Our History

Founded in 1962, Iota Gamma Upsilon is one of the oldest local sororities in the country. 

Our sisterhood is a strong and growing family. As a local sorority we have the ability to govern ourselves and make important house decisions on our own. Friendships gained at Iota Gamma Upsilon last longer than your years at UMass: they last a lifetime.


Founded: May 29, 1962
Colors: Ultramarine & Green
Flower: Daffodil
Mascot: Lion
Ideals: Individuality, Genuineness, Understanding
Philanthropy: National Ovarian Cancer Coalition


The Alpha Chapter of Iota Gamma Upsilon, was founded at UMass Amherst on May 29th, 1962.

Feeling the need for more sororities on the growing campus of the University of Massachusetts, 5 young women pooled their ideas in the hope of starting the 10th sorority on campus. They were later joined by 11 other young women who held the same ideals, to form what is now Iota Gamma Upsilon.

In March of 1962, the original five young women began a series of meetings, trying to find others who shared their ideals, and also to inform the campus of their desire to form a new sorority. These meetings took the form of informal get-togethers where each of the girls brought others whom they considered as prospective members of their sorority. The young women were in the process of choosing their name, Iota Gamma Upsilon, their colors, ultramarine and green, and their flower, the daffodil.

May 29, 1962 was the first initiation of Iota Gamma Upsilon.

On October 3, 1962, the sisters of Iota Gamma Upsilon held their inaugural tea, with the purpose of formally establishing the sorority on campus.


Each year the Nancy Jean Lahteine Palmer scholarship is awarded to an IGU sister based upon her academic achievement, financial need, and her demonstration of touching the lives of others. Betsy Lahteine Trobough, '82, set up this memorial fund to pay tribute to her sister, Nancy Jean, '78, to continue her legacy of giving.

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