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The History of Circle K

CKI began in 1936 as a Kiwanis club service project to provide an opportunity for capable, ambitious, and worthy young men to acquire a college education by assisting them, where necessary, with their financial problems, by means of a scholarship fund, if available, or securing part-time employment. Soon after the concept of CKI was recognized and accepted, the element of community service was introduced, thus creating an appealing outlet for collegians around the globe.

Today, as the largest collegiate service organization, CKI boasts a membership of more than 12,600 collegians on more than 500 campuses worldwide. CKI is a student-led organization with an International Board of Representatives elected by its membership each year. Embodied by its tenets of leadership, fellowship, and service at the club, district and International levels, CKI continues to grow through service to the world's campuses and communities.

Timeline
1936: Circle K concept presented at the collegiate level at Washington State University.
1947: First CKI club chartered at Carthage College, Illinois.
1949: CKI becomes an international organization with the chartering of a club at the University of Western Ontario.
1953: Kenneth B. Creasy of Ohio Wesleyan University is elected as President of CKI.
1955: CKI Constitution and Bylaws adopted.
1957: Texas-Oklahoma becomes the first district of CKI.
1971: Females welcomed into CKI.
1982: CKI membership surpasses 14,500 members.
1999: CKI leadership dedicates 1999 as the Year of Service.
2000: Members of CKI surpass the US$420,000 mark in the effort to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders.
2005: CKI marks its 50th anniversary.
2007: CKI announces its international fundraiser, Saving Lives: The Six Cents Initiative, which focuses on getting clean water to children who need it most.
For a complete history of Circle K International's first 50 years, check out our History in Brief PDF!