TROY - With the ring of an Exchange Club bell, the nation's first Collegiate Exchange Club at a public institution of higher learning came into the being at Troy University today.
The 103-year old National Exchange Club has more than 20,000 members and 700 clubs throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, and stands on four pillars: Americanism, Youth Programs, Community Service and the Prevention of Child Abuse. In the Alabama District, there are about 750 Exchange Club members.
"We are honored to be a part of the group of people," said Troy University Exchange Club President Ronald Dowdell, a junior psychology major from Duncanville. "We not only want to be a part of the community but want to work to change our community for the better."
National Exchange Club President Don Wright, of Mobile, challenged the new members to service on campus and in their communities.
"We are put on earth to serve others," he said. "It's what pays our rent while we are here. Find things to do on your campus and in your community to make a difference. Success comes before work only in the dictionary – let people see you in action."
Some 35 charter members were installed, making the TROY chapter the largest chartering class for a collegiate club in America. Other nearby Collegiate Exchange Clubs are Berry College in Georgia and Huntingdon College in Montgomery, which presented a gift to the newly formed TROY club.
In addition to Dowdell, charter officers are: Madison McPhillips, president-elect, a freshman nursing major from Florence; Whitley Turner, secretary, a junior accounting major from Tallasee; Kelsei Chambers, treasurer, a senior psychology major from Clayton; Katherine Clohan, parliamentary authority, a junior biology major from Cottonwood; and Jacquelyn Holcomb, chaplain, a freshman social work major from Jemison.
Charter members are: Katricia Armstrong, Meagon Bean, Logan Blake, Mary Bovington, Randi Choice, Chris Felton, Jason Fowler, Robert Furlong, Katelyn Gee, Quinta Goines, Melissa Hendley, Andrea Herrington, Lindsay Holloway, Aleeza Kempton, Xavier Kennedy, Cameron Lord, Alandra Love, Josh Odom, Dakota Purzel, Ashley Richardson, Adina Ross, Stephanie Sconiers, Hunter Stewart, Caitlyn Taylor, Brittany Wright and Erin White.
Conducting the installation ceremony was Dr. William Bailey, a former Auburn University professor who serves as a national field representative for Exchange Club. Also presiding and serving as mistress of ceremonies was Troy Exchange Club President Donna McLaney. District 10 Representative Dennis Griffith helped organize the new club and its faculty advisor is Dr. K.T. Valkyrie.