Dr. Sylvia Whitlock has been in Rotary for nearly 40 years. She was an elementary school principal in Duarte, California, when she was asked to join the Rotary Club of Duarte. She was the second woman to join the club and it was because of the membership of women that Duarte was removed as an official Rotary Club. At that time, women were not allowed membership in Rotary. Duarte sued Rotary International and won, which changed the face of Rotary forever. Dr. Whitlock went on to be the first female Rotary Club president and was a district governor in 2012-2013. Whitlock was born in New York City, but educated through high school in Kingston, Jamaica. She earned an international baccalaureate from Cambridge University in England and a bachelor’s of psychology from Hunter College of the City University of New York. She holds master degrees in education (Cal Poly, Pomona) and marriage and family therapy (Azusa Pacific University).
Sylvia is a recipient of the Rotary Foundation District Service Award. She has been the NAACP Woman of the Year and a Distinguished Alumna at al Poly I Pomona. She received the Global Citizen Award from the United Nations Association in October 2013. She has participated in Rotary’s National Immunization Days and established an AIDS clinic in Jamaica. She has supported an orphanage in Mexico, sank wells in Nigeria and raised almost $90,000 to educate girls in India. A multiple Paul Harris Fellow, benefactor and member of the Rotary Bequest Society, Whitlock has spoken at more than 75 district conferences and numerous clubs, institutes and Zone events. She addressed all 530 incoming DGs at the 2013 International Assembly. Currently, Whitlock is a member of the Rotary Club of Claremont.