The Chapel Hill Rotary was established in 1928 as a dinner club. It is the oldest club in the Chapel Hill area and the “parent” of the East Chapel Hill and Chapel Hill-Carrboro Sunrise clubs as well as the Hillsborough Rotary Club. The Chapel Hill Rotary has always been a mix of business, professional and university leaders from the local communities with a strong history of service to the community.
The Club has a tradition of producing leaders. Eminent past members include Luther Hodges, who was the Governor of North Carolina from 1954-1960. Hodges served as president of Rotary International in 1967, the only North Carolinian ever to hold the title. Club member James Peacock, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at UNC, was the founder of the Rotary Peace Scholars Program at Carolina and Duke University. Ken Morgan is a past district governor and member of the Board of Directors of Rotary International. And the list goes on….
The Chapel Hill Rotary Club was one of the first clubs in the country to admit women, and one of our club members was a strong advocate to Rotary International for admitting women to clubs worldwide. Sharon Finch was the Chapel Hill Rotary’s first female member. Legend has it that, at her first meeting in 1987, she and fellow club members were treated to an illustrated talk on diseases of the prostate! Things settled down after that, however, and the club has since had several female presidents and boasts a healthy (and growing) percentage of female members.