P.E.O., a philanthropic educational organization, originated from a group of seven young women more than 149 years ago. It offers the gift of friendship and love — of service and philanthropy.

The organization began in January 1869 on the campus of Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa. It has grown to become an international organization with broad philanthropic and cultural aims and an ever-increasing interest in furthering educational opportunities for women.

The Illinois State Chapter of P.E.O. was organized in April 1903 with nine founding chapters. Today, we are proud of our 326 chapters and more than 13,500 members throughout the state. We look forward to the future as we continue the work of our sisterhood.


P.E.O. Mission  

P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women; educate
women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and stewardship of Cottey College; and motivate women to achieve their highest aspirations.