In 1975, 14 young men from Kean University in Union, New Jersey, founded Lambda Theta Phi, the first Latino fraternity in the nation.

Cal Poly Pomona’s Alpha Delta chapter of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity Inc. was founded two decades later and was Lambda Theta Phi’s first undergraduate chapter on the West Coast. Its members celebrated 22 years of academic excellence, brotherhood, leadership, Latino unity and service with Founder’s Week, a weeklong series of events.

Third-year industrial engineering student Marlon Gaytan Jr. said he is excited to be celebrating 22 years of brotherhood.

“I am ecstatic [because] this is the celebration of the values that my fraternity stands for … Latino empowerment, academics and community service,” Gaytan said.

Because he grew up as an only child, he said he appreciates the fraternity’s sense of brotherhood.

Left to right: Marlon Gaytan Jr., Luis Gonzalez, Daniel Echeverry and Felipe Salinas give out carnations to start off Lambda Theta Phi’s Founder’s Week celebrations. (Jacqueline Ayala | The Poly Post)

To start off the week, the Lambdas handed out white carnations, their official flower, in the University Quad on Nov. 13. The annual tradition of giving out white carnations is meant to show that “chivalry is not dead.”

Third-year civil engineering student Felipe Salinas said he enjoys participating in these types of events every year because it is tradition but also it helps bring people from different Greek organizations together.

“We do this every year and every year it gets more exciting to see all the events we do, all the people we bring together and it’s always really fun,” Salinas said.

On Wednesday Nov. 14, Gaytan put together an advocacy and activism panel with four guest speakers to discuss what activism is and how much of an impact activism can have.

Guest speakers included landscape architecture professor Kyle Brown, alumna Diana Escamilla (‘18, sociology), alumnus Thomas Dwyer-Gutierrez (‘15, philosophy) and fourth-year political science student Alexandra Porges.

Later that evening, the Lambdas had a study session with Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. at the Bronco Student Center.

Fifth-year microbiology student Daniel Echeverry said the fraternity’s members are a great support group on everything from family matters to academics.

“These men have always been there for me and it’s the dependability of my brotherhood that has been there day in and day out, through the holidays, and something I know I will always have,” Echeverry said.

To finish off their founder’s week, the Lambdas distributed hygiene kits to the homeless in Pomona. The Center for Community Engagement, Multicultural Greek Council, Sigma Gamma Rho and Lambda Theta Alpha contributed to this event.

Fourth-year electromechanical systems and engineering technology student Luis Gonzalez said he enjoys giving back to his community with his brothers.

“The most enjoyable part about being a brother is giving back … not a lot of people consider how much a community gives to you,” Gonzalez said. “When it’s time to give back, it makes me happy whether it’s on campus or in the surrounding communities.”

Students interested in learning more about Lambda Theta Phi can follow them on Instagram at @cpplambdas or on Facebook at @alphadeltalambdas.

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