At Conclave this week, SigEp brothers and friends committed to create and fund the Phillip A. Cox Volunteer Institute. The Institute was named after and inspired by outgoing Grand President Phillip A. Cox, Indiana ’84.
On Friday evening at the Conclave gala, “A Night at the Museum,” National Director Garry Kief, Southern California ’70, announced the plan to Cox: “Your brothers and SigEp friends are here tonight to honor you and commit to you that we intend to continue your work with volunteers, and complete a $1 million endowment to support volunteer education.”
“Phil, we’re going to make this happen, because we love you, because this program matters,” said Kief. Brothers and friends supporting the Institute were excited to celebrate Cox’s life’s work with him.
Cox, who was elected Grand President at the 2013 Dallas Conclave, battled cancer throughout his Grand Presidency. “Eager to keep the focus on your SigEp experience, he’s fought this fight quietly, never letting his health keep him from his duties as Grand President,” said outgoing Student Director Sawyer Hicks, Davidson ’14, to a Conclave assembly this week.
During Saturday evening’s Conclave banner auction, Cox’s Indiana Beta Chapter committed $200,000 to the Institute. The bid shattered a previous record of $100,000 generously made by Citation Recipient and Life Trustee Bill Schreyer, Pennsylvania State ’48, at the 2001 Centennial Celebration. By Conclave’s ceremonial close, more than $650,000 had been committed to the Phillip A. Cox Volunteer Institute. Gifts continued to stream in through the evening, driving the total beyond $700,000.
Cox has served the Fraternity as chapter counselor, Alumni and Volunteer Corporation president and treasurer, district governor, National Director, and Grand President. In each role, he has been an advocate for fellow volunteers, working to ensure they have the resources and support needed to succeed in their respective roles.
Cox challenged the national Fraternity to hire a full-time staff dedicated to volunteer services and programming while serving as chairman of SigEp’s Volunteer Committee. As Grand President, he expanded the scope and quality of volunteer education at Carlson Leadership Academies, Grand Chapter Conclaves, and Drive-Ins, and through the daily support provided by Fraternity staff.
The Phillip A. Cox Volunteer Institute will continue Cox’s work with volunteers in perpetuity by providing consistent and quality education to SigEp volunteers.