood that would cater to the needs of Latinas and, more importantly, the universal woman. Thanks to the tremendous strides made by our 17 founding mothers, this dream was realized, and took form as the entity: Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated, the first Latina sorority in the nation.

  • Ileana Almaguer
  • Cecilia Alvarez
  • Carmen Baez
  • Karen Capra
  • Doris Cruz
  • Arlene Fernandez
  • Eneida Figueroa
  • Maria Gautier
  • Teresa Gonzalez
  • Thomasa Gonzalez
  • Diana Ibarria
  • Lillian Marrero
  • Ofelia Oviedo
  • Linda Perez
  • Aurora "Dory" Rodriguez
  • Maria del Carmen Vega
  • Marilyn Wyatt

first line

Another celebrated group of sisters is First Line of Alpha Chapter, Fall 1979. These ladies played a significant role in the early years of the sorority and remain a strong presence to this day. First Line continued the legacy that the Founding Mothers had set forth, helping to build beautiful and rich traditions for Lambda Theta Alpha.

  • Yvonne Rosa-Miranda
  • Jenny Batista-Eby
  • Iris Rodriguez
  • Yvonne Mateo-Belmaach


  • December, Kean University recognizes Lambda Theta Alpha as the first Latina sorority founded in the United States.


  • December 17, the first line of Lambda Theta Alpha is welcomed into the sisterhood.
  • December 24, the first Wine and Cheese is held.


  • The sorority forms the Board of Directors.


  • Lambda Theta Alpha holds its first Summer Conference, now known as National Convention.


  • Kappa Chapter, the first chapter outside of New Jersey, is established making Lambda Theta Alpha a national sorority.


  • November 18, Lambda Theta Alpha’s Alumnae Association is established.


  • Chi Chapter, the first chapter in the South, is established.


  • Beta Delta Chapter, the first chapter on the West Coast is established.


  • Beta Omicron and Beta Pi Chapter, the first chapters in the Midwest, are established.


  • Lambda Theta Alpha begins its partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


  • Lambda Theta Alpha wins VotoLatino’s ‘Rep Ur Letters’ voter registration challenge.


  • Lambda Theta Alpha becomes an official partner of the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer.


  • Lambda Theta Alpha is selected as a Bright Spot by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

quick facts

  • Founded at Kean University in Union, New Jersey
  • Established as an academic sorority
  • Sorority colors are burgundy and grey
  • Sorority goals are scholarly excellence, empowerment of the universal woman, political & cultural awareness and community activism
  • Principles are unity, love and respect
  • Over 175 established undergraduate and alumnae chapters all over the U.S. and Puerto Rico
  • National philanthropy is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Members have a hand sign and traditional call. LTA does not step, but we do salute and stroll