Lambda Chapter History
The initial idea to bring an Asian American-interest sorority to the University of Virginia sprang from the minds and hearts of Sophia Ni and Ting Ting Zhu during their first year in the Spring semester of 2000. Other interested women quickly shared their ambition to make the desire a reality. Under the name S.o.Y.A. (Sisterhood of Young Asians), the interest group became a C.I.O. (contracted independent organization) at UVA in the Fall semester of 2000.
S.o.Y.A. members spent the following three semesters fulfilling first, the requirements set by the University in order to establish a new Greek Organization on grounds, and then those of Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Inc., while simultaneously contributing to the community within and beyond the University. During that time, S.o.Y.A. members became involved with activities which included a presentation at the Piedmont Community College multicultural heritage awareness day, attending the Virginia Commonwealth University multicultural Greek expansion weekend, volunteering at the Kids Lift Foundation holiday toy drive, volunteer hosting at the minority career fair, volunteering at a Thanksgiving dinner for migrant workers, hosting a S.o.Y.A. semi-formal co-sponsored by V.S.A. and C.S.A., throwing the party “ICE”, fundraising through campusfundraiser.com and a California roll sale on the lawn, supporting and collaborating with other Greek and non-Greek organizations, etc.
The group dynamic of S.o.Y.A. evolved over time under the leadership of President Sophia Ni, and in December of 2001 in New York City, five strong third years crossed as sisters of Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Inc. Michelle Chen, SungHee Kim, Sophia Ni, Susan Tiedemann, and Ting Ting Zhu founded the Lambda Charter of Sigma Psi Zeta at the University of Virginia. Participation in the Multicultural Greek Council began immediately, and the sisters launched into Greek life at the University of Virginia. In the Spring semester of 2002, the Lambda Charter ladies crossed their first Alpha Class, welcoming first years Grace Lee a.k.a. Io and Cindy Yu a.k.a. Rhea. The Lambda Chapter is still growing. Since the Alpha Class there have been 21 strong classes and 77 dedicated ladies, for a total of 23 classes and 84 girls.
Lambda Chapter is also actively involved with Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Inc. on a national level. Our sisters have served on the sorority’s Executive Board of Directors after graduation and been involved with national matters as undergraduates.
Since its inception on December 1, 2001, the sisters of Lambda Chapter have worked hard to focus on Sigma Psi Zeta’s philanthropy and to provide community service to the University and Charlottesville community. The Lambda Chapter, which just recently celebrated its eleventh anniversary, looks forward to continuing its strong and steady growth through the bond of sisterhood.
Although this organization has members who are University of Virginia students and may have University employees associated or engaged in its activities and affairs, the organization is not a part of or an agency of the University. It is a separate and independent organization which is responsible for and manages its own activities and affairs. The University does not direct, supervise or control the organization and is not responsible for the organization’s contracts, acts or omissions.