4/15/19: Dr. Sylvia Whitlock

Dr. Sylvia Whitlock, Rotary’s first female Club President, will share her firsthand account of how women won the right to become Rotarians.

Dr. Whitlock was born in New York City but was educated, through high school, in Kingston, Jamaica. After returning to New York City she earned a B.A. in Psychology from Hunter College. Sylvia worked for the United Nations, as a Statistical Clerk before moving to California to start a career in Education.

She has also earned a Master’s Degree, cum laude, in Education from CalPoly, Pomona, a Ph.D., cum laude, in Education, from Claremont Graduate School, a Master’s Degree, in Marriage and Family Therapy, from AzusaPacific University, and began a second career as a therapist. She is licensed by the Board of Behavioral Sciences in California.

In 1982, while an Elementary School Principal in Duarte, CA, she was invited to join the history-making “Ex-Rotary Club of Duarte”. Sylvia became President of that club in 1987, the year the United States Supreme Court ruled that the club be reinstated, thus making her the first woman in the Rotary World to head a club as President.

She has served as President twice, Secretary, Treasurer, and Foundation Representative. At district level, she chaired the Four Way Test Speech committee for six years, the Ambassadorial Scholarship Committee for six years, receiving a Service Award from DG Don Aikin, and Simplified Grants for two years. She has been an assistant governor, presenter in Governors Institutes, and speaker in Rotary Clubs conventions and meetings, here and overseas, including South Africa, Jamaica, Washington and Texas.