The first Week in October, 2022 is Rotary Alumni Reconnect Week.  So . . . who are Rotary Alumni?  How many are there?  Where are they?  How can we engage them to enhance Rotary, and Rotary Clubs?


PRESIDING TODAY IS:  Richard Phalunas, MSRE Member


Ding! We’re now in session.

Welcome, all – visitors, fellow Rotarians, and guests alike to this E-Club program!

Remember the Four-Way Test!

At the beginning of each meeting, we remind ourselves of The Four-Way Test.  Therefore, please remember to ask yourself always ...

Of the things we think, say, or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Reflective Moment

When an organization like Rotary dreams about big things like ending polio and creating peace, it becomes our responsibility to make them happen. “You don’t imagine yesterday,” Jones said, “you imagine tomorrow.”  Source:  Speeches & resources, 2022-23 theme: RI President Jennifer Jones
Let’s talk about Rotary Alumni – who are they; what are the benefits of engaging Alumni; and, how might we do just that – engage them?
Are you considered to be a Rotary Alumnus/a?  Do you know those who are Rotary Alumni, but who are not Rotarians - yet?
Are you familiar with all these Rotary Programs?  Have you participated in one of these programs?  Do you know anyone else who has participated in one of these programs? 
Were you a host of a Youth Exchange student?  Were you a host of a GSE team member?  
We are looking to update our records of Alumni hosted or sponsored by our Rotary Clubs in D7545!  If so, please contact Rick Phalunas, District Alumni Chair:
Each Rotary Year there is a Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award Winner. 
The past winners of the Global Alumni Service to Humanity award represent distinguished alumni in the Rotary community.  This past year the Winner was Antoni Slodkowski.
Antoni Slodkowski is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. The 2003-04 exchange year in Takatsuki changed Antoni’s life. Inspired by the Rotary message of “lending a hand” and the activities of the Takatsuki West Rotary club, Antoni decided to take on the life of public service. After working for five years for Reuters news agency in Tokyo, Antoni became one of the youngest bureau chiefs at the agency at age 29 in Yangon, Myanmar. Over the next three years he built and led a team of reporters who wrote about the military crackdown on Rohingya Muslims and uncovered a massacre of ten Rohingya men in western Myanmar. Antoni had been passionate about Japan and Myanmar well before that time: In 2012, he wrote a Special Report on Japan’s concerted push into the rapidly opening Southeast Asian nation, for which he became part of the Reuters Reporting Team of the Year 2012.
Inspired by his Rotary experience, as a university student he interned at an organization supporting former Myanmar political prisoners on the Thai/Myanmar border in 2009 and wrote about Burmese migrants working in sweatshops in Thailand. These experiences shaped his values as a journalist serving the public. After moving to Japan in 2010, he uncovered how firms in the clean-up of the Fukushima nuclear power destroyed by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, skim workers’ pay. The Fukushima story pushed the operator of the plant to double the laborers’ wages. The story on the execution of the ten Rohingya men in Myanmar forced the Myanmar military for the first time to admit wrongdoing and to sentence the guilty soldiers to ten years in prison.
The RI Rotaract Task Force asserted that Rotaractors should not lose any benefits as a result of Rotaract being elevated to member club status.  One of these benefits was that former Rotaractors would be considered alumni.  So per the RI Board, former Rotaractors are now and will continue to be considered alumni. This will be true both looking backward and looking forward to future Rotaractors.
How many Rotary Alumni are there?
RI statistics suggest that there are over 700,000 former program participants. However, there are currently only approximately 689,000 alumni records in the RI database. There are ways to update Rotary’s records. We will get to this later in presentation.  And, here are some other interesting facts about Rotary Alumni.
As Alumni Association Members
Alumni are interested in acquiring and expanding leadership and professional skills. Many alumni fall within a prime age range for joining Rotary and show a strong interest in membership of an association, Interact, Rotaract, or Rotary. 
As Volunteers
Alumni are volunteers and show a strong interest in community and international service.  Invite them to upcoming service projects sponsored by your club! They may have skills you need.
As Speakers and Mentors
Alumni are interested in connecting with a diverse group of professionals and sharing their Rotary experience.  Ask alumni to speak at your club.
Alumni sometimes report that they wanted to stay in touch when they finished their program, but they didn’t know how or tried to reach out to their local club and did not feel welcome or never heard back.
By not engaging alumni, you miss opportunities to gain members, volunteers for projects, and mentors for future program participants. An alumnus/a might not be ready to join Rotary when he/she completes their program, but by keeping in touch with them, you increase the chances of them staying connected to district activities.
ALSO – be sure to invite Alumni to create a MyRotary account at (and note their Alumni-qualifying program participation!
AND – invite Alumni to become a member of the Mountain State Rotary Alumni Association!
An alumni association is an active organization of former Rotary program participants. Associations are a great way to stay connected to Rotary on a local and international level. They provide opportunities for leadership, service projects and networking. Associations are ideal for young professionals. They have low dues or no dues – ours has no dues, they meet a couple of times a year, they offer leadership opportunities, and most are based on geographical location so it’s easy to attend events.  Some of our members are Rotarians – like Dan Miller (Cheat Lake), David Cavender (Morgantown), Becky Hunn (Morgantown North) and Rick Phalunas (D7545 E-Club); and some are not yet Rotarians . . . like Gloria Bravo, and Engineer in Toronto, Canada (who was a youth exchange student from Chile to Morgantown), and Caitlin Phalunas, a Clinical Trials Coordinator in Pittsburgh, PA (who was a Rotaractor at Duquesne University), and Fiona Smith, a student at WVU who was a RYLA graduate, and a couple dozen others from around WV.
On June 15, 2020, The Mountain State Rotary Alumni Association was created in District 7545!  At present, there are 33 Members of the Association, and growing.  The membership goals for this Charter Year is 60! 
Are you an Alumnus/a who wants to join?  Do you know someone to nominate for membership?
To strengthen the association in our area, what could we do?
  • Inform (Rotarians in D7545 about Rotary Alumni & the District Alumni Assoc.)
  • Identify (individuals who qualify as Alumni)
  • Invite/Integrate Rotary Alumni to Rotary Club meetings, in Rotary Club Activities – in all Rotary Club & District activities
  • Imagine Rotary  (the Rotary International Theme of RI President Jennifer Jones)
Some Rotarians have mentioned that it is difficult to keep track of alumni because they move so much. There are new features on Here are some way to find Rotary.
But, first, contact the District Alumni Chair – Rick Phalunas.  He has and is sharing information about all those who RI has recorded as being hosted or sponsored by District7545 Rotary clubs!  He can also help you with access to the resources listed here.
The access on My Rotary is differentiated by age and security level. Alumni under age 16 cannot access My Rotary, and only few are included.
  • Alumni ages 16+ can update their own contact information by updating their My Rotary Profile, automatically updating Rotary’s database.  But, but if under 18, their information is not shared with the Rotary community and they cannot be in discussion boards.
  • Alumni 18+ will have access to discussion boards and can connect with Rotarians and other alumni.
Asking alumni to maintain their My Rotary profile is one way that we can all have the most up-to-date information on Rotary alumni.  Go to the MY Rotary link and be sure your Rotary Program information is included.
So . . . Take away from this discussion suggests what for our Club?
1.  Find out who are the Alumni that your Rotary club sponsored or hosted!
2.  Identify other Rotary Alumni in our area!
3.  Invite Rotary Alumni to . . . 
*Come to Rotary and District meetings;
*Speak at Rotary meetings;
*Enjoy Rotary social events;
*Participate in Rotary service projects;
*Be a member of a Rotary Club, and/or Club committees;
*Identify and mentor future Rotary & Foundation program participants;
*Join our District Rotary Alumni Association . . . and,
*Consider joining Rotary!
Questions/Follow-up:  Rick Phalunas, | (304) 685-6039
P.S.  The above information is already formatted in a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation for your use!  Just call for this ready-made Rotary Program.  And perhaps, it can be arranged for a Rotary Alumnus/Alumna to make this presentation while talking about his/her experiences!