Founded in 1923, the Rotary Club of Corvallis is the oldest club in Benton County. The Club’s initial membership of twenty-five now exceeds one hundred and fifty.
Over the years, the Corvallis club has provided six District 5110 governors. W.M ‘Billy’ Ball served as district governor in 1955 and 1956. E.B. Lemon, known as “Mr. Rotary” by his fellow Rotarians, held the position from 1959 to 1960. Jean Scheel served in 1974 and 1975. J. Frank Ligon served in 1982 and 1983, and Robert H. Holcomb held the position in 1986 and 1987. Hans Neukomm was the most recent district governor from the Corvallis Rotary Club, holding the position in 2003-2004.
On February 21, 1953, forty years after receiving their Club Charter, the Corvallis Rotary founded the Benton Community Foundation (then known as The Benton County Foundation). The formation of a community foundation for Benton County was the inspiration of Percy P. Locey. Three club members were appointed by Corvallis Rotary President Dick Hanson to execute the Articles of Incorporation: E.B. Lemon; Elmo Johnson; and, R.M. Peffer. The newly formed community foundation began operations with $1,500 contributed by the Club and a $1,000 bequest from Robert Johnson, early owner and publisher of the Corvallis Times and president of the Benton County State Bank.
The Club established its first fund at BCF in 1967 and a second fund—the Rotary Club of Corvallis Donor Advised Fund—in 1999. In 2009, the Club established a scholarship fund in cooperation with the other Benton County Rotary clubs.
?Corvallis Rotary meets every week on Thursdays at 11:45 am at the Corvallis Country Club. The Club is especially committed to student and youth development, eradicating polio, and performing social service world-wide, as well as in the local community.