On Friday, July 20, 2018, close to 200 participants of the LEAD 2018 conference had the honor of witnessing the unveiling of the new public art sculpture and dedication of the Founders’ Walk. These two projects were recently completed at P.E.O. International’s headquarters at 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa. The sculpture was unveiled at LEAD to provide representatives from each state, province and district an opportunity to attend and participate in this historic occasion.

The sculpture commemorates 150 years of “women helping women reach for the stars.” Its commission was made possible by all members and chapters through the creation of the 150 Fund. Therefore, the sculpture belongs to each of our P.E.O. sisters. It is our way to honor our Founders and inspire us all for the future.

Surrounded by the recently completed Founders’ Walk, which was designed in reverence to our seven Founders, the sculpture represents not only these founding women, but also the virtues central to our Sisterhood; it is dedicated to:

  • our Founders: Mary Allen Stafford, Ella Stewart, Franc Roads Elliott, Alice Bird Babb, Suela Pearson Penfield, Alice Virginia Coffin and Hattie Briggs Bosquet,
  • every woman who has been a P.E.O. over the last 150 years, embracing a mission within a local chapter to make a global impact,
  • and, generations to come in hopes that the P.E.O. mission is furthered for another 150 years.

Tom Stancliffe, the artist/sculptor, spoke at the unveiling, and dedicated the piece to his mother, Louise, Chapter CJ, Illinois, also in attendance. Drawing from the ideals and effect of P.E.O.’s seven Founders, Stancliffe described the symbolism of the sculpture’s concentric circles and its openness as he invited attendees to experience the sculpture from many different angles for its full effect.

We hope that all sisters will have the chance to view this piece at some point and witness its inspiration. Please contact the executive office to set up a visit.