When Ms. Anh Ngoc Nguyen began her education at the University of Georgia, it was difficult to find friends who could understand and relate to her Asian background. In the predominantly white school of 30,000 students, minorities, especially Asians, were very underrepresented. Worse was the lack of unity amongst the few Asians on campus. In the winter of 1998, Ms. Anh Ngoc Nguyen and Ms. Theresa Sung discussed the idea of creating an Asian-interest sorority at the University of Georgia. With the support of her family and friends, Ms. Nguyen began her quest to find other females who shared a common belief: promoting Asian awareness through sisterhood. Her quest led to the formation of the founding class.
The founders felt a need for an Asian-interest sorority to promote Asian awareness on campus. They wanted to educate their peers about the Asian culture and to strip away the stereotypes that were attributed to Asians. They felt that a sorority would serve the community much better than joining a club because they felt the Asian clubs were often limited in serving the entire Asian community as a whole. Because these organizations were often segregated into their own ethnic backgrounds, they tended to promote their own culture. The founders felt that Asian cultures could be better exhibited and promoted on campus through a sorority.
The ever-changing status and membership enrollments in these clubs varied from semester to semester due to the lack of mandatory attendance policies and motivation, making it difficult to form lasting friendships. The turnover of officers at elections was often dramatic and led to strife within the clubs. It was not a matter of who was the best person for the job but who had the most support. In addition, most students who move away from home to attend college get homesick. Thus, the sorority wanted to provide a sisterhood for women with guidance and support similar to that of a family. With these goals in mind, the founding class: Anh Ngoc Nguyen, Theresa Sung, Sarah Chong Mi Cho, Carmela de Guzman, Yvonne Minh Ta, Linh Khanh Do, and Rebecca Kim Stephenson took on the enormous task of creating Delta Phi Lambda on December 5, 1998. They suffered many setbacks and heartbreaks facing opposition from their school, peers, and competitors, but they were adamant in their beliefs and continued their mission to create an organization that nurtures the talents of its members.