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ESO- Honorary Society

Book Club

What Is ESO?

Epsilon Sigma Omicron 

Alpha Lambda Chapter 

Hello my fellow bookworms,

I am excited to have the privilege to serve you as your GFWC Kentucky ESO Chair for the 2018-2020 administration. I am here to help you however I can as we continue on this ESO journey so please continue to share your thoughts and ideas with me. I have separated the Information, Forms, and Suggested Reading List for your ease and convenience. Also, the Suggested Reading List has been updated to reflect the new genres and new books included in the GFWC Reading List. Please keep in mind that you are not required to read books solely on this list; it is provided to you merely to give you ideas. 

Please make sure you check out the Book Challenges, Club Recommendations, and ESO Member Recommendations. Please let me know how I can be of service to you! 

Thank you, 

Angelique Puckett  

GFWC Kentucky ESO Chair, 2018-2020 


History of ESO

ESO was established in 1928 by the Indiana Federation of Clubs. In 1930, it was incorporated as a national sorority; the Indiana society became the Alpha Chapter. Later that same year, the Washington state chapter became the Beta Chapter. Since then, approximately forty-five states have followed the lead of Indiana and Washington by establishing their own state ESO chapters.    

The first national convention of ESO was held at the 1932 GFWC Convention in Seattle, Washington. In 1940, ESO gave up its incorporation as a national sorority and became a Special Committee of GFWC. This relationship needed clarification. 

In 1945, Mrs. Fred A. Bell, then GFWC ESO chairman, appointed Mrs. W.D Keenan of the Alpha Chapter as a consultant. Mrs. Keenan worked with Mrs. Bell and Mrs. Meyers, organizer and first president of ESO, to present rules and regulations to meet both ESO and GFWC requirements and to clarify the status of the organization. Their work was completed in 1950 when the rules were modified to include ESO as a division of the Education Department of GFWC. 

The establishment of ESO was aided by the Extension Division of the University of Indiana. The Extension Division began creating “reading courses” which gave college credit, applicable to a University degree or membership in ESO. The enrollment fee in 1935 was $1 for one course or $3 for four courses. The original ESO reading courses were compiled by the American Library Association, the United States Office of Education, Purdue University, and Indiana University. Clubwomen could choose from over 100 courses. Reading courses ranged in subject matter from American heroes to interior decoration to U.S foreign relations.   

Today ESO is part of the GFWC Education Community Service Program with clubs across the country continuing to participate in this self-improvement reading program. Since 1928, ESO has evolved into a diverse program with state chapters personalizing their programs based on clubwomen’s needs and communities.  The Alpha Lambda Chapter of GFWC Kentucky was originally chartered in 1967. Its administrative agency was the Kentucky Department of Libraries. The chapter was re-chartered on February 6, 2016.  

ESO Application Form

Club Membership Form

Book Report Form

Magazine Report Form

Genres and Recognition Levels

Suggested Book Lists