February 8, 1962 – January 9, 2016
Throughout his difficult battle with cancer, Phillip A. Cox, Indiana ’84, remained a shining example of friendship, love and courage. His young brothers at Indiana University were inspired to paint the phrase “Fight Like Phil Today” on a wall in the chapter house—a reminder to fight for what is important in life and to follow the example of their beloved mentor.
After graduating from Indiana, Cox spent four years on the Fraternity’s Headquarters staff before building a successful career in investment management. He volunteered with Indiana Beta as chapter counselor and as president and treasurer of its Alumni and Volunteer Corporation. He went on to serve as a district governor in Indiana and as a National Director before being elected Grand Pre sident in 2013. At the 2015
Conclave, Cox was inducted into the Order of the Golden Heart.
In each of his volunteer roles, Cox was committed to providing additional support and training to SigEp volunteers. His leadership led to the creation of the Fraternity’s first volunteer-focused educational program. Today, the program continues to provide critical support to volunteers across the country as the Phillip A. Cox Volunteer Institute. It is supported by a permanent endowmentestablished in honor of Cox’s legacy of service.
Cox is survived by his wife, Jane, and two children, Caroline and Phillip Jr., North Carolina ’16.
Below are the words and memories of a few of the friends and brothers who knew him best.
“We have said that SigEp needs heroes, champions and leaders. One man can make a huge difference. Phil understood this. He was a champion as an undergrad at Indiana and a strong leader when he served on the Fraternity’s Headquarters staff and National Board of Directors. Phil knew how critical volunteers and training were to SigEp. Our future depended on it, and he made it happen. Yes, SigEp needs heroes … and he was mine.”
~Christopher L. Bittman, Colorado ’85
“Phil had no interest in personal recognition and, in fact, avoided it the best he could. He was one of those rare souls that was delighted in helping others while being genuinely uncomfortable in the limelight. What we know is that he was a great and empathetic listener. His genuine concern made people feel heard and lifted their spirits. He was incredibly generous with his time and money. Phil’s humility will never allow us to know all of the wonderful things he has done for others, but certainly we know enough …”
~John Davis, Western Carolina ’87
“I am convinced that Phil’s living legacy will be the impact that he had on thousands and thousands of undergraduate SigEps across the United States. He had an uncanny ability to make those around him better … Phil always said he got 10 times from Sigma Phi Epsilon what he put into it. He was the definition of Virtue, Diligence and Brotherly Love, and taught me the true meaning of HFF. Phil was my brother and my friend of a lifetime whom I will miss greatly!”
~Chris Foster, Indiana ’84
“Phil was a ‘friend of a lifetime’ to many … and not just SigEp brothers. He knew the importance of friendship and brotherhood in people’s lives, and he knew that in order to have such friendships, one had to do the work of friendship. No one I know did this better than Phil. … Phil wanted all brothers to care about SigEp collectively, and not just about their own chapter. He cared as deeply about other SigEp chapters as he did about his own chapter.”
~Joe Langella, Connecticut ’83
“Men like Phil Cox are great because they inspire others, by example and by personal exhortation. Today, I am convinced Phil is tugging at our hearts, asking what we will do tomorrow for Virtue, Diligence and Brotherly Love, and for Sigma Phi Epsilon.”
~Steve Bishop, Indiana ’76