In 1884, Virginia Alice Cottey Stockard created her vision of a "girl's school" in Nevada, Missouri, that within two years was named Cottey College. The school grew from 28 students in that first year to 250 by 1910. Over 9,000 women have graduated from Cottey in 130 years of operation.
After being introduced to the P.E.O. Sisterhood late in life, Virginia Alice Cottey found in P.E.O. an organization worthy to be the stewards of her great accomplishment. In 1927, she gifted the school to the P.E.O.s who to this day continue to own and support Cottey.
It wasn't too long ago that there were more than 200 women's colleges around the country. Today there are fewer than 50. Cottey has been a beacon of women's education for nearly 130 years. In order to remain such, Cottey needs to do more than survive; it must become a recognized leader in women's education.
There are key words that are associated with Cottey: Leadership. Tradition. Social Responsibility. Global Awareness. The women who are lucky enough to attend Cottey leverage the advantages of an all-women's education – they are empowered, confident, inspired, and part of a close community. In this favorable environment, the Cottey faculty and staff prepare these young women to be the leaders of tomorrow. Leadership is taught and practiced. Traditions help pass important lessons and values from generations past. Social responsibility is woven into every activity. International exposure and experiences present cultures in a way no classroom can.
WE BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO DELIVER WOMEN OF CHARACTER AND SUBSTANCE TO SOCIETY.
As the list of academic options grows, many students choose to spend all four years at Cottey to complete a baccalaureate degree. For those selecting other degrees, Cottey provides the first two years of their college journey offering coursework that enables them to graduate with an associate degree or to transfer to some of the best higher education institutions in the country. In any case, Cottey College offers an enduring educational experience that shapes and informs the rest of their successful lives.