Altrusa is an international volunteer service organization of business and professional leaders - classified by occupation - dedicated to improving their communities. Through local Altrusa clubs, members unite their various talents in service to others, achieving as a group what others cannot do alone.
Altrusa International provides community service, develops leadership, fosters international understanding and encourages fellowship by an international network of executives and professionals in diversified career classifications.
Altrusa is a derivation of the word altruism, defined as the principle or practice of unselfish concern for or devotion to the welfare of others. Altrusa was coined by taking the first four letters of the word Altruism and joining them with U.S.A. from the United States of America.
The first Altrusa club was founded in Nashville, Tennessee on April 11, 1917. It is the oldest classified service club for executive business and professional women. Altrusa become an international organization in 1935 with extension into Mexico. Currently, Altrusa is active in 18 countries. The first National President was Miss Mamie L. Bass, 1917-1918, from Indianapolis, Indiana. Our first International President was Mrs. Chase Going Woodhouse, 1935-1937, from Hartford, Connecticut. Altrusa was established in 1917 in Nashville, Tennessee. Altrusa International is divided into districts with their own governing bodies, annual conferences, workshops and leadership training seminars.