Sewanee begins first Rotaract chapter for local and international service


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By Will Murphy

Staff Writer


Sewanee’s first Rotaract Club received its official charter on November 1 and has already started bringing service opportunities to the Domain. Rotaract, a Rotary sponsored organization, strives to build young adults from the ages of 18 to 30 to become more service oriented and to put “service above self.”

The Sewanee chapter was founded by Sam Kern (C’19), the current president of the club, with the help of Dean Gentry and Bill Davis, the membership chair of Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Club. The club has already had three fundraisers over the course of three weeks, two of which sold Chick-fil-A Sandwiches and baked goods for Global Health Charities to supply clean birthing kits for mothers in developing countries.

Earlier this year the Monteagle-Sewanee Rotary Club opened up conversations about the benefits of bringing a Rotaract club to the University. Davis helped establish and now develop the club, stating that it is “something [the Rotary club] has wanted to make happen, and I said ‘let’s make it happen!’”

Through Davis’s insight and Kern’s leadership, the club has flourished to almost 40 members in its first semester, and has plans for future projects to involve the greater Sewanee area as well as the international community.

The club is broken down into five committees: Club Service, Community Service, International Service, Professional Development, and Finance. Rotaract holds bi-monthly meetings to constantly create service projects and support other service groups at the University in their endeavours.

The club has helped construct a medical clinic in Beersheba Springs and played with the students at Pelham Elementary School. When asked about the importance of having a Rotaract club, Kern commented, “Rotaract provides our members with an opportunity to connect with an organization that extends way beyond this community. It provides for so many different opportunities and connections.”

The Rotary network of well over 1 million members has helped almost eradicate Polio and has supported growth and peace throughout the world.

“It’s an ability to do community service in a much broader spectrum, it’s an opportunity to give back,” commented Davis. Through the hard work of the founding members, the Sewanee Rotaract Club is developing community service as a major part of the lives of students at the University.