Proclamation 5156 -- National Beta Club Week, 1984

March 5, 1984

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

On a cold January day 50 years ago in Landrum, South Carolina, 15 quiet citizens led by John West Harris founded the Beta Club and dedicated themselves to the promotion of leadership, honesty, achievement, and community service among high school students throughout the United States. The motto that was adopted by that infant club was: ``Let us lead by serving others.''

The six words in that motto tell a proud story. The Beta Club grew from ``three handfuls'' of citizens to a current membership of 200,000 high school students, alumni numbering over 1.5 million, and 4,500 chapters in 36 states.

From its small beginnings, the Beta Club sought to recognize high school students who displayed leadership abilities, personal integrity, academic achievement and a demonstrated willingness to serve one's fellow citizens.

The original Beta Club members were opportunity innovators. They literally had the brashness to create and run the risk of failure. They had the toughness to experiment and were honest enough to learn from experience. Above all, they were willing to be judged on what they contributed to the well being of others.

The best growth generators are those persons who have the inner moral fiber to accept new ideas, concepts, machines and technology. The Beta Club founders had the ability to convince others that productive change was necessary in revitalizing high school youth to widen their spiritual and intellectual horizons. In recognizing the outstanding achievements of the Beta Club, we pay homage to a vital part of our Nation's heritage.

In recognition of the accomplishments of the Beta Club for its significant accomplishments toward the development of the youth of our Nation, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 184, has designated the week beginning March 4, 1984 as ``National Beta Club Week.''

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning March 4, 1984, as National Beta Club Week, and call upon the people of the United States to observe the week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eighth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 12:10 p.m., March 5, 1984]