My story of why I became a brother of Lambda Theta Phi goes back to when I was a youth in Newark, New Jersey. I was part of a program called Talent Search. This program assigned a college mentor to a grammar school student to motivate him or her to attend college. My mentor was a student at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He took me to the campus bookstore, to the dining hall, to one of his classes and introduced me to a few basketball players who signed a Seton Hall book I had. He also introduced me to a group of men who seemed very dedicated to Latino Unity and the advancement of the community.
My mentor’s name was Roberto Morales. He is a brother of Lambda Theta Phi, Fraternidad Latina Inc. He was the first to introduce me to college life and the first to get me started on thinking about college. If it were not for him I would have never made it to Cornell University, an Ivy League Institution. Roberto Morales inspired me and gave me the ambition to be the exceptional engineer that I am today, interning with companies like Lucent Technologies and working for the United States CIA. All it took was a little effort from him to guide an urban youth in the right direction. The time he spent with me set precedence in my life and had positive ramifications that I am grateful for.
Today I am a brother of this very dedicated brotherhood. I help organize the same types of cultural, social and community service activities that the brothers at Seton Hall did. Lambda Theta Phi has changed the way I see life and has instilled in me a desire to help people, Latino and non-Latino alike. The fraternity has made me want to do better for myself by serving as a role model and striving for academic excellence.
This testimonial I share with everyone, as witness to the good Lambda Theta Phi is capable of and still achieves to this day.
Spring 1993, ETA Chapter, NJIT, Major: Engineering
I became a brother in 1993. I was a 24 year old, AS in Engineering holding, six year United States Air Force veteran. When I was inducted, I had 74 line brothers in the East coast; the record number of neophytes at that time. I had the honor of meeting Fraternal Fathers Dr. Cayetano Soccaras and Dr. Jose Quiles. The fraternity as a whole was a small; 14 chapters, but undoubtedly a powerful and respected organization.
Most of my Greek letter organization research was done while attending Hudson County Community College, in New Jersey. Upon entering New Jersey Institute of Technology, I immediately came across recruitment flyers for a Latino fraternity. NJIT only had two LGLO on campus, but these flyer caused me to reconsider my original choice. I started to research the existing LGLO's on campus and others across the country.
Eventually, I came to realize that Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. was the perfect fit. It's goals and identify were consistent with that of my own and externally they seemed to provide a true brotherhood; extended family.
I could only image the anguish that I would have felt if I would have pledged another organization and then find out about the LAMBDAS. In my travels, I have come across several individuals that have regretted not knowing about our brotherhood. I did the research, but I was still lucky to have found the LAMBDAS.
However, I do not take it for granted that pledging makes one a brother. It is merely the first step. As we all know, the true pledging starts after one crosses. The fraternity is branded into my soul and I continue to pledge every waking moment. My commitment is true and unwavering. This is not to say that I am the best brother in the fraternity nor the most dedicated. It is just to say that I am part of a brotherhood that I truly believe in and I identify with its mission. If I would ever lose these essential facets, I would no longer consider myself to be a true brother of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc.
Every brother has opportunity for greatness. The process proves that
one has the will and capacity to succeed: family, academics, fraternity, and profession.
It has been almost a quarter of a century since our founders recognized the need for our organization. Today, we are no longer a small fraternity yet our brotherhood is still the strongest and most respected LGLO in the country. This respect is not asked for but earned by the commitment, dedication, and actions of every member of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc.
Spring 1984, Epsilon Chapter, Seton Hall University, Major: Communications
When I was an undergrad I had no interest in fraternities Latino or otherwise. I met some Lambdas at a party one night and I began to be interested but I wasn't sure. I had a friend who wanted to bring them onto our campus so I said I'd support him by going to his interest meetings.
I didn't think I would gain anything from joining a fraternity especially as an upperclassmen. I thought that it might be good to bring it onto campus for Latino freshmen and sophomores since many of them seemed to miss that sense of family you have at home and attending high school with kids you've known since kindergarten.
I continued to listen and attend interest meetings and the Lambda philosophy of brotherhood, scholarship, respecting culture, chivalry and service started to make an impression. The social and recreational opportunities also really seemed like something I would enjoy, so I decided to pledge.
Along the way I started to really understand what it meant to be a brother of Lambda Theta Phi, and I went from believing I was doing my friend and the underclassmen a favor to realizing he had done me a favor. By convincing me to really consider becoming a part of the fraternity he set me on the path to friendships and experiences that will last a life time. I've traveled to other countries and various parts of this country, and found "brothers" willing take me in and treat me like family. In the best of times and worst of times the fraternity has been there for me.
Although there have years when I was less active than others it's been my pleasure to see the fraternity expand and grow in ways I never would have imagined. I've been active as an undergrad, an active alumni of my chapter, a member of our National Board of Directors and, continue to be active in my local alumni chapter, which is in a different state from the one in which I went to school. As much work as I've put into the fraternity, I find that I consistently manage to get more out of it than what I put into it. Working with the fraternity I've gotten the opportunity to make a difference and be part of some initiative of which I can be proud.
I think the greatest testimony to the value of Lambda Theta Phi in my life is that after more than two decades as a member of this organization my best friends continue to be fraternity brothers. Not just the ones I went to school with, but the ones I've met in recent years at conventions, while on vacation and working on fraternity events. The brothers of Lambda Theta Phi continue to be the people I network with, the people I seek to do business with, the people who support me, and the people that I call "friend" and "brother."