Chellie Stevens (Wright) was born in Morgantown, West Virginia, but her family moved to Trinidad, Colorado, where she spent her youth. At the University of Denver, she became a member of Gamma Phi Beta. Although she was not a member of the Theta chapter charter class which was installed on December 27, 1897, she joined shortly thereafter. She attended the convention in Evanston as a collegiate delegate.
An article about the history of Theta chapter in a 1911 Crescent states she pledged in September 1898. However her fiftieth honors did not come until 1952 when she was identified as a 1902 initiate. She and Lindsay Barbee, a very important Gamma Phi, were members of the same chapter at about the same time and members of the Denver Alumnae chapter.
She married Frederick Richter Bright on October 19, 1904 in Trinidad, Colorado. A daughter, Chellie Stevens Wright, Jr., was born on August 7, 1905.
Chellie Stevens Wright was a charter member of P.E.O. Chapter J, Trinidad, Colorado, and the chapter’s first recording secretary. After her marriage, the Wrights moved to Denver and she was again a charter member of a P.E.O. chapter. This time it was Chapter AS, Denver, Colorado, and she served as its first president.
Wright made time for both P.E.O. and Gamma Phi. She served as president of Gamma Phi’s Denver Alumnae Chapter and she was president of the Board of Directors of the Gamma Phi Beta lodge. Her daughter was a 1926 initiate of the Theta chapter of Gamma Phi Beta. The chapter members affectionally called her, “Chellie Junior.” Fred Wright, a lawyer by day, was a musician who played the organ at church. It was said that his daughter inherited his musical abilities. Chellie Junior died suddenly in 1928.
Wright was president of Colorado State Chapter of P.E.O. She then served on the Board of Directors of The P.E.O. Record. She joined the executive board of the Supreme Chapter, as International Chapter was then known, and served as President of Supreme Chapter from 1937-1939.
It was during her tenure as International President that her husband died in 1937. She was on P.E.O. business in Houston when he passed away quite suddenly.
A Gamma Phi sister described her thusly, “Sparkle, quickness and adaptability that have so characterized her in the various activities in which she has engaged since her graduation.”
Wright died in 1964. Cottey College, the institution of higher education owned by P.E.O., is located in Nevada, Missouri. Chellie Stevens Wright is honored with the name of the snack bar being the Chellie Club. It is located in the Center for Campus Life.
The Cottey College website had this quote from Wright. “There will always be two days in my P.E.O. life that will stand out as extremely happy ones….They are October 19, 1938, when the cornerstone was laid for P.E.O. Hall, and March 25, 1939, when the building was dedicated.”