In 2016, the Democratic Party nominated the first woman for the office of President of the United States. This brought to mind the significant role that the White Plains Club and our colleagues played in the admission of women into Rotary.

In the 1970s and 1980s, two outstanding White Plains Rotarians helped to lay the foundations for admitting women into Rotary. Our very own PP Richard Scanlan wrote the original proposal to R.I. and our very own late PDG Jack Ruger proposed that enactment to several Rotary Councils on Legislation. They were the forerunners who paved the way for the eventual passage - in 1989 - of the enactment to admit women into Rotary.

Our club, however, did not wait for R.I.'s passage of a formal enactment. In June, 1987, PP Andy Morzello invited R.I. President MAT Caparas to induct the first three women into White Plains Rotary: Josephine Falcone, Norma Mack and Merna Popper. This was the very first time a Rotary International President inducted women into Rotary. And it happened in White Plains.

So, my friends, we in White Plains have played a meaningful role along with many others in fully embracing women as contributing members of our society ! Thank God we did !

On May 4, 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Rotary clubs may not exclude women from membership on the basis of gender. R.I. issued a policy statement that any Rotary club in the United States can admit qualified women into membership. Two years later, at the next convening of the Council on Legislation in 1989, the enactment was approved.