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Course 101 Preacceptance P.E.O. COUNSEL FOR MEMBERSHIP This information is also available in the printed Counsel for Membership booklet, available in the president’s supplies. WHAT IS P.E.O.? P.E.O. is a philanthropic educational organization with 50 state, provincial and district chapters in the United States and Canada, Nearly 250,000 members belong to 6,000 chapters. P.E.O. has awarded more than P.E.O. Executive Office Des Moines, Iowa $200 million in financial assistance. Cottey College has graduated more than 8,000 women. OUR MISSION STATEMENT “P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization where women celebrate the advancement of women, educate women through scholarships, grants, loans and stewardship of Cottey College, and motivate each Old Main other to achieve their Cottey College Nevada, Missouri highest aspirations.” WHO ARE P.E.O. MEMBERS? P.E.O. members are women of all ages (18+), races and religions. Members share a passion for providing educational financial assistance for women, developing close friendships, and state a We call each other sisters to illustrate the love and support we give to each other. personal belief in God. OUR HISTORY The P.E.O. Sisterhood was organized in 1869 in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa by seven young women on the campus of Iowa Wesleyan University. Franc Roads Suela Pearrson Mary Allen Hattie Briggs Ella Stewart Alice Coffin Alice Bird OUR HISTORY The Founders’ original purpose was to begin a friendship society. The organization expanded quickly into communities outside the college campus and to women of all ages. Old Main on the campus of Iowa Wesleyan, circa 1904. WHEN DO P.E.O. MEMBERS MEET? Chapters schedule 15 regular meetings each year; one to three of these may be social meetings. Chapters may schedule extra meetings, luncheons, or other activities anytime according to the chapter’s wishes or as Two sisters have fun “putting around” during a casual summer get- determined by their together for their chapter. bylaws. CONVENTIONS The P.E.O. International Chapter convenes a biennial convention in a selected city in odd numbered years. Each state, provincial and district chapter holds an annual convention usually Two delegates pose beside the welcome sign at the 2009 during one or two days Convention of International Chapter. in April, May or June. WHAT DO P.E.O. SISTERS DO WHEN THEY’RE TOGETHER? The P.E.O. Sisterhood is based on the principles of friendship and loyalty. Business meetings use Robert’s Rules of Order) and are conducted consistently throughout the Sisterhood. The president reads from the President’s Book. The chapter’s recording secretary sits with her to record the minutes. WHAT DO P.E.O. SISTERS DO WHEN THEY’RE TOGETHER? Programs and activities take place before and after meetings. These programs and activities vary according to each chapter’s preferences. Chapter members consult a map before embarking on a hike during an early spring social activity. MEMBERSHIP LASTS A LIFETIME P.E.O. membership is intended to last a lifetime. Membership eligibility extends from chapter to chapter. Members pay annual dues and are asked to attend chapter meetings regularly. In addition, members may be asked to present a program, Hostesses serve ice cream at a multi-chapter ice serve as an officer or cream social. committee member, or serve as hostess for a meeting. WHY DO P.E.O. SISTERS DO WHAT THEY DO? The P.E.O. Sisterhood benefits women worldwide through six International projects. Members have the opportunity to develop leadership skills while forming close friendships with women The Projects Program at the 2009 Convention of International in their chapter. Chapter featured speeches from five inspirational women. From the left: Eileen Timmins, ELF recipient; Kyla Wall, second year Cottey student; Katherine Block, PSA recipient; Crystal Johnson, PCE recipient; Limbikani Kamiongera, IPS recipient. P.E.O. SUPPORTS SIX PHILANTHROPIES Educational Loan Fund International Peace Scholarship Fund Program for Continuing Education P.E.O. Scholar Award P.E.O. Star Scholarship Cottey College. MEMBERSHIP IS BY INVITATION You have been invited to become a member by the entire chapter. Please take some time to consider the information that has been shared. Feel free to call any chapter members that you know to ask The P.E.O. Record (our organization’s magazine), the P.E.O. questions that have not Constitution, and the local chapter’s yearbook will give you a closer look at the life of a P.E.O. been answered. ACCEPTING THE INVITATION Accepting the invitation to become a P.E.O. must be in written form, including an affirmation of belief in God, and be mailed to the corresponding secretary along with a $35 initiation fee. Prospective members are encouraged to respond to the invitation soon, although you may have as long as six chapter meeting months to reply. INITIATION INFORMATION Each new member enters the Sisterhood by participating in an initiation ceremony. The ceremony is a unique experience and holds great meaning for current members as well as the initiate. It is a special time of celebration as we welcome a new sister into the warmth and friendliness of chapter life. P.E.O. friendships extend across the generations. CEREMONY OF INITIATION During the ceremony, chapter officers are dressed in white. You will be asked to take vows with a hand on the Bible. A lot of information is given during initiation and it may seem to go by very fast. The president, chapter mentor or membership committee will schedule a meeting to discuss the information included in initiation as well as other important chapter information. INITIATION IS ONLY THE BEGINNING… New members will continue to be guided by their sisters in learning about P.E.O. traditions and customs. Each new member will receive a personal copy of the P.E.O. Constitution and a membership pin. Initiates are encouraged to read more about P.E.O. New members are guided by their sisters in learning about philanthropic projects and P.E.O. traditions and customs. join the search for qualified recipients. THANK YOU! Thank you for letting us tell more about the P.E.O. Sisterhood. You can read more about P.E.O. online at www.peointernational.org. Do you have any questions?
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