Brookings Rotary Club Records

Identity elements

Reference code

MA 031

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Brookings Rotary Club Records


  • 1920-1999 (Accumulation)


2.54 linear feet (5 boxes)

Name of creator

Biographical history

Rotary International is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide, who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build good will and peace in the world.

In 1905, four Chicago businessmen began to meet as a club to "kindle fellowship among members of the business community." As they continued to meet, adding others to the groups, they rotated their meetings among the members' places of business, hence the name. Soon after, other cities began organizing clubs. In 1910, Rotary became international when a club was formed in Canada. By 1921, the organization was represented on every continent and the name Rotary International was adopted in 1922.

The Brookings Rotary club was formed in 1919 when Ivan Cobel and Clyde Hinkley, Brookings, SD businessmen, thought that a Rotary Club would help bring businessmen of the community closer together. Other local businessmen were consulted and all supported it. Negotiations for a Brookings Rotary Club were conducted through the Watertown sponsoring club. A charter was granted and affiliation completed on February 1, 1920. Arthur Stoll was elected the first president. There were 21 charter members.

Over the years, the Brookings Rotary Club has been involved in many community projects. These have included providing instruments and uniforms for the Brookings High School band and sponsoring a Boy Scout troop, little league baseball teams, and hockey teams. The club was instrumental in initiating the idea for the Brookings United Retirement Center. They also began and ran the United Fund, supplied equipment for the Brookings Hospital and developed Rotary Park. The local club has also given financial support to various local community and youth activities.

Brookings Rotary Club members have been active in Rotary International with six members serving as District governors. They have also been involved in international projects. Local Rotarians collected books and shipped them to needy schools in South Africa and the Philippines. They have also contributed funds to the Rotary International Polio Plus program and to the Rotary International Foundation.

Brookings Rotary has sponsored young business and professional people from the Brookings area to serve on group study exchange teams. The teams visit other countries to study culture and businesses. The club also sponsors a four-year scholarship each year for Brookings students to attend South Dakota State University and give educational awards to students who spend one academic year abroad.

Brookings Rotary club continues to support local youth and civic projects in the Brookings area. Members from the business, industrial and educational communities continue to serve the community. Weekly meetings are held to promote fellowship and understanding in the local community, and listen to programs of interest.

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Scope and content

The Brookings Rotary Club Records consist of newsletters, reports to the district governor, photographs, clippings, minutes, and several other miscellaneous items.

The newsletters span the years 1920 to 1998 but some years from 1963 to 1981 are missing. These are very informative and include information on meetings, club officers, attendance, meeting guests, and other miscellaneous items.

The reports to the district governor span the years 1977 to 1999 but are missing years from 1985 to 1993. There are some items that appeared to have been part of these reports but were not bound together as a report. These include committee reports, president's plans and comments, and summary of club plans and objectives.

Also included are minutes, but these only cover the years 1980 to 1984. Some of the general items include attendance reports, certificates and awards, by-laws, constitution, some correspondence, directories, a history of Brookings Rotary, information on the book project, and district conference planning and programs.

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Conditions governing access

Open. Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only. Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

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Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Languages of the material

  • English

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MA 31

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