Delta Phi Epsilon Mourns the Loss of Notable Alumna

Philadelphia, PA – It is with heavy hearts that Delta Phi Epsilon mourns the loss of notable alumna, long-time donor and friend Phyllis Kossof. The Delta chapter alumna passed on November 15, 2022, at the age of 96.

“Phyllis was a dear friend and ardent supporter of Delta Phi Epsilon. Her determination and commitment to our sorority inspired me alongside so many other people, whom she touched with her rare combination of kindness and gumption.” said Nicole L. DeFeo, International Executive Director.

Phyllis, an accomplished professional and staunch philanthropist, is remembered as a true embodiment of Delta Phi Epsilon values. She dedicated her philanthropic and advocacy efforts to the funding and research of cystic fibrosis (CF), inspired by her late daughter Stephanie who was diagnosed in early childhood with the disease. With an incredible sense of love and justice, Phyllis joined together with her husband, Burton, and other CF patient parents to found the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). 

In 1957, Phyllis came to our convention and shared her endeavors during an emotional presentation. As a result, Delta Phi Epsilon designated the CFF our philanthropy. Since that day, sisters from every chapter have supported the CFF mission. Delta Phi Epsilon has donated more than $1 million to research in the pursuit of curing cystic fibrosis and in the bonds of sisterhood.

Her daughter, Stephanie, unfortunately, passed at the age of 19 during her first year at Barnard College. This did not deter Phyllis in her advocacy of the CFF though, she would be quoted in 2014 saying, “After she died, I cut back working in CF for a few years. But then you think, ‘She was my child, and if I cared for her and loved her when she was alive, why would I abandon her in death?’ So I continued on to help others – to help others to validate her life.”

Always looking for ways to leave the world better than she found it, Phyllis founded and established many distinguished programs and lecture series including the ground-breaking Stephanie Lynn Kossoff Cystic Fibrosis Lectureship Columbia Presbyterian; The Burton Kossoff Baruch College Business Lectureship; The Phyllis Kossoff Hunter College/Roosevelt House Lectureship Series; and The Phyllis Kossoff Columbia University Teachers College Lectureship

“The Kossof legacy will live on through every dollar our members raise to move closer to the day when CF stands for Cure Found.” shares DeFeo.

Phyllis is predeceased by her daughter Stephanie and husband Burton. She is survived by her son Mitchell and his wife, Pamela, four grandsons and a great-granddaughter.

Although the world is dimmed without Phyllis’s bright light in it, she leaves an everlasting legacy through her community and those she impacted. She will remain a shining example of advocacy, leadership and love for generations to come through her philanthropic work. 


About Delta Phi Epsilon, Inc.

Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority was founded on March 17, 1917 at New York University Law School as a social organization for women. The mission is to provide a sisterhood experience rich with tradition, innovation and opportunities for growth. Learn more about Delta Phi Epsilon at