Lambda Theta Alpha, Latin Sorority Incorporated was founded in 1975 at Kean University in Union, New Jersey and is the first sorority ever created to cater towards the needs of Latinas in higher education. Lambda Theta Alpha became incorporated as an academic sorority in March of 1979, and thanks to the tremendous strides made by our 17 founding mothers, we have become the largest Latina sorority in the nation.
As the Latin migration to the United States increased, so did the emergence of independent Latina women. Before then, the role of the Latina woman was traditionally that of maintaining the family institution and falling into the realm of the Machismo stigma. In the early 70's colleges and universities experienced an influx of female enrollment. With this growth, the need for support groups and outreach programs were at an all time high. This was true for all women, and especially for the low percentage of Latina women in higher education.
In 1975, Kean University began to implement Bilingual Studies and also introduced a Latino and Caribbean Studies Department. With these new programs, women of Latin descent were able to embark in Higher Education even if they did not speak the English language. Although this enabled and facilitated the educational advancement of the Latina woman, there was something missing.
Lambda Theta Alpha began as a group of women whose focus was to integrate into the social, political, and community service arena in which other students had been involved. Together, these women formed a united front that could compete, collaborate, and assist with any student run programs.
Lambda Theta Alpha was recognized at Kean University as the First Latina Sorority founded in the United States, as researched by Dr. Jose A. Quiles, Dean of Students at Kean University. This organization was the first to recognize the need for a support system, and therefore, created one. The dedication to the progress of the community and the desire to advance the Latina woman marked the beginning of Lambda Theta Alpha. This allowed the independent Latina woman of a new era to have a sense of belonging, and with that, the opportunity to achieve her highest potential. Lambda Theta Alpha would define a new role for the Latina woman; one with education, goals, and vision in hopes of great success.
Now, over 30 years later, we have seen the outcome of such an organization. Lambda Theta Alpha has contributed to the advancement of the Latino people by helping produce educated women; women who are now political leaders, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and accountants as well as other leaders in the professional and business sectors. Lambda Theta Alpha has fulfilled its purpose since 1975, and will continue living the Foundersí dreams through the 70+ chapters established across the country.