Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority Marks 30 Years With Celebration and Scholarship Campaign

Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority members

As undergraduates at Syracuse University in the early 1990s, Rosann Santos ’95 and Kristin Perez Bragg ’93 were among six Latina women who helped bring the first chapter of a Greek organization for Latina women to campus. The Eta chapter of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. was chartered at Syracuse University on March 28, 1992, the organization’s seventh chapter after its founding at SUNY Binghamton five years earlier.

“Greek life at Syracuse is a big deal, and as Latina women, we never quite saw how we fit into that,” Santos recalls. It was after attending a Latina sorority event at SUNY Cortland that she and some friends mobilized to bring an organization to campus. “There were only 40 members at the time and now there’s something like 2,000,” she says. “It’s been quite a pioneering journey.”

Santos and Bragg  

Thirty years later, Santos and Bragg are still both integrally involved with Syracuse University. Both are members of the Office of Multicultural Advancement Advisory Council. And they were back on campus to support their undergrad Hermanas for the Eta chapter of Sigma Lambda Upsilon 30th anniversary celebration, held on April 2, 2022. The event, a banquet at the Skybarn planned by undergraduate members, was a “simple but impactful” celebration, Santos says.

The 50 alumni in attendance enjoyed the fellowship of each other and current undergraduate members, including six recent initiates. “In numbers, we’re a small organization, but our focus has always been on academic excellence and community service,” Santos says.

In addition to celebrating its own pioneering history and legacy, the group presented awards to others for support of the organization, including the Office of Multicultural Advancement and Lael Pierce, advisor in the Office of Greek Life.

While the group may be small—77 members in total—they are also mighty. In conjunction with their 30th anniversary year, the Eta Chapter is working to raise $100,000 to create an endowed scholarship within the Our Time Has Come Program. “As the first Latina sorority at Syracuse University, we think this is an important legacy. We have raised $70,000 so far and are confident we can raise the additional $30,000 by September,” Santos says.

Preference for the need-based awards will be given to members of Sigma Lambda Upsilon or a Latina or Black woman in good academic standing, as determined by the Financial Aid office. While the majority of funds have been given by sorority members, Bragg says anyone who would like to honor the chapter’s 30th anniversary with a gift or who simply wishes to support their effort is welcomed to contribute.

“If diversity and inclusion on the Syracuse University campus is important to you, we invite you to make a difference and contribute to the Sigma Lambda Upsilon Developing Endowment or any of the other Our Time Has Come Scholarships,” she says. “Help us on our mission to support underrepresented students on their academic journey and welcome more graduates of color into the Orange alumni family.”

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