I pledge to uphold the objects of Circle K International, To foster compassion and goodwill Toward others through service And leadership, to develop my abilities And the abilities of all people, and To dedicate myself to the realization of Mankind’s potential.
Circle K International is the world’s largest collegiate organization dedicated to service and leadership development with more than 500 clubs worldwide in nine countries. It is not the size of the organization, however, which gives it its identity or provides it with its primary source of pride and satisfaction. Rather, it’s the mission and the objects of the organization that set CKI apart from other student organizations.
CKI is a service organization through which college students can find a means of responsible student action in their communities and a more active involvement in the life of their campus. As clubs learn about the needs of their campuses and communities, they develop hands-on activities to address these problems.
College is more than a pursuit for a scholastic degree — it offers good times, getting to know others, personal development, and meaningful contributions to the world. CKI provides a unique opportunity to make a difference now — CKI is the total college experience.
Circle K International began as a Kiwanis club service project to provide opportunities 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. Additionally, affording its members a useful training in the social graces and the development of a well-rounded personality were focus areas for CKI. Soon after the concept of Circle K was recognized and accepted, the element of community service was introduced, thus creating and appealing outlet for collegians around the globe. Today, as the largest collegiate service organization, CKI boasts a membership of more than 12,000 collegians on nearly 550 campuses worldwide. CKI is a student-led organization with and International Board of Trustees elected by the 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.
In 1936, CKI was instituted as a fraternity at Washington State University by the Kiwanis Club of Pullman, Washington. The idea started with Jay N. Emerson, who was later elected Kiwanis International President. His interest led to the building of the first CKI club in 1947 at Carthage College, Illinois.
Other Kiwanians became interested, and during the next eight years 168 CKI clubs were started in the United States and Canada. In October 1955 representatives from these clubs met in Philadelphia and voted to form an international organization under the sponsorship of Kiwanis. In 1956, a special department was created in the Kiwanis International Office to serve as the International Headquarters for CKI.
Mission and Vision
Circle K is the organization that holds the promise of college student becoming tomorrow’s leader. It exists to meet the personal needs of the individual collegian through the qualities of leadership, the rewards of service, and the unique spirit of friendship. Circle K’s potential lies in its ability to positively influence those in society who are facing ultimate personal decisions, and those who will one day create the vision of mankind for generations to come. Circle K is the embodiment of those qualities necessary to shape the future, realized in the colleges and universities. Circle K International is dedicated to the realization of mankind’s potential.
The Mission of Circle K International shall be: Circle K International develops college and university students into a global network of responsible citizens and leaders with a lifelong commitment to service.
The Vision of Circle K International shall be: to be the leading global community-service organization on college and university campuses that enriches the world one member, one child and one community at a time.
Objects of CKI
- To emphasize the advantages of the democratic way of life; To provide the opportunity for leadership training in service; To serve on the campus and in the community;
- To cooperate with the administrative officers of the educational institutions of which the clubs are a part; To encourage participation in group activities;
- To promote good fellowship and high scholarship;
- To develop aggressive citizenship and the spirit of service for improvement of all human relationships; To afford useful training in the social graces and personality development; and
- To encourage and promote the following ideals:
- To give primacy to the human and spiritual rather than to the material values of life; To encourage the daily living of the Golden Rule in all human relationships;
- To promote the adoption and the application of high social, business and professional standards;
- To develop, by precept and example, a more intelligent, aggressive, and serviceable citizenship;
- To provide through Circle K clubs a practical means to form enduring friendships, to render altruistic service, and to build better communities; and
- To cooperate in creating and maintaining that sound public opinion and high idealism, which make possible the increase of righteousness, justice, patriotism and goodwill.
Tenets of CKI
As one of the three tenets, service is a fundamental element of CKI. Collectively, CKI members perform hundreds of thousands of hours of service on their campuses and in their communities annually. Without service, CKI would be just another campus activity. Through service, college students are making the world a better place.
CKI is not bound to any one particular service activity. Each club is encouraged to analyze its local situation and determine how its environment can be served most effectively. Every two years a new Service Initiative is designed by the Circle K International Board. Members and clubs are encouraged to perform service activities that fall within the parameters of this program.
Service Initiative: The Service Initiative is designed to unify the service efforts of CKI members around the world. This Service Initiative, Focusing on the Future: Children, was designed to educate all CKI members about the problems and issues that face children ages 6-13 worldwide. Through personal interaction and public awareness, CKI members will enable children to develop the skills and ideals that are necessary to be successful. this year’s initiative is Open a Book: Show them the World, which focuses on literacy.
If there is one thing that CKI members know best, it is fellowship. Whether they are planning a carwash, visiting shut-ins, reading to three-year-olds or conducting business, CKI members across the globe take time to meet and welcome new people. With each element and aspect of CKI, members experience fellowship and develop lifelong relationships with fellow collegians, advisors, Kiwanians and citizens in their communities. Whether a CKI member is mentoring a child, networking with a businessman, or bowling with members, that member is developing social skills, meeting new people and strengthening relationships.
Through the mission and vision of the organization, CKI is dedicated to the realization of mankind’s potential. CKI offers its members the potential to develop themselves through the many leadership opportunities available. These opportunities provide CKI members with the tools needed to become active and successful citizens. Members can assume leadership responsibilities at all levels of the organization and through various experiential training conferences.