Club History

The Kiwanis Club of Indianapolis is a club of major milestones. 
Any history, however extensive, would have to be woven around the following major events that have marked our long and colorful life:

  • 1916 - On August 17th our club becomes the first Kiwanis Club in Indiana and 18th in the nation, with a charter membership of 54. The charter is officially presented on October 16, 1916 by the first President of Kiwanis, George F. Hixson.
  • 1937 - Indianapolis hosts the 22nd annual convention of Kiwanis International, June 20-24, 1937.
  • 1955 - Club member, Jackson A. Raney, one of our Past Club Presidents, is elected as President of Kiwanis International at the International Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, June 26-30, 1955.
  • 1974 - The club surpasses the 400-member plateau in August 1974 to become the"World's Largest Kiwanis Club."
  • 1981 - With funding support from our club and Lilly Endowment, Indianapolis is selected as the site for the new Kiwanis International headquarters on February 2, 1981.
  • 1987 - Kiwanis International drops gender as a requirement of membership and we welcome our first female member in 1987.
  • 1988 - On January 15th our club becomes the first club in the world to reach 500 members.
  • 1992 - Indianapolis is selected to be the site of the 1992 Kiwanis International Convention.
  • 1993 - Club member, Robert G. Moorhead serves as the 1993-94 president of the Kiwanis International Foundation.
  • 2000 - Club member, Thomas H. Dunham serves as the 2000-01 president of the Kiwanis International Foundation.
  • 2002 - With leading support from our club, Kiwanis International's first-ever Worldwide Service Project is completed - raising $75 million to eliminate Iodine Deficiency Disorders in the world.
  • 2003 - For the third time Indianapolis serves as host for the Kiwanis International Convention.  
  • The day in each of our lives when a Kiwanis pin was affixed to our lapel and we became a member of what we believe is “the world's greatest Kiwanis Club."​​​
  • 2011 - Celebrated our 95th Anniversary with our Gala and Bids for Kids Auction to raise Foundation funds.

  • 2016 - Celebrates our 100th Anniversary at our Centennial Gala.