The 1966 Convention held in Detroit, Michigan marked DPhiE’s golden anniversary. To commemorate this achievement, the membership voted to found the Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation as a way to serve our sisters and honor their legacies with education scholarships. To show their support, the DIMES (our founders) created the Founders Fund as a way to continue to encourage accessibility to education for young women.
Throughout the 1980’s and early 1990’s, the Foundation grew with the loyal support of its members. One such member was past International President Harriette Hirsch, whose benevolent gifts shaped a new and wider course for the foundation. It grew to be more responsive to all needs, with the vision of helping sisters “heart-to-heart” and “hand- to- hand.” Harriette saw that the needs of DPhiE members sometimes exceeded beyond education, with circumstances leaving sisters needing urgent financial help. To this sentiment, Paul Hirsch, Harriette’s husband, helped establish The Harriette Hirsch Sisterhood Fund in her honor in 1994. At its creation, Paul said it was in honor of her personal credo, “sisters helping sisters.”
Today, the Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation strives to encourage personal and professional development of our members by supporting educational and philanthropic programs that are responsive to the needs of our communities. The foundation raises funds to directly support members through individual and chapter gifts. Support of the educational foundation is critical to the success of DPhiE as it affects many leadership development programs, undergraduate and graduate education scholarships and alumnae associations philanthropic giving. Between 2018 and 2019, the foundation awarded 76 merit and need based scholarships totaling $175,000.
While Delta Phi Epsilon will continue to empower woman through formal education, other funded programs from the foundation include collegiate chapter officer trainings and sponsoring leadership development programs like Engage U and the International Leadership Forum. Additionally, heading into the next decade of the 21st century, Delta Phi Epsilon Foundation has taken steps toward creating future programs by funding initiatives to combat issues surrounding mental health awareness, sexual assault prevention, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
At the helm of the Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation is International executive Director Nicole DeFeo. She ensures the realization of the vision set forth for the foundation by the governing volunteer board of directors. Each director serves two-year terms with a limit of twelve years of consecutive service. To meet our esteemed foundation board members, click here.