Altrusa Club (Johnson City, Tenn.)
The Altrusa Club concept was first organized by Dr. Alfred Duke Durham and Mamie L. Bass in Nashville, Tenn., on April 11, 1917. Durham, a young Kiwanian, envisioned establishing a national chain of such clubs that as a business venture would provide him with a per-capita share of dues. The club’s initial purpose was to provide an outlet and support group for business women at a time when few women were involved in business. It evolved into a service club as well. The name “Altrusa” was coined from a combination of the words altruism (Altr) and the United States (usa). Bass saw the club becoming for women what the Rotary Club was for men. Originally called the Altrusa Institute, the organization was chartered in August 1917 in Indiana with Bass as the first national president. The mission today of Altrusa International, Inc., is to promote community service by a network of executives and professionals in diversified careers.