Chartered in 1914
The Oldest Rotary Club in North Carolina

The Rotary Club of Raleigh's founders were among Raleigh's leading citizens of the day. Likewise throughout its history, the club's roles have been graced by members of influence and accomplishment who served the City and State with distinction.
Membership has included a State Treasurer, a Secretary of Administration, Chancellors of NC State University, Presidents of Shaw University and Peace College, and Saint Augustine's University, judges, city and state government leaders, and countless giants of industry and leaders of nonprofit organizations. 
Explore the links to the below to see videos, news coverage, and a full history (in PDF form) of the Raleigh Rotary.
Centennial Booklet
Download our Centennial Booklet.
This detailed history of the Raleigh Rotary was prepared for our Centennial celebration in August 2014.
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Raleigh Rotary at Raleigh Art MuseumClub Lineage and Sponsorships

Rotary began as a local business and civic club in Chicago in 1905, inspired by Paul Harris. As word spread, the novelty and strength of the concept excited business leaders across the country. Rotary spread through a sponsorship process – an established club sponsored one, then one more, and many more in succession. The sponsorship linkages that trace the Rotary Club of Raleigh back to Chicago are as follows in chronological order:


  • Chicago, Illinois 2-23-1905
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota 2-18-1910
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 4-30-1911
  • Washington, D.C. 7-1-1912
  • Raleigh, North Carolina 8-1-1914

In turn, the Rotary Club of Raleigh on its own sponsored seven new clubs nearby and regionally –

West Raleigh
Wake Forest

Going further in time and geography, the Rotary Club of Raleigh has shared in the sponsorship directly of another six clubs in Clinton, Wilmington, Maysville, Red Springs, Cary, and North Raleigh. More than 50 clubs are offsprings of the seven clubs nominated for Rotary charters and mentored through the process by the Rotary Club of Raleigh. This wheel illustrates the networks established by most of these clubs.