P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) is an organization of women, by women and for women. It supports women through friendships and the bonds of sisterhood and through educational scholarships, grants, awards, and loans.
P.E.O. is one of the oldest women's organizations in North America. What started as a bond of friendship among seven young women in 1869 has grown to almost 6,000 local chapters with more than 225,000 members in the United States and Canada.
P.E.O. sponsors six philanthropies that include ownership of Cottey College, a woman's college in Nevada, Missouri, and five programs that provide higher education assistance. Ten additional funds support Utah women. Local chapters support the projects through fundraisers, donations, and sponsorship of applicants. Cumulatively, P.E.O. has given over $383 million in financial assistance to more than 116,000 women.
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.
Utah P.E.O. History
In 1900, Franc Roads Elliott, one of P.E.O.'s founders, was teaching in Utah and helped with the preliminary organization of Utah's first chapter, Chapter A. In 1935 Utah State Chapter was formed to unite the 11 chapters which stretched across the state. Today Utah has over 1000 members in thirty-three chapters with our newest, Chapter AO, having been organized in 2018 in St. George.