In the Fall semester of 1993, a group of young undergraduate women first came together. These women, hailing from different cultural backgrounds, became close friends. While musing about the state of their campus and their friendships, the idea of forming a sorority casually came up. They believed that a sorority built on their friendships and sharing their vision could address a gap that existed on the SUNY Albany campus. This idea slowly solidified in their minds; these women believed that a sorority built on their friendships, laughter, strengths and dedication would be a formidable force. Over the course of the semester, their group of friends grew closer and in size.
On February 28, 1994, the Founding Mothers of Sigma Psi Zeta sat down together over dinner to discuss their common goal. They all aimed to establish an organization that encompassed the strength of today’s Asian-American woman and her potential for making an impact on the world around her. They came together as friends, realizing the apathy towards Asian women and the dual-disadvantage for being “The Silent Minority.”
On March 23rd, 1994, the State University of New York at Albany formally recognized the sisterhood of Sigma Psi Zeta. This signified the birth of many firsts. Our Alpha Chapter was established on that date, as well as the birth of the first East Coast-based Asian sorority. The Founding Mothers struggled to establish our organization, our purpose, and most importantly, a precedence by fighting the odds.
Sigma Psi Zeta immediately became a positive influence for the University at Albany campus community, as well as its Asian community. Realizing the importance of expanding our leadership, empowerment, and service, we initiated our first pledge class and established a second chapter less than a year later, which today is known as the Beta Chapter at the State University of New York at Binghamton. They too were pioneers, becoming the first Asian-Interest sorority to be established in Binghamton.
Since its inception eighteen years ago, Sigma Psi Zeta has grown to include additional sisterships with members who have pledged to uphold the same beliefs as our Founders in twelve states and twenty-three schools. Growth has been steady, but expansion in numbers has never been favored over strengthening from within. From this small group making up the first chapter, Sigma Psi Zeta has remained steadfast throughout its history, forward to the continued growth of a sisterhood which keeps pace with the ever-changing nature of the collegiate world and contemporary Asian society.
We are pioneers and activists as our Founding Mothers were before us. Our sisterships, both undergraduate and alumnae, enjoy a distinguished reputation for activism, scholarship, character, and leadership. These are women who still embrace the beliefs of our Founders by sharing universal sisterhood in their hearts and lives. We are an organization that seeks to educate and enlighten all people, regardless of race, about Asians and Asian-Americans; our achievements, our struggles, our interests, and identity.
Learn more about our founding mothers.
View a timeline of key events in our history.