Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation Announces New Annual Scholarship – Madeleine Claire McNulty (MCM) Scholarship

A new annual grant that supports a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon (DPhiE) sorority pursuing an undergraduate, graduate or professional degree, who has overcome a significant medical, personal or family difficulty. Gina Curtis, Epsilon Upsilon Chapter at Humboldt State University and President of the Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation made the announcement.

This scholarship, endowed by family and friends of the McNulty family, honors the memory of its namesake, Madeleine Claire McNulty daughter of past International President Dawn Barta McNulty, Phi Sigma Chapter at Northern Illinois University; niece of Sara Barta Tvrdik; granddaughter of Shirley Barta and goddaughter of Jo Ellen Pisone Gregie, all of whom are sisters from Phi Sigma Chapter.

Born March 28, 2000, Madeleine was quick to laughter and always ready with a compliment or kind word to make someone’s day. A diligent student, passionate dancer and Special Olympics gold medalist Madeleine embodied our founding values of Justice, Sisterhood, and Love. Battling a lifelong seizure disorder, enduring countless medical interventions including a complicated two-part brain surgery in 2010, and working tirelessly to develop academic, social, and life skills Madeleine was the epitome of embracing all of life’s moments. She inspired family, friends and classmates to “live like Madeleine.” Sadly, Madeleine passed away at the age of 16 due to an epileptic seizure.

Madeleine’s mother, Dawn, was initiated in 1988. She traveled as an International Leadership Consultant and then continued as an international alumna volunteer. Madeleine was born during Dawn’s tenure as International President (1999 – 2004) and attended her first International Leadership Forum (formerly known as International Convention) as an infant. Dawn currently serves as a Director on Educational Foundation and Chair of the Scholarship Program.

Dawn, her husband Tom, and Madeleine’s siblings Devin and Caitlin chose Delta Phi Epsilon as the beneficiary of a scholarship endowment among the many worthy causes that impacted Madeleine’s life for one simple reason: sisterhood. From the moment past Foundation president, Donna Von Bruening asked the delicate question, “Where would you like charitable contributions sent?” The response the family offered was, “the Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation.”

“From the moment Madeleine had her first seizure to the moment we lost her – for almost 17 years – sisterhood supported me. I do not mean sisterhood only in the sense of a shoulder to lean on, I mean sisterhood in the sense that my membership provided leadership and life skills that made me an educated, empowered, resourceful tireless advocate for my daughter and my family. It contributed to my ability to create a fulfilling life for a special needs child, for a family living with special needs, in 3 different countries over the span of two decades and to, eventually, reenter my professional field following her loss. Sisterhood IS for a lifetime…and beyond,” said Past International President Dawn Barta McNulty.

The Educational Foundation provides academic scholarships as well as grants for leadership and personal development for the DPhiE sisterhood, both active members and alumnae. The Foundation was founded in 1966, at the golden anniversary of DPhiE.

For more information about the Delta Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation or to apply for a scholarship please visit