“Progressivism” is the term most often used to describe the immense outpouring of reformist sentiment that gripped the United States between 1890 and 1918. Unlike other famous political/economic “isms,” Progressivism lacked a clearly definable set of values and goals. It was, rather, a hodge-podge of reform efforts, most of which centered on (but were not exclusively limited to) ensuring social justice for the downtrodden, curbing government corruption, and taming what were perceived as the overly-democratic passions of the common voter. In the essays that follow, we will explore the origins of Progressivism, as well as its various manifestations. We will also examine the unique role played by American women during the “Progressive Era,” for it was their efforts that led to the founding of the Pi Beta Phi Settlement School in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.