Historic International Events

Racine Rotary World Affairs Seminar

The Racine Founder's Rotary Club’s largest ongoing fundraising efforts include Vegas Night, traditionally in February, and the Dennis Barry Strive Scholarship Golf Outing in September. Weekly, Rotarians make individual donations during the Rotary meeting to support the foundation.

The local club’s commitment to fostering international understanding began early and has continued through the years:

  • In the 1920s the young club organized International Night, when one of the group’s “foreign-born” members would offer his experiences about his homeland and compare and contrast that to his new life in Racine.

  • The club organized an International Service Committee in the early 1930s, which gathered to discuss international questions and problems with interracial relations in Racine and the nation. Their slogan: “The only people you don’t like are those you do not know.”

  • The Rotary Club organized an “International Student Weekend” in 1961. The club provided lunch at the YMCA, invited the mayor to greet the students, hosted a bus tour of the city and finished the weekend with a dinner at Wingspread.

  • In the mid-1960s, the club sponsored a year of study for a foreign student at Carthage College or the Racine Technical Institute (now Gateway Technical College).

  • Racine Rotarian William Gitting and other Rotarians from the Southeastern Wisconsin region created the World Affairs Seminar in 1972, a weeklong event that brings high school students from around the world to Carroll University in Waukesha to study a global topic of importance which continues to this day. For more information about the World Affairs Seminar go to: worldaffairsseminar.org