Tuesday Tunes: Sisterhood
About four years ago, I had the privilege of being invited to join a chapter of P.E.O (Philanthropic Educational Organization) in my area. There aren’t enough words to convey the many attributes of this organization and the women who serve in it. As I think of my fellow sisters, I see their smiles, hear their laughter, and feel the joy and warmth they radiate to one another. And, I feel extremely honored and fortunate to be counted among this wonderful and industrious group of women.
During my short tenure in this sisterhood, I’ve counted the experience as a blessing more than once—for the quiet but powerful examples these ladies set; but mainly, for their friendships. I’m continually amazed by the abundance of qualities readily shown by each member of Chapter AR: leadership, commitment, curiosity, creativity, perseverance, passion, poise, humor, humility, generosity of spirit, and above all—love for one another.
Not only do these ladies believe in lifting up their sisters, but also, in encouraging other women from different walks of life to reach for the stars…and become their best selves.
P.E.O. is passionate about promoting educational opportunities for women. This organization was founded on January 21, 1869, by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. This circle of kindred spirits – bonded by their enthusiasm for women’s opportunities – eventually expanded to include women off campus as well. Today, P.E.O. has grown from that tiny membership of seven to nearly a quarter of a million members in chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada, with headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.
True to the mission of promoting educational opportunities for women, education continues to be the primary philanthropy of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. In fact, the P.E.O. Sisterhood proudly sponsors six international philanthropies, or projects, designed to assist women with their educational goals, and as a result, P.E.O. is clearly making a difference in the lives of women all over the world.
More than 102,000 women have benefited from our organization’s educational grants, loans, awards, special projects and stewardship of Cottey College. As of May 2017, P.E.O. has awarded Educational Loan Fund dollars totaling more than $185.8 million, International Peace Scholarships are more than $36 million, Program for Continuing Education grants are more than $52.6 million, Scholar Awards are more than $23 million and P.E.O. STAR Scholarships are more than $6.6 million. In addition, P.E.O. has owned and supported Cottey College, a baccalaureate-granting liberal arts and sciences institution, since 1927. In 2016-17, 50% of Cottey students had declared a major in the baccalaureate program; each year the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded increases. In just one year, from Spring 2015 to Spring 2016, the number of B.A./B.S. degrees awarded doubled.
Friendship is the cornerstone of P.E.O. – it is the legacy left by our Founders and it thrives in our unique Sisterhood. P.E.O. exists to be a source of encouragement and support for women to realize their potential in whatever worthwhile endeavor they choose. Not only are we friends and sisters… we are family.
A Tribute to Our Sisters
by Tonya R. Hengerer
Positively, some of the most
Exceptional women helping
Other woman aim for the stars.
People inspiring and
“Here’s what we call our golden rule–
Have faith in you and the things you do,
You won’t go wrong.”
*A special thank you to our lovely P.E.O. sister and photographer, Ann Shipp for taking the majority of these photos. 🙂