In 1987, fifteen men came together to found what would later become Gamma Zeta Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Recognizing the difficulties facing Latinos in high education, the founders sought to create an organization aimed at developing leadership, instilling academic scholarship, and creating an environment of support that integrated Latino heritage. After realizing that other student organizations would not be able to provide all of these to its members, the founders decided that creating a fraternity, something that was new in Latino culture, would be the best opportunity for achieving its goals. From their first meetings, the founders decided that the principles of their new organization would be:
- Academic Excellence, through which they could encourage and support Latino males in higher education,
- Community Service, with which they could give back to the communities that shaped their lives,
- and the Maintenance of Latino Culture through Brotherhood, by which they saw their heritage shaping their views and personal values.