Founding Date: April 17, 1991
Founding University: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Primary Colors: Maroon & Navy
Secondary Colors: Teal & Gold
Motto: Unity and Sisterhood, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable
Goals: Academic Excellence, Community Service, Cultural Awareness, and Sisterhood
Flower: Fire & Ice Rose
Gem: Star Sapphire
In the fall of 1989 Veronica Montemayor started the journey to establish the first Latina-oriented sorority at Indiana University. Having tested the Greek waters of Indiana University, Veronica thought that the Greek communities here did not offer enough for Latina women. She felt that there was no real place where she could truly fit in. She decided that it was time to raise a new sail, one that celebrated the diversity of the Latino cultures. That semester Veronica was joined by Monica Guzman and Cristina Rodela. Together, the three women began a nation-wide search to find a Latino-oriented sorority that wanted to expand to Indiana University. They were looking for a sorority that strived for goals and objectives they felt were important for a Latino-oriented organization: academic excellence, cultural awareness,community service, and sisterhood. The first responses to the efforts were not encouraging however remained persistent and enthusiastic about bringing a Latina sorority to IU. In the Fall of the following academic year, Margaret Escabalzeta, Laura Garcia and Barbara Graves joined the three women. Again, extensive calls were made to numerous campuses. This time, the new core group did find some established sororities that focused on the Latino cultures.
However, some of the sororities did not want to expand. Others were only local organizations that did not fulfill IU's national status requirement for Greek organizations and the most discouraging part of all was that a few of the sororities were unwilling to share information about themselves. At this stage, Veronica's idea had become a dream. So when the core group still had not found what they wanted, the six women decided to start a new sorority. In order to do so, they first needed to obtain the permission of Richard McKaig, IU Dean of Students. During a meeting with him, the women assured Dean McKaig that not only would a Latino-oriented sorority survive on the Bloomington campus, it would also enhance the existing Greek community. On April 17th, 1991, the women - Veronica, Monica, Cristina, Margaret, Laura, and Barbara - founded Gamma Phi Omega. It was their dream that became a reality when on January 22,1992, the core group received an acceptance letter recognizing Gamma Phi Omega as an official sorority on the Indiana University campus. Gamma Phi Omega has expanded its wings to many other campuses since then and has enhanced the lives of all the sisters that have become a part of the organization.