When 15 local citizens (including WKU’s alumni director, William J. “Uncle Billy” Craig) organized the Rotary Club of Bowling Green, Kentucky on September 1, 1920, they joined a nationwide network of clubs dedicated to the creed of “service above self.” Since then, Bowling Green Rotarians have played a role in countless projects for the benefit of the community: road, hospital and airport development, children’s camps, school lunch and mentoring programs, and partnership with the Salvation Army, to name a few. In order to carry out more effectively the responsibilities of commercial and civic life, the club deliberately cultivates members from a wide variety of businesses and professions.
WKU’s Special Collections Library now houses a large collection of materials documenting the history and activities of the Bowling Green Rotary Club. Dating from the club’s organization to the present, this collection of more than 7,500 items includes minutes, correspondence, newsletters, programs, membership and project records, clippings and photos. With future additions, the collection will serve as an ongoing record of the Rotary tradition of service and civic involvement in Bowling Green.