SOROPTIMIST SEPARATES FROM STUART MORROW: At the first world conference in San Francisco in June 1927, members discussed a way to separate the organization from Stuart Morrow. One of the most notable facts about the Soroptimist charter is that Morrow was the only signer. History also records that Morrow named himself as originator, founder and general manager of the Soroptimist corporation, retaining 90% of the voting power, property rights and interest in the corporation. In other words, he owned Soroptimist. This, of course, had to change. The clubs decided to pursue a complete buy out and a committee was appointed to negotiate with Morrow. The committee was instructed to try and reduce Morrow’s $6,000 asking figure. Morrow and Soroptimists agreed to a settlement of $5,500. The $5,500 purchase price may sound reasonable or even a bargain today, but this was 1927 and women were not making significant salaries. The world was still reeling from World War I (1914-18), the 1919 pandemic influenza epidemic that killed between 20 and 40 million people worldwide and the U.S. was gripped by the wild stock market gyrations that two years later, in 1929, would result in the Great Depression. Times were anything but perfect for acquisition. But early Soroptimists worldwide recognized the pressing need to control their organization and while eight clubs underwrote the purchase, all clubs, including those in Europe and Great Britain, contributed in spite of these catastrophic events. From this point forward Soroptimist showed steady and determined growth towards the global organization it has become today.
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