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Sigma Lambda Upsilon celebrated its 25th anniversary on Saturday night.

Credit: Tina Chou

The Gamma Chapter of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Senoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc. had more than one reason to celebrate on Saturday night, since undergoing a recent revival after three years of dormancy.

The Gamma Chapter celebrated its recent return to campus in addition to its 25th anniversary at Penn. The multicultural sorority was founded in 1990 as the first Latina sorority on campus, but the last lineage was inducted in 2011. This semester, however, the chapter has returned to campus.

“Tonight is a celebration of our 25th anniversary and also our statement to say we’re back on campus,” said President of the Gamma Chapter and College junior Ileana Santos-Gonzalez.

The celebration reunited sisters from far and wide, with two of the founding hermanas flying in from Texas, according to Santos-Gonzalez. The Gamma Chapter, however, is city-wide, according to 2013 College graduate Jasmine Santos, who was part of the last lineage. Schools including Temple and Drexel have chapters as well. Santos stayed in Philadelphia after graduating from Penn, and she helped revitalize the Gamma Chapter, she said.

Santos described her experience with the Gamma Chapter at Penn as "amazing." "It really became a home for me on campus. It gave me a chance to network with women from different fields,” Santos said.

Mariana Rivera was a 2005 graduate of Rutgers University, as well as an SLU member of Rutger’s Lambda Chapter. She now works in Philadelphia and remains active with SLU, helping Santos reach out to undergraduate women by hosting community service events, social events and a mentoring program, she said. The recruiting process paid off when four Penn students, including Santos-Gonzalez, stepped forward to become part of the revival line.

The event featured performances and awarded Penn students who were not SLU members based on academic excellence, leadership, sisterhood, cultural enrichment and community service. SLU hermanas were also recognized for sincerity, loyalty and unity.

Donations collected during the event benefited the Gamma Chapter’s literacy philanthropy.

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