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Sertoma Club (Lawrence, Kansas) records

Call Number: RH MS 690


The Sertoma (SERvice TO MAnkind) Club of Lawrence, a local branch of Sertoma International, was chartered in 1929; it was known as the Co-operative Club through the late 1940s. Originally a men's organization, Sertoma began to admit women in the 1980s. This collection includes administrative records and newsletters throughout the Club's history, though the bulk of the material is pertinent to the late 1960s-1990s.


  • Creation: 1930 - 2003


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of Sertoma, Inc.

A group of Kansas City, Missouri business- and professional men met on April 5, 1912 to attend the first organizational meeting of the Stand Together Club. The name quickly changed to the Co-Operative Club when the group met again on April 11 that same year, with a mission to progress the improvement of the community. Founding club members included George W. Smith, M.D.; Charles E. Allen, M.D.; and William R. Rowe.

Other clubs formed in the following years, and the first convention was held in 1921 in Kansas City. Edward G. Freed was elected the first International President. The organization in 1926 decided on "Make Life Worthwhile" as its slogan. The Lawrence, Kansas branch of the Co-Operative Club was chartered in 1929. The women's auxiliary, the Co-Operettes, was begun in 1923 when the wives of the Manhattan, KS club formed their own branch.

The Co-Operative Clubs joined with the National Monarch Clubs in 1943, and the first truly international club was organized in Windsor, Ontario in 1946. In 1949 the club began sponsoring the YES (Youth Employment Service) program, first recommended by the Phoenix, Arizona club.

In 1950 the organization became Sertoma, a contraction of "SERvice TO MAnkind," and the motto became "Make Life Worthwhile through SERvice TO MAnkind." The first Mexican club was chartered in Mexico City in 1956.

Projects taken on by the service clubs in the 1960s included efforts to help those with speech and hearing disorders (a continued national focus) and conquering polio, for which the March of Dimes acknowledged Sertoma's efforts in 1965. The Sertoma Foundation was created in 1960 to strengthen partnerships between local clubs and the international organization. In 2008, the Foundation and Sertoma International's boards of directors merged, creating Sertoma, Inc.

The 1970s saw the first Collegiate Club chartered at the Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia (now Emporia State University). Women began joining the Sertoma organization in 1985.

Sertoma, Inc. celebrated its centennial in 1912 in Kansas City, Missouri. The organization's headquarters continue to be housed in KCMO.

[Information from Sertoma, Inc.'s website,, and the Lawrence branch's records.]


10 Linear Feet (10 boxes)

Language of Materials



The records have physically been left in the order in which they were given to the Spencer Research Library. Processing staff have intellectually organized the records into three series: Administrative records; Financial records; and Bulletins and other publications.

Physical Location

RH MS 690

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Emil Heck, 1983; unknown, 2003.

Related Materials

The records of the Lawrence, Kansas, women's branch of Sertoma, La Sertoma (previously Co-operette Club), may be found at RH MS 597 and RH MS 1067, Kansas Collection, Spencer Research Library.

Guide to the Sertoma Collection
Sertoma Club (Lawrence, Kansas) records
Finding aid prepared by rh, 2006. Finding aid encoded by hr, 2006.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Sertoma Club (Lawrence, Kansas) records, Kansas Collection, RH MS 690, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States