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Phi Sigma Alpha

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Phi Sigma Alpha

Phi Sigma Alpha
Founded October 22, 1928 (1928-10-22)
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus
Type Social
Scope International
 Puerto Rico
 United States
Motto Caballeros Ante Todo
Maxim Omne Rarum Carum
Colors       Azure
Publication Anuario Sigma
Philanthropy Fundación Sigma
Headquarters Calle Méjico, Esquina Chile
Hato Rey, PR, Puerto Rico
Homepage Sigma website

Phi Sigma Alpha Fraternity (ΦΣΑ) ((Spanish) Fi Sigma Alfa) commonly known as La Sigma, is a Puerto Rican fraternity established originally as the Sigma Delta Alpha Fraternity (Sociedad de Amigos) on October 22, 1928 at the University of Puerto Rico by 12 students and a professor.[1] Phi Sigma Alpha can trace its roots back to 1898 to the Union Hispano Americana,[2] as well as to the first ever Greek letter Hispanic-oriented fraternity Sigma Iota established in 1912.[3] By 1998 there were over 4,376 members.[4]


Origins 1898-1928

Monument of Sigma Iota's birthplace on the former LSU Campus

Phi Sigma Alpha traces its origins to a number of organizations including Phi Lamba Alpha. secret society based on the ideology of Pan-Americanism.[7]

Union Hispano Americana emblem

After ΦΛA was organized, other societies joined it: the "Club Latino-Americano" founded in 1919 at Colorado School of Mines; the "Federación Latino-Americana" founded in 1926 at Columbia University which joined in 1928; the "Club Hispania" founded in 1929 of Cornell University which joined in 1931; the "Club Hispano-Americano" founded in 1921 of Tri State College in Angola which joined in 1929 and the Alfa Tenoxtitlan Militant chapter founded in 1929 made up of members of the old ΦΛA in Mexico.[8]

Union Latino Americana as its overall governing body, dividing their member fraternities in Latin America into zones in accordance to the country which they represented.[11]

The Sigma 1928-1934

Sigma History

Sigma Delta Alpha fraternity, was established by 12 students and a professor on October 22, 1928 at the University of Puerto Rico at 4:00pm at the Glorieta Fabián. The founding members included: Santos P. Amadeo (professor of Law)[12] , Juan Figueroa, Fernando Jiménez, Hugo D. Storer, Joaquin Velilla, Victor M. Sánchez, Adalberto Carrasquillo, Diego Guerrero Noble, Samuel L. Rodríguez, José Laracuente, Charles H. Juliá, Gilberto del Valle and Gilberto Alemar.[8]

Sigma founders and two of the first members to join

Originally the name Kappa Delta Alpha was considered but it was quickly changed to Sigma Delta Alpha. By December 5, 1928 they established their Chapter House where they began celebrating their meetings.[8]

Sigma Delta Alpha enjoyed for many years certain supremacy over the other student organizations at the University. Their membership included four of the most important student leadership positions at the university: the Yearbook editor, the senior class president, the Athletic Society President, and the ROTC Battalion Commander. Every activity sponsored by the administration was consulted with the chapter president of Río Piedras.[8] In 1929 the Beta Chapter at the Colegio de Mayagüez (University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez) was established; thus the original chapter became known as Alpha.[13]

The union 1934 - 1939

Phi Sigma Alpha had its first reorganization with the merger between the Alpha Boriquen Militant Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha and Sigma Delta Alpha of the University of Puerto Rico in 1934. The Puerto Rican zone came to be when the Alpha Boriquen Militant Chapter was founded in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on March 4, 1934 by former members of Phi Iota Alpha.[14]

External video
You may listen to the "Farola" and "Brindis Sigma" with an introduction by José Miguel Agrelot here

Under these conditions expressed above, a movement came about to unite Sigma Delta Alpha with the Alpha Boriquen Militant Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha. It was not an easy task, since many of the members of Sigma Delta Alpha did not want that change or to alter their history. But the decision was made and thus the Phi Sigma Alpha Zone of the Union Latino Americana came to be .[15][16] A "Zone Directive" was created and a constitution was drafted, since there was no central body to control the fraternity. By 1937, the ULA had several well-established and functional zones including:[15]

On January 7 and 8 of 1938 the last ULA Convention was held.[8] Delegates of the United States, Cuba and the Puerto Rico zones were present. Sadly an agreement could not be reached over the ideals of the fraternity. After the convention, each zone considered the matter independently. The USA zone decided that the ideals of the ULA to be Pan-Americanism (The unification of Latin America by a system of confederacy) and demanded that the members of the Fraternity be pro-independence when it came to Puerto Rico, the Cuban zone was undecided and therefore they followed the USA zone.[8]

Puerto Rico refused this decision because it considered the introduction of political affairs to be unnecessary and also detrimental to the fraternity. Thus on September 25, 1938, the Phi Sigma Alpha Zone withdrew from the Union Latino Americana.[18] The ULA dissolved shortly after.

The era of growth 1939 -1964

Like the members of the Sigma, a majority of the members of the Chapter of Phi Iota Alpha of the University of Louisiana disillusioned with character given to their brotherhood decided to separate, founding in April 1939 Sigma Iota Alpha [8] fraternity composed of Latin students of this university. As it was to be expected this new grouping was received with distrust by the other Latin fraternal organizations at the university. Being that Phi Sigma Alpha was organized in Puerto Rico with ideals similar to those of the Sigma Iota Alpha in Louisiana, and being both organizations the product of almost identical preceding brotherhoods, negotiations arose immediately to fuse both brotherhoods into a single one. This was decided in a convention celebrated on September 10, 1939 in the University Puerto Rico, organizing themselves as Fraternidad Sigma or (Sigma Fraternity) with its ramifications; Phi Sigma Alpha Zone in Puerto Rico and Sigma Iota Alpha Zone in Louisiana (Later the USA Zone's name was changed to Phi Sigma Beta Zone and came to include other universities of the north).[8]

Phi Sigma Alpha Pin

The Phi Sigma Alpha Zone was organized by a board of directors of the zone, the Militant chapter Alpha Boriquén of San Juan, and two university chapters, one at U.P.R. Río Piedras and another one in the C.A.A.M. of Mayagüez. Years later the militant chapters of Ponce and Mayagüez were organized.[19]

The Sigma Iota Alpha Zone (Phi Sigma Beta) was composed by Alpha chapter in the [8]

The years demonstrated the increasing difficulty to maintain a zone in the United States and to pretend that it worked as well as the one of Puerto Rico. A reformist movement arose abroad that culminated in 1964 with the establishment of the Phi Sigma Alpha Fraternity (Fi Sigma Alfa in Spanish) composed of active and militant chapters that can be found in Puerto Rico, in the United States or abroad. Therefore the Zones were eliminated.[8]

The era of progress and adaptations 1964 -

The baby boom era of the post war years and the economic development of the island was at its peak, thus it was reflected in its universities. The Puerto Rican youth registered in great numbers, thus the Fraternity, which acted as the suppliers of the union between its young people and an escape from arduous studies, also offered student housing. The Sigma enjoyed during next the two decades extensive enrollment in the original chapters and the new ones that were beginning to develop. Approaching the 1980s, the "baby boom" began to decline drastically only to resurge at the end of same decade and continuing until the beginnings of the 1990s.[8]

"Un Sigma es ante todo un caballero"

Phi Sigma Alpha Creed

The 1990s, brought with them an arduous persecution towards fraternities, partly motivated by the death of two young cadets of the quasi-fraternal group the "Panthers" of the ROTC in the CAAM,[20] and also a damages lawsuit perpetrated against another island fraternity. This brought forth a law, which can be found in Article 125 of the New Puerto Rico Penal Code, to control the initiation processes or "hazing" and to protect candidates.[21] The Sigma Brotherhood that since 1959 had prohibited in its processes the use of the "Pledge Padle" is proud to have been the first again in prohibiting acts against the physical and mental dignity of the neophyte, even before the Article 125 was enacted.

The Sigma has continued its emphasis throughout the years on the areas of community and social work by its active and militant chapters which always take part in blood drives and fund raising activities for different organizations. The Sigma Scholarship Program or ("Beca Sigma" in Spanish) program has been re-established and promises to offer young Puerto Ricans of scarce resources the opportunity to receive University studies.[1]


The fraternity's highest administrative body is the "Junta de Directores" or Board of Directors. This body is composed of two groups, the first being the "Comité Ejecutivo Central" or Central Executive Committee which includes the fraternity president, vice president and others. The second group is composed by the regional presidents, and by the presidents and secretaries of all the fraternity chapters alumni and active.[22] All members have equal vote. The Board of Directors meets several times a year when it is convened by the fraternity president. As of 2010 there are six regions with the ones in Puerto Rico named after their main city; San Juan Region, Guayama Region, Ponce Region, Arecibo Region, Mayagüez Region, and the USA Region based in Florida.[22]


Casa Club Sigma main entrance

Fi Sigma Alfa's main headquarters are located in Mexico Street, Chile corner in [24] The Club house has two main activities halls and two smaller ones, they can all be opened up to create one big one or used individually.

There is also a bar/restaurant area reserved for fraternity members and their guest called Vales Place a combination on a digital door lock is needed to enter that area. In the back of the Casa Club Sigma is a Basketball court and there used to be a swimming pool but it has been paved over. The main offices of the fraternity are on the second floor of the building. Also on the back is the Pub Sigma which is used by the Alfa Omega Activo chapter for their meetings and social events.

Sigma Foundation

Sigma Foundation

The Sigma Foundation or "Fundación Sigma" is a [25]

The fraternity collaborates and contributes to different organizations, mainly to the "Fondita de Jesus", the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society and "Centro Espibi" in Mayagüez.[1] Different golf tournaments have been held to raise fund for charity. The Beta Boriquen chapter coordinates one such tournament with the Mayagüez Rotary Club.[26]


The fraternity has both University and Alumni Chapters. The University chapters are named by a Greek letter (depending on order of founding) followed by the word "Activo" which means Active in Spanish. The Alumni chapters follow the same concept except instead of the word "Activo" they are called "Boriquén". Brothers in Active chapters are called "Activos" and alumni Brothers are called "Militantes" or militants in Spanish. Yet all Brothers call each other Sigmas.

Puerto Rico
Alfa-Omega Activo [Notes] University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras
Alfa Boriquén San Juan
Beta Activo[27] University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
Beta Boriquén Mayagüez
Delta Activo[28] Inter American University at San Germán
Delta Boriquén Arecibo
Epsilon Activo [Notes] Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico
Épsilon Boriquén Guayama
Tau Boriquén Caguas
Omicrón Activo University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla
Omicrón Boriquén Aguadilla
Gamma Activo[29] Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico
Gamma Boriquén Ponce
Zeta Activo University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo
Omega Boriquén San Germán
Ýpsilon Boriquén Yauco


* AΩ-Activo Chapter was originally two Chapters located in SJ, PR. the first was A-Activo at UPR Río Piedras and Ω-Activo at Inter American U at SJ, both chapters merged.
* Epsilon Activo Chapter was originally at UPR, Medical Sciences Campus, yet after years of inactivity it was re-opened in 2007 at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico
United States and Mexico
Alpha Columbia Boriquen Washington, D.C.
Epsilon Columbia Activo Miami, Florida
Epsilon Columbia Boriquén Miami, Florida
Omega Columbia Activo Orlando, Florida
Omega Columbia Boriquén Orlando, Florida
Alfa Azteca Activo Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara

Notable members

Don Luis A. Ferré to the left
Raymond Arrieta
William Navas
Raul Julia
Charles Cuprill

The group has had among its members many respected Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans.[1]

Name Notability
Raúl Juliá [30] Professional actor
Luis A. Ferré [30][31] Governor of Puerto Rico, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Puerto Rico state senator.[32]
Eudaldo Báez Galib [33] Senator in the Puerto Rico legislature.[34]
Noel Estrada [30] Composer of "En mi viejo San Juan"
Ramón Torres Braschi[30] Superintendent of the Puerto Rico Police Department.[35]
José Miguel Agrelot [30] Comedian and Guinness record holder.
Miguel Limeres Grau President Ponce Municipal Legislature.
Hector R. Cuprill President Ponce Municipal Legislature.
Raymond Arrieta[36][37] Comedian
William Navas [38] Sub-Secretary of the United States Navy, General
Manuel Abreu Castillo [39] President of the Puerto Rico Bar Association and writer.
Luis Somoza Debayle [30] President of Nicaragua
Marco Rigau Gaztambide[40] Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico.
Marco Rigau Jiménez[31] Puerto Rican senator for the Popular democratic party.[31]
Juan A. Rivero[41] Biologist, author, founder of Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo, has discovered previously unidentified animals
Charles Cuprill Oppenheimer[42] Mayor General, Dean of Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico School of Law.
Hiram Rafael Cancio[1] District Judge United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
Luis Stefani [30] Vice rector of the University of Puerto Rico in charge of the Mayaguez Colleges, now the title would be rector of UPRM
Santos P. Amadeo [30][31] Senator in the Puerto Rico legislature,[32] constitutional law scholar, first president of the fraternity
José L. Purcell [30] Judge in the Superior Court of Puerto Rico, founded the Puerto Rico volleyball Federation
Rafael Pont Flores [30] Well known radio (WKAQ (AM)) sports commentator in the 1950s. He was also a sports columnist in the "El Mundo" newspaper.
César Benito Cabrera Former US Ambassador to the island nations of Mauritius and the Seychelles.
Mario Rubén García Palmieri[12] Secretary of Health of Puerto Rico.[43]
Manuel Rodríguez Ramos[44] Puerto Rican writer, law professor and Secretary of Justice of Puerto Rico.
William Riefkohl[45] Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association
Adán Nigaglioni Dean of UPRCM School of Medicine
Enrique Pérez Santiago [46] Secretary of Health of Puerto Rico
José M. Saldaña President of the University of Puerto Rico
Bartolomé Bonet Fussá [30][31] Senator in the Puerto Rico legislature[32]
Eugenio Fernández Cerra[31] Senator in the Puerto Rico legislature[32]
David Cruz Vélez[31] Senator in the Puerto Rico legislature[31]
José Izquierdo Stella[31] Senator in the Puerto Rico legislature[31]
José Victor Oliver Ledesma Owner of P.R. Distillers, makers of many famous Rums
Herminio Brau del Toro[47] Lawyer, Engineer, Professor, writer, president of P.R. Distillers
Reinaldo Rampolla-Selles Co-director of the Lung Transplants Services and transplant pulmonologist at Oschner Medical Center in New Orleans,
Miguel Márquez Muñoz Owner of Camuy Distillery, makers of Palo Viejo Rum
[48] Senator in the Puerto Rico legislature[32] and ex Secretary of Agriculture of Puerto Rico.
[48] Senator in the Puerto Rico legislature[32]
Enrique A. Vicéns[31] Senator in the Puerto Rico legislature[32]
Lionel Fernández Méndez[31] Senator in the Puerto Rico legislature[32]
Gaspar Rivera Cestero[30] Member of House of Representatives of Puerto Rico
[48] Member of House of Representatives of Puerto Rico
Eduardo Zavála Vázquez[31] Member of House of Representatives of Puerto Rico[31]
Eduardo Bhatia Gautier[49] Current Speaker of the Senate of Puerto Rico
Oscar A. San Antonio Mendoza[31] Member of House of Representatives of Puerto Rico[31]
Fernando Bauermeister[31] Member of House of Representatives of Puerto Rico[31]
[48] Director of Promotion of the Puerto Rico Economic Development Administration also known as "Fomento".
[48] Member of House of Representatives of Puerto Rico[31]
Hernán Padilla[31] Member of House of Representatives of Puerto Rico, two-term Mayor of San Juan
[48] Speaker of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives and Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico
Julio A. Santos[31][48] Member of House of Representatives of Puerto Rico[31]
[48] Member of House of Representatives of Puerto Rico
Isidro A. Negrón Irizarry[50] Mayor of the city of San German
Luis E. Baco[51] Past Chief of Staff to Congressman Luis G. Fortuno at U.S. House of Representatives and Deputy Executive Director at Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration.[51][52]
Charles H. Juliá[31][53] Three time member of the Senate of Puerto Rico
Antonio Santos Cabrera[54] Chancellor of University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez[54]
Lester Martínez López Physician, Major General, and the first Hispanic to head the U.S. Army Medical and Research Command
Antonio Colorado[31] Secretary of State of Puerto Rico; Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico
José Rodríguez Quiles Current member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives
Guillermo A. Baralt Author, historian
Jorge Sánchez President of the Board of Government of the University of Puerto Rico
Agustín F. Carbo Lugo Former president of the Puerto Rico Solid Waste Management Authority

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Shokooh Valle, Firuzeh (lunes, 14 de marzo de 2005). "Fraternidad con fin social y sin violencia" (in Spanish). PRIMERA HORA. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  2. ^ a b Ricketts, Palmer C. (1934). A History of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1824-1934. New York, New York:  
  3. ^ Brown, Tamara L.; Gregory S. Parks; Clarenda M. Phillips (2005). African American Fraternities And Sororities: The Legacy And The Vision.  
  4. ^  
  5. ^ University of California Berkeley Blue & Gold Yearbook. Berkeley, California: University of California Berkeley. 1922. p. 600. 
  6. ^ "Beta Chapter Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity: Fraternal history". Stony Brook University. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  7. ^ "Universities and world affairs". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 1952.  
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Sigma History" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  9. ^ Anson, Jack L.; Robert F. Marchesani, Jr. (1991).  
  10. ^ Staff writer (1932-01-08). "Phi Lambda Alpha and Sigma Iota To Unite" (PDF). The Tech ( 
  11. ^ "Phi Iota Alpha: History". University At Albany. Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  12. ^ a b "Phi Sigma Alpha Presidents". Retrieved 2009-01-15. 
  13. ^ "Beta Activo History" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  14. ^ "FIA History" (in Spanish). Fi Iota Alfa: Fraternidad Latino Americana. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  15. ^ a b Baily, Harold J. (1949).  
  16. ^ Johnson, Clyde Sanfred (1972). Fraternities in our colleges. New York, New York: National Interfraternity Foundation. pp. 42–43. 
  17. ^ Baird, William Raimond (1940).  
  18. ^ "Historia Fraternal" (in Spanish). Fi Iota Alfa: Fraternidad Latino Americana. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  19. ^ "Sigma History" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  20. ^ Firuzeh Shokooh Valle (2005-03-07). "Una tradición bélica". ZONAi. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  21. ^ House of Representatives of Puerto Rico (2004-04-27). "ANEJO 1, Informe de la Cámara". Rama Judicial del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico. Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  22. ^ a b "Junta de Directores" (in Spanish). Fraternidad Fi Sigma Alfa. 2 January 2009. Retrieved January 4, 2011. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Fi Sigma Alfa" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  26. ^ "Rotary and Sigma Open" (in Spanish). Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  27. ^ "UPRM" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  28. ^ Baird, William Raimond; John Robson (1977).  
  29. ^ "PUCPR" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2008-01-03. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Capitulo Eterno". Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad Hernández, Rosario (July 20, 1993). "R. de la C. 1310" (in Spanish).  
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h "PR Senators". Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  33. ^ Duprey Salgado, Nestor R. (August 18, 2003). "R. de la C. 7336" (in Spanish).  
  34. ^ Prensa Asociada (August 29, 2008). "Ilegales las acciones de Cintron, segun Baez Galib".  
  35. ^ William Anderson, Robert (1973). Gobierno y partidos políticos en Puerto Rico: seguido de un estudio sobre el plebiscito de 1967 y las elecciones de 1968 (in Spanish). Editorial Tecnos. p. 64. 
  36. ^ Celebrando 81 años de Hermandad. Puerto Rico: Fi Sigma Alfa. October 2009. p. 21. 
  37. ^ Marrero, Rosalina; Patricia Vargas (June 7, 2013). "Mañana será un gran día".  
  38. ^ Celebrando 81 años de Hermandad. Puerto Rico: Fi Sigma Alfa. October 2009. p. 35. 
  39. ^ Who's who in finance and industry. Marquis Who's Who. 1963. p. 3. 
  40. ^ "Semblanzas de lo Jueces del Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico". Revista Juridica de la Universidad de Puerto Rico (in Spanish) (San Juan, Puerto Rico:  
  41. ^ Celebrando 81 años de Hermandad. Puerto Rico: Fi Sigma Alfa. October 2009. p. 134. 
  42. ^ "Phi Sigma Alpha Presidents". Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  43. ^ "Historia de la regionalización". Galenus (in Spanish) (Galenus) 03. 2003. Retrieved January 11, 2011. 
  44. ^ "Phi Sigma Alpha Presidents". Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  45. ^ 82 Sigma Convención. Puerto Rico: Fi Sigma Alfa. October 2010. p. 7. 
  46. ^ "Capitulo Eterno". Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  47. ^ Aurelio, Martínez (2004). Cabo Rojo: historia y personalidad de un pueblo (in Spanish). Indiana University: Ediciones Chriscela. p. 189.  
  48. ^ a b c d e f g h "Capitulo Eterno". Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  49. ^ Stewart Sotomayor, John A. (September 9, 2009). "Ponencia Sigma" (in Spanish).  
  50. ^ Celebrando 81 años de Hermandad. Puerto Rico: Fi Sigma Alfa. October 2009. p. 107. 
  51. ^ a b "Luis E. Baco". linkedin. 
  52. ^ "PRA Luis Baco". Puerto Rico Advancement. 
  53. ^ "Phi Sigma Alpha Presidents". Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  54. ^ a b "" (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-06-23. 

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