Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity, Inc.
Type: Service-Social Fraternity
Council Affiliation: MGC
Cultural Affiliation: Latino
Nickname: Lambda Betas or Betas
Motto: Opportunity for Wisdom, Wisdom for Culture
Flower: Red Carnation
Colors: Royal Purple & Pure White
Mascot/Symbol: White Stallion Mustang
During the fall of 1985, Baltazar Mendoza-Madrigal began to explore the idea of establishing a Latino-based fraternity at the University of Iowa. Having seen the impact organizations like Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity had on their constituency, Mendoza-Madrigal knew something similar could be done for the Latino interest. Without knowing the impact he would have almost 30 years down the road, Baltazar starting doing research on this possibility.
After months of dedicated research, Mendoza-Madrigal called for a special meeting on March 7, 1986. Held at the Chicano Indian American Cultural Center (now known as the Latino Native American Cultural Center), this meeting would bring together the Latino students to discuss the feasibility of creating a social fraternity that would focus on the Latino culture.
“The Latino community was divided among several social groups at the time,” said Mendoza-Madrigal. The enthusiasm in favor of establishing a social fraternity that could help in unifying the community was so great that word started to spread quickly across the University of Iowa campus. Everyone knew that something great was about to take place. After much planning, the ideology and philosophy of this new organization were finalized on April 4th, 1986. Henceforth, this day is recognized as the official founding date of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity at The University of Iowa.