Sigma Lambda Beta Celebrates 10th anniversary

GVL / Courtesy - Derek Duzan

GVL / Courtesy – Derek Duzan

Maddie Forshee

This month, Sigma Lambda Beta, a cultural-based fraternity, will celebrate its 10th anniversary of receiving their charter and becoming a chapter at Grand Valley State University.

The Sigma Lambda Beta brotherhood was founded in 1986 at the University of Iowa and came to GVSU in 1998 serving as the first Latino-based fraternity on campus.

“We’re an international fraternity based on our multicultural membership,” said Derek Duzan, graduate student and member since 2009. “One of our four founding principles is cultural awareness, and you’ll see that in our programming and membership, even as a historically Latino fraternity.”

“For us, brotherhood is lifelong,” Duzan said. “Your commitment and privileges extend beyond graduation, which is not the case for everyone else. We come together for holidays, with members from various chapters and also with members of Sigma Lambda Gamma. They bring their significant others, their kids – it’s a family.”

After six years of being present as a colony, the fraternity received national recognition and became the Alpha Gamma chapter in 2004.

For their anniversary, Sigma Lambda Beta wants to give back to the community that has given so much to them.

The brothers will set up a table in the Kirkhof Center on Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to hold a fundraiser for the Sigma Lambda Beta Education Foundation and the Student Legacy Scholarship.

Students can stop by, write a quick thank you note to a faculty or staff member that has made a difference in their life or make a donation. The cards will then be hand-delivered to the faculty and staff by the brothers of Sigma Lambda Beta.

The celebration’s main event will be held on Nov. 8 in the Pere Marquette room in Kirkhof. The fraternity will host an informational session, which will be open to anyone interested in learning more about the brotherhood. Attendees will learn about the history of the fraternity, what events the fraternity hosts and other organizations the brothers are involved in, as well as other facets of brotherhood in general.

The session will be a chance for prospective members to talk to current and graduated brothers.

“For us, it’s lifelong,” Duzan said. “You don’t graduate and you’re done with (the brotherhood).”

Because Sigma Lambda Beta is not part of formal Greek rush, the brotherhood has lower membership than many other fraternities. Currently, the Alpha Gamma chapter has one undergraduate member and one graduate member.

“We enjoy the small experience because we really do believe we are family,” said Santiago Gayton, a Sigma Lambda Beta alumni who now works for GVSU as the fraternity and sorority life coordinator. “When you have a five-member chapter, you know everything about them…it really provides that family experience.”

For more information about the events within the anniversary celebration of Sigma Lambda Beta, visit or