Gyro is the story of a small group of college students who established a men’s fraternity to preserve their friendships following graduation in 1911. Paul Schwan, Edmund Kagy and Clarence (Gus) Handerson are credited with founding of the Gyro organization and who, with six others, officially organized the first club in Cleveland, OH on June 24, 1912. Friendship among men has been a key factor in the Club since that time.
In the early years, Gyro was similar to other men’s clubs in that business networking, fund raising and charitable giving were all encouraged. However, business networking as a Gyro activity was later abandoned in favor of building stronger friendships, with which business has tendency of interfering.
By 1916 Gyro had grown to five clubs having a total of 279 members and by the mid-twenties included some 50 clubs. The Gyro handbook, published around that time read in part,
“The purpose of the Gyro movement is to furnish a means whereby young men whose interests and opportunities are closely enough related to make their associations enjoyable, whose personality will make their friendships desirable and who are able and desire to help one another in a business way, may meet together, cement their personal friendships, discuss means whereby they can be of assistance to each other, take up matters of civic importance, listen to addresses by men of prominence and in these and various other ways thru their association, aid each other to achieve the success in life which they desire.”
The organization’s newsletter, entitled GYROSCOPE, came into being in 1918, carrying monthly reports about the clubs, their members and activities to Gyro members everywhere. At its height, Gyro grew to over 100 clubs and 6,000 members in Canada and the United States. Gyro clubs in both countries continue to offer fellowship among men an do good works in their home communities.
To read more about the history of Gyro, please refer to The Founders and Early Gyro by Emil Baijot.