Influence on National
District has a rich history in the National Exchange Club.
The District has produced four national presidents:
Thomas L. Bailey of Meridian, elected Sept. 16, 1925, and Sept. 22, 1926
Dr. Porter L. Fortune Jr. of Oxford, elected July 24, 1974
Dr. Edward R. North Jr. of Northwoods-Jackson, elected Sept. 1, 1979
Billy Joe Sills of North Jackson, elected Sept. 1, 1990
Thomas Bailey, a former governor of Mississippi, was the author of the Covenant of Service, which was written in 1923. It first appeared in the July 1923 issue of The EXCHANGITE Magazine. It was officially adopted in 1927. He was one of only three men to serve a two year term as national president. He was a charter member of the Meridian Club (1921) and an attorney. He became speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives and governor in 1944. He died in office in 1946.
Dr. Porter Fortune, who at the time was a member of the Hattiesburg club, was elected national secretary in 1961. He succeeded Herold M. Harter, who had served in that position since 1917. Fortune became a president of The University of Mississippi and a member of the Oxford club.
In 1979 following a graphic presentation to the NEC board on the horrors of child abuse, Dr. Edward North suggested Child Abuse Prevention be adopted as a national project. It was adopted at the 61st National Convention in St. Louis.
In 2001, the first National Exchangite of the Year Award was presented to Bettye Galloway of Oxford at the 83rd National Convention in Greensboro, N.C.
In the District
The first Exchange Clubs in Mississippi were the Downtown Jackson Club and the Meridian Club; both were chartered on the same day in 1921.
In July 1985, membership in the National Exchange Club was opened to women. Vicki Fioranelli of Cleveland was Mississippi’s first female member, joining later that year.
The Mississippi District also offers a scholarship -- The Broom Memorial Scholarship -- available to first time students at Delta State University.