Rotaract History

Rotaract, Rotary International's service club program for young adults ages 18-30, was officially inaugurated during January 1968 under RI President Luther Hodges. On 13 March 1968, the Rotaract Club of the University of North Carolina, sponsored by the Rotary Club of North Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, was the first Rotaract club to receive its official charter. Although this club is recognized as the first Rotaract club, Rotarians have been sponsoring similar organizations for young adults since the early 1920s.

The earliest known predecessors to Rotaract, Twenty-Thirty clubs, were first sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sacramento, California, USA. The clubs were based on the principles and goals of their sponsoring Rotary clubs, and membership was open to young professionals and university students. The first meeting of a Twenty-Thirty club was held on 19 December 1922. At one point, the movement claimed as many as 125 clubs under the sponsorship of California Rotary clubs, and published a monthly magazine.

In 1927, Round Table clubs were founded in Great Britain and Ireland. Membership in Round Table clubs was open to young men ages 18 to 40, and by 1935, there more than 90 Round Table clubs existed. In November 1930, the first Apex club was formed in Geelong, Australia. Apex clubs grew rapidly, expanding to more than 20 clubs in just a few years. These clubs were sponsored by Rotary clubs, and were open to professionals and students between the ages of 18 and 35.

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