Delta Phi Epsilon
FoundedMarch 17, 1917; 107 years ago (1917-03-17)
New York University School of Law
MottoEsse Quam Videri
To Be Rather Than To Seem To Be
Colors  Royal Purple   Pure Gold
SymbolEquilateral Triangle
FlowerLovely Purple Iris
PublicationThe Triad
Chapters110 Active
Headquarters251 S. Camac Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
United States

Delta Phi Epsilon (ΔΦΕ or DPhiE) is an international sorority founded on March 17, 1917 at New York University Law School in Manhattan.[1] It is one of 26 social sororities that form the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC).[2] It has 110 active chapters, three of which are located in Canada, making the sorority an international organization.


On March 17, 1917, at the New York University School of Law, then known as Washington Square College Law, five women founded the Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority: Dorothy Cohen Schwartzman, Ida Bienstock Landau,[3] Minna Goldsmith Mahler, Eva Effron Robin, and Sylvia Steierman Cohn. A factor in founding the sorority was to create one accepting of all races and religions, and they were the first non-sectarian social sorority to do so.[4] These five women, collectively called the DIMES by the Sorority as an abbreviation of their first names, wanted to "promote good fellowship among the women students among the various colleges in the create a secret society composed of these women based upon their good moral character, regardless of nationality or have distinct chapters at various colleges".[1][5]

Five years later, in 1922, Delta Phi Epsilon was officially incorporated under the state laws of New York and that same year became an international sorority by placing its Epsilon chapter at McGill University in Canada. As of 2021, there are more than 67,000 members of Delta Phi Epsilon.[4][5]


Delta Phi Epsilon's flower is the Lovely Purple Iris, and its international mascot is the Unicorn. The sisterhood badge is an equilateral triangle in gold surrounded by 21 pearls, the jewel of the sorority. DPhiE's open motto is "Esse Quam Videri" (in Latin: "To be rather than to seem to be").[1] They hold great value in the founding principles of justice, sisterhood, and love.[6]


Delta Phi Epsilon is partnered with several international philanthropies via its Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation: the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.[7]

The Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation, established in 1966 to honor Delta Phi Epsilon's Golden Anniversary, helps members and their children further their education through scholarships, grants, and loans. The foundation also supports sorority education and volunteer training initiatives.[8]

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation aids those with the genetic disease cystic fibrosis (CF) through research, grants, and awareness campaigns. Founded by Phyllis Kossoff, a member of the sorority's Delta chapter at Hunter College, and other concerned parents, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation became the leader in raising funding for research and raising awareness for the disease.[9] At the sorority's December 1957 Convention, Phyllis petitioned her sisters to have the sorority adopt CFF as its official philanthropy. Chapters across North America raise money and awareness. Many chapters host a fundraising event known as Deepher Dude which is a male dance competition. Some chapters fill tote bags, called Tate's Totes, with various items that make an extended hospital stay more comfortable for children with cystic fibrosis and their parents. These totes are then taken to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) Care Centers for distribution. Tate's Totes was started by past International President Donna Von Bruening (Sigma chapter at Ohio State University) shortly after taking office, after her nephew Tate had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Other chapters host 65 Roses Gala events. Sixty-five roses is significant to CF children since the word "cystic fibrosis" is difficult for a child to say.[10] Since 1957, Delta Phi Epsilon has raised millions of dollars for CFF. At the 2016 International Leadership Forum, Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority gave their largest single donation to date of $471,060.[11]

The sorority's other philanthropic partner is the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, which provides resources and education to fight anorexia and other eating disorders. Each chapter sponsors an annual eating disorder awareness week on their campus to increase awareness of eating disorders and provide information to family and friends of sufferers.[12]


As with all National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sororities, women may join Delta Phi Epsilon if they attend as an undergraduate a university with an active chapter from which they receive a membership offer.[13] Before graduation, the sorority's programming focuses on five areas: sisterhood, scholarship, self, service, and social.[14] Members of the sorority must follow the three core values: Justice, sisterhood, and love.[6] After graduation, the programming for alumnae moves to five other areas: character, civic, cultural, connection, career.[15]

Policy on trans and non-binary inclusion

The sorority's Committee on Trans and Gender Non-Binary Inclusion developed a policy, in 2017,[16] inclusive of trans women and non-binary individuals for membership. This policy was subsequently adopted by the organization's International Governing Board.

"This policy reflects Delta Phi Epsilon International Sorority's commitment to anti-discrimination practices in relation to all trans women and non-binary individuals [potential new members, sisters (active and alumnae), volunteers, and staff] and ensures their rights to express themselves and live authentically are respected and protected. The purpose of this policy is to establish an environment that is safe, welcoming, and free from stigma and discrimination for all potential new members, sisters, volunteer, and staff, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression."[17]

Alongside an outline for recruitment, the policy also outlines definitions and guidelines for active chapters to uphold respect for trans and non-binary individuals.


Main article: List of Delta Phi Epsilon (social) chapters

Notable members

See also


  1. ^ a b c "The Founding of DPhiE". Delta Phi Epsilon. Archived from the original on 26 February 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Member Organizations". National Panhellenic Conference. Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  3. ^ Noted in a post showcasing notable sorority women by historian Fran Becque, on her blog, fraternity History & More, 17 Mar 2021.
  4. ^ a b Noted on the Delta Phi Epsilon website, accessed 18 Mar 2021.
  5. ^ a b William Raimond Baird; Carroll Lurding (eds.). "Almanac of Fraternities and Sororities (Baird's Manual Online Archive), section showing Delta Phi Epsilon chapters". Student Life and Culture Archives. University of Illinois: University of Illinois Archives. Retrieved 29 December 2022. The main archive URL is The Baird's Manual Online Archive homepage.
  6. ^ a b "DPhiE - Epsilon Phi". Retrieved 2022-12-07.
  7. ^ "About ANAD". Delta Phi Epsilon. Archived from the original on 27 June 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  8. ^ "History & Leadership". Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation. Archived from the original on 23 November 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Phyllis Kossoff accepts Spirit of American Award at CFF VLC 2016". Delta Phi Epsilon International Sorority. Archived from the original on 2021-12-14. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  10. ^ The "Sixty-five Roses" story is further explained on the CFF website, accessed 18 Mar 2021.
  11. ^ "Delta Phi Epsilon CFF Donation 2016 – Philanthropy Luncheon". Delta Phi Epsilon International Sorority. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Delta Phi Epsilon Candlelight Vigil Packet" (PDF). The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 April 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  13. ^ "How Sororities Work". HowStuffWorks. 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  14. ^ "The PEARL Program". About DPhiE. Delta Phi Epsilon. Archived from the original on 27 February 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Alumnae Membership 101". News. Delta Phi Epsilon. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  16. ^ "Delta Phi Epsilon includes transgender, non-binary students, other sororities could soon follow - The State News". Retrieved 2022-12-07.
  17. ^ "Delta Phi Epsilon | Delta Phi Epsilon Announces Policy on Trans and Non-Binary Inclusion". Retrieved 2020-05-04.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Distinguished DPhiEs". Delta Phi Epsilon. Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  19. ^ "Distinguished DPhiE Members". About DPhiE. Delta Phi Epsilon. Archived from the original on 27 February 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  20. ^ "Regional Oral History Office : Judith Heumann". University of California, Berkeley. 2004. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
  21. ^ Becque, Fran (6 July 2016). "Fraternity and Sorority Members Competing in the 2016 Olympics". Focus on Fraternity History & More. Archived from the original on 4 October 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  22. ^ "Alumnus of the Month". Hofstra University. June 2007. Archived from the original on June 21, 2007. Retrieved September 2, 2007.