HISTORY OF CIRCLE K INTERNATIONAL
Jay N. Emerson, a member of the
Pullman, Washington Kiwanis Club, presented a plan to his club in 1936. Emerson
proposed that the Pullman Kiwanis Club purchase a house which would be rented to
young men in need of assistance to attend the local college. The plan became a
reality as the Kiwanians established the "Circle K House" at
Washington State College. The "Circle K House" operated as a
fraternity and eventually became a Greek letter organization sponsored by the
Kiwanis Club of Pullman.
It was not until 1947 when Donald T. Forsythe, President of Kiwanis International aided in the transition of Circle K from a fraternity to a service-oriented organization. That year, during September, the first Circle K club similar to our present day organization was chartered at Carthage College in Carthage, Illinois.
The next step was to make Circle K an International organization. Twenty-five Circle K Members representing fifteen clubs, along with several International Board Members from Kiwanis, met June 22-24, 1953. At the end of the meeting, Kenneth B. Creasy of Ohio Wesleyan University emerged as President of Circle K International.
Soon after the second Circle K convention held in Des Moines, Iowa, ballots were sent to the 140 Circle K Clubs in the United States and Canada. The ballots were used by the organization to make the decision of whether to accept or reject the proposed Constitution, Bylaws, and membership dues to be paid to the International organization. After the ballots were tallied, the Board of Trustees of Kiwanis International voted to grant offical recognition to Circle K International on October 23, 1955. The dream was finally a reality.
On February 22, 1957, the Kiwanis International Board of Trustees accepted a proposal to allow the establishment of Circle K districts and the very first district established was the Texas-Oklahoma District.
Circle K began to build clubs outside of North America. Along with these expansion efforts, Circle K International began looking toward enhancing its membership by admitting female members. It was the 1971 International Convention that the Circle K House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to allow women into Circle K. With the acceptance of women into Circle K, several new doors were opened. In 1973 the Pennsylvania district elected the first female governor. Also during 1973-74 Judith A. O'Mary from Samford University in Alabama became the first female International vice-president. In 1984, Susan E. McClernon of the College of St. Scholastica in Minnesota was elected the first female president of Circle K International.
In 1989-90, Circle K International developed procedures to recognize Circle K District Alumni Associations. The first two Alumni Associations recognized by Circle K International were the Ohio and Louisana-Mississippi- West Tennessee districts. They were established to foster the development of Circle K in the districts.
International expansion outside of the original thirty districts became a growing area of interest in 1989-90. Affiliate Status Club procedures were developed which now allow Circle K clubs to be formed in additional countries. The clubs are bound by the Circle K International Consitution and Bylaws, but rather than paying individual dues, a flat fee is paid; and they may not form districts. The first country to have affiliate clubs was Columbia.
Circle K International has progressed over the years. What lies ahead is unknown, but the dedication of Circle K'ers and Kiwanians who believe in Circle K International will facilitate the growth of the organization in years to come. Circle K's motto is that of Kiwanis International, "WE BUILD." Circle K International will continue to build, grow, and prosper in the hands of commited members.
The future of Circle K International depends on you. So, take a lead in making the history of Circle K International.
* Circle K International was officially established on October 23, 1955. * It began accepting females in 1971. * Circle K clubs can be currently found in 11 countries: the USA, Canada, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, the Philippines, Barbados, Malaysia, Colombia, and St. Lucia. * The International Board is composed of 1 International President, 1 International Vice President, and 9 International Trustees. * There are 30 districts and approximately 11,000 members of Circle K International.
Alabama District Circle K Facts
* The Alabama District was the 7th district formed in CKI. * It was established on June 30, 1958. * The University of Alabama was the first club built in the Alabama District in 1954. * Auburn University was the first club chartered in 1957. * The original five clubs of the Alabama District were: Auburn University, Southern Union State Junior College, the University of Alabama, the University of North Alabama, and Walker College. * The first governor of the Alabama District was Paul Osborne, Jr. from Walker College. * There have been two International Presidents from Alabama: John Hoyt Blaylock (1960-61) from University of Alabama and Randall Williams (1985-86) from Auburn University in Montgomery. * There are five divisions in the Alabama District: Vulcan (Birmingham Area), Valley (North Alabama), Capital (Southeast Alabama), Warrior (Central Alabama), and Gulf (Southeast Alabama). * The Alabama District board is made up of 1 governor, 1 secretary, 1 treasurer, 1 editor, and 5 lieutenant governors.
Circle K Terms
CKI - Circle K International - the name of our organization International - the entire organization, consisting of all 30 districts, approximately 550 clubs and 11,000 members ADCKI - Alabama District Circle K District - International is divided into "districts" similar to how the US is broken into states. The districts, however, are not always divided along state borders. A district board, with a governor at the helm, governs each district. Brother District - 3 districts that are counseled by the same International Trustee. They change every year. Sister District - 3 or 4 districts that are geographically close to one another. Our sister districts are Georgia, Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee, and Kentucky-Tennessee. Divisions - each district is broken down into divisions, equivalent to counties of a state. Each division has a lieutenant governor. ICON - International Convention - a convention held in August every year allowing members of Circle K from all over the world to gather and celebrate their year of service. The International President, International Vice President and the International Trustees are elected at this convention. MER - Membership Education Rally - Alabama District convention held in the fall of every year. This conference is meant to educate new members on the purpose of Circle K and allow them to meet other CKI members throughout the district. District Convention - a convention held in late winter / early spring to elect new District officers and to celebrate the accomplishments of the different clubs throughout the district. LDC - Leadership Development Conference - a conference held in late spring every year to train new club officers. SI - Service Initiative - the area in which Circle K focuses when doing service - this area is "Focusing on the Future of Children Ages 6 - 13." MR - monthly report - report filled out by the club secretary every month to update the district on the activities his/her club has participated in during that month. K-Family - the members of the Kiwanis organization: Kiwanis, Key Club, Circle K, Builder's Club, K-Kids, and Aktion club. Interclub - when 4 members of a K-family club attend an event with 4 other members of a different K-family club. For example, 4 members of UA's club do Salvation Army with 4 members of Shelton's club.
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