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Constitution and Bylaws

The Horatio Alger Society (HAS) is incorporated in the State of Illinois as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

The Constitution and Bylaws are also availabe as a PDF file. Click here.

 

Constitution and Bylaws of the Horatio Alger Society

Part I: Constitution

ARTICLE I: NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Horatio Alger Society, organized at Mendota, Illinois on May 22, 1965. The name of the registered agent and his/her office location shall be determined by the Society’s Board of Directors.

ARTICLE II: PURPOSE

The purposes of the Horatio Alger Society are:

  • To study, analyze, and promote interest in the philosophy primarily of Horatio Alger, Jr. and other authors whose stories for young readers embrace the concept that success is earned and character is developed by following principles of honesty, hard work, integrity, industry, and good sportsmanship.
  • To make annual awards to individuals and organizations.
  • To produce publications exchanging information among its members.
  • To implement an Estate Service.
  • To convene meetings for the purpose of conducting Society business and sharing information.

ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP AND DUES

Section 1. There shall be three classes of membership in the Horatio Alger Society.

  • Regular Membership: Any person interested in the writings of stories for young readers by Horatio Alger, Jr. or other authors may, upon proper application and payment of appropriate dues to the Executive Director, become a regular member.
  • Sustaining Membership: Any person, corporation, or organization interested in the writings of stories for young readers by Horatio Alger, Jr. or other authors may, upon proper application and payment of appropriate dues to the Executive Director, become a sustaining member and is thereby offered the opportunity to provide financial support to the Society.
  • Life Membership: Any person, corporation, or organization interested in the writings of stories for young readers by Horatio Alger, Jr. or other authors may, upon proper application and payment of appropriate dues to the Executive Director, become a Life Member.
  • A schedule of dues shall be in the By-laws.

Section 2. The benefits and obligations of these memberships shall be identical as set forth in this Constitution and By-laws.

Section 3. Although each member is an integral part of the Horatio Alger Society, it is recognized that the termination of membership of certain members may be necessary for the good of the Society as a whole. Partial refunds of dues for early termination of membership are not provided. Termination of membership may take place in the following ways:

  • For non-payment of dues.
  • In response to a written request by a person or his/her custodian concerning his/her own membership. This could be an option for those who are mentally or physically incapable of a continuing membership and whose custodian advises the Society.
  • As the result of membership termination actions taken by the Board of Directors.

Section 4. Membership shall be on a yearly basis to start from the time dues are received.

ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS

Section 1 . There should be one Annual Convention, which shall be held between May and October of each year and should include one Annual Meeting and a meeting of the Board of Directors. Other Board meetings may be called by a majority of the officers.

Section 2 . The purpose of the Annual Meeting shall be as follows:

  • To elect and install officers for the following year.
  • To receive reports from the officers and committee Chairpersons.
  • To present Horatio Alger Society Awards.
  • To conduct Horatio Alger Society Estate Service or other auctions.
  • To discuss any other matters pertaining to the Society.
  • To inform the membership at large of the financial status of the Society.

Section 3. At all meetings of the Society, Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall be the parliamentary authority for all matters not specifically covered in this Constitution and Bylaws.

ARTICLE V: VOTING

Section 1. Only individual members in good standing (current dues paid) and in attendance at the Annual Meeting shall be entitled to vote on any measures brought before the Society.

Section 2. In the election of Officers, the candidate receiving the largest number of votes for any given office shall be declared elected.

Section 3. All matters involving the policies of the Society, selection of the convention site, amendments to the Constitution and By-laws, and election of Officers shall be submitted to, and acted upon at the Annual Meeting or by a mail-in ballot of the full membership. Board members may, at their discretion, discuss any of the above prior to a vote being taken.

Section 4. Amendments:

  • A proposed Constitutional amendment or change in the Bylaws must be presented in writing to the President. The president, after concurrence by the Board of Directors, may decide that said amendment or change is frivolous or not appropriate to be presented for a vote.
  • If determined appropriate, the membership shall be provided through Newsboy with a written copy of the proposed Constitution or Bylaws amendment at least 30 days prior to a vote on the proposed change.
  • Changes in the Constitution of the Society require a 2/3 majority vote of members in attendance at the Annual Meeting.
  • Changes in the Bylaws of the Society require a simple majority of members in attendance at the Annual Meeting.

ARTICLE VI: OFFICERS AND STAFF

Section 1 . The Officers, who make up the Board of Directors of the Horatio Alger Society, shall be elected and consist of the following:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Directors (9)

Section 2. Persons to fill the Staff Positions of the Horatio Alger Society are appointed by the Board of Directors. Staff positions are:

  • Executive Director
  • Editor of Newsboy
  • Historian

ARTICLE VII: DUTIES OF OFFICE HOLDERS

Section 1. The President shall perform the usual duties of such office and shall serve a two-year term. The President also shall:

  • Preside at the Annual Meeting.
  • Approve activities which will be eligible for reimbursement up to a certain limit set by the Board of Directors.
  • Recommend to the Board of Directors candidates for the three staff positions who shall serve three-year (3 year) terms.
  • Appoint:
    • A Chairperson and two members of the Nominating Committee.
    • A Chairperson of the Newsboy Award Committee.
    • A Chairperson of the Carl Hartmann Luck and Pluck Award Committee.
    • A member to help him/her choose a recipient for the Dick Seddon Award.
    • The above persons should be instructed by the President and the office holders as to the guidelines which are customary for these awards and responsibilities.
  • Appoint members to, and create, ad hoc committees he/she feels are needed.
  • Serve as an ex-officio member of all committees.
  • Secure written site proposals for upcoming Annual Conventions and present those received to the Board of Directors, which shall make a site recommendation to the membership for vote at the Annual Meeting.
  • Decide, with the Executive Director, qualifiers for the “100 Club” Award.
  • Receive and disseminate written amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws.

Section 2. The Vice-President serves a two-year term, co-terminous with the President and shall:

  • Aid and assist the President in any way possible.
  • Assume the office of President during his/her absence, or at his/her written request. (or in the event of his/ her death/incapacitation).
  • Be Chairperson of a Membership Committee and appoint other members to the Committee as he/she deems appropriate.

Section 3. The Treasurer shall serve for a two-year term. If the Treasurer is unable to sign checks for any reason, an alternate shall be appointed by the President. The Treasurer shall:

  • Keep a record of all funds received and funds paid out by the Society.
  • Balance the books and prepare a written financial report for the Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting.
  • Arrange the financial reports so as to show separately the transactions of each fiscal year. The fiscal year shall run from May 1 to April 30. Said financial reports should be distributed to the membership at the annual meeting if it is feasible. If it is not feasible, these reports should be included in Newsboy.
  • Set up such depository bank accounts he/she feels are required for the convenience of those persons such as Editor of Newsboy, who will have occasion to draw on such accounts.
  • Make disbursements by check as reimbursements to persons authorized, by either the Board of Directors or the President, to make expenditures on behalf of the Society out of personal funds. A request for such reimbursement shall include an invoice properly approved by the person respon­sible for the expenditures and a reference citing the specific authorization.

Section 4. The Board of Directors shall consist of the President, the Vice-President, the Treasurer, and nine (9) Directors, each of whom has one vote. The immediate Past President shall be a non-voting member of the Board for one year. Each of the nine (9) Directors, shall serve three (3) year terms, to be staggered in three year groupings. The Board shall:

  • Uphold the Constitution and Bylaws of this Society and manage the day-to-day business of the Society such as:
  • Establishing written guidelines for the Estate Service, for the hosting of Annual Conventions, for the specific duties of the Executive Director, Editor and Convention Host, for the explicit procedures for termination of membership, and for qualifying for the 100 Club. He/she shall update such guidelines as changes occur publicizing them in Newsboy.
  • Appointing persons to staff positions guided by recommendations from the President.
  • Deciding any matters pertaining to the incorporation of the Society.
  • Making recommendations to the members at the Annual Meeting such as the location of future convention sites.
  • Approving Society activity which will be eligible for reimbursement.
  • Deciding the level of honorarium to be given annually to the Executive Director and Editor.
  • Meet at the Annual Convention prior to the Annual Meeting. Additional meetings of the Board may be called by request of a majority of the Board.

Section 5. The Executive Director is not an officer of the Society and has no vote on the Board of Directors. The duties of the Executive Director, under direction of the Board of Directors, shall be as follows :

  • Keep minutes of the Annual Meeting and of any other meetings of the Society.
  • Sign, countersign, or attest all official papers and perform the usual duties of an Executive Director. He/she shall also be a cosigner on all Society bank accounts.
  • Conduct Society business such as completing tax returns, developing draft guidelines, handling membership applications and dues, ordering supplies, and, with the President, decide qualifiers for the 100 Club.
  • Revise the Constitution and Bylaws when amended, print in Newsboy, and distribute them to all members within three months of the Annual Meeting.
  • Ensure any proposed Constitution and Bylaw amendments are published in Newsboy prior to the Annual Meeting.

Section 6. An Historian may be appointed by the Board of Directors. He/she is not an officer of the Society and has no vote on the Board of Directors. The duties of the Historian shall be as follows:

  • Compile and keep a scrapbook of newspaper clip­pings, photographs, etc. that relate to Horatio Alger, Jr. and/or the Horatio Alger Society. This/these will be on display at all Annual Meetings and shall be permanently housed at the Horatio Alger Repository at Northern Illinois University.
  • Keep the Horatio Alger Society history up to date.
  • Conduct research as deemed necessary by the President or Board of Directors.

ARTICLE VIII: STANDING COMMITTEES

The standing committees of the Society and their duties shall be as follows:

Section 1. The Editorial Committee for Newsboy shall consist of the Newsboy Editor and such other members as the Editor may choose.

Section 2. The Membership Committee shall be headed by the Vice-President as Chairperson. He/she may appoint such other Society members as he/she deems necessary. The function of the Membership Committee shall be:

  • To increase the membership of the Society.
  • To secure adequate publicity for the Society.
  • To generally promote good public relations.
  • To promote interest in Horatio Alger, Jr. and other authors of books written for young readers.

Section 3. The Nominating Committee shall consist of three Society members appointed by the President, one of which shall be designated as Chairperson. This Committee shall present to the Annual Meeting for vote a slate of candidates for nomination to fill all available Society elective positions.

Section 4. The Strive and Succeed Award Committee shall consist of the Annual Meeting Host and other members or non-members of the Society as the Host deems necessary. Their task shall be to select a high school student to receive the Strive and Succeed Award who conforms to the standards described by Horatio Alger, Jr. and should be a typical Alger Hero.

Section 5. The Newsboy Award Committee shall consist of a Society member appointed by the President as Chairperson who then may choose two other members for the committee. The Newsboy Award Committee may select that person, (not necessarily a member of the Society) or organization that has done the most to add to the image of Horatio Alger, Jr.

Section 6. The Carl Hartmann Luck and Pluck Award Committee shall consist of a Society member appointed by the President as Chairperson who then may choose two other members for the committee. The Carl Hartmann Luck and Pluck A ward Committee may select that member of the Society who served the Society in an outstanding manner during the past year.

Section 7. The Richard Seddon Award Committee shall consist of the President and any other person he/she may choose. The Richard Seddon Award Committee may select the member of the Society who best emulates the qualities and comradeship possessed by Dick Seddon, and so admired by those who knew him.

ARTICLE IX: AD HOC COMMITTEES

For the length of his/her term, the President may create ad hoc committees to assist in addressing specific issues of concern to the Society.

ARTICLE X: DISSOLUTION OF THE SOCIETY

In the event of the dissolution of the Horatio Alger Society, all Society-owned property (excluding records, correspondence, original writings, computer files, past copies of Newsboy and any other such ephemera) will be disposed of by the Board of Directors for cash within three months of the final decision by the Board to dissolve. Such cash will then be given to the Horatio Alger Repository at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, for use in the acquisition of new repository materials. Immediately upon dissolution of the Society, the excluded ephemera materials noted herein shall become the property of the Horatio Alger Repository.

(End of Constitutional Provisions)

Part II: By-Laws

ARTICLE I: INCORPORATION

Section 1. The Horatio Alger Society is incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois as recorded in La Salle County, Certificate No. 1278, dated July 27, 1965.

Section 2. The Registered Office of the Horatio Alger Society is located at 820 North County Line Rd., Hinsdale, Illinois and its registered agent is John R. Juvinall of the same address.

ARTICLE II: MEMBERSHIP AND DUES

Section 1. The dues schedule for the three classes of membership are:

  • Regular Membership is $25 ($20 for seniors, age 65 or older) per year.
  • Sustaining Membership is $50 per year
  • Life Membership is twenty (20) times the regular annual dues if paid with the application or twenty-two (22) times the regular annual dues if paid in two annual installments.

Section 2. A Society roster and other items of interest to Society members may be printed and circulated to the membership, as income permits.

Section 3. The “100 Club”: Each member determined by the Executive Director and President to meet the requirements of the 100 Club shall receive a framed Certificate of Acknowledgment from the Society. The Board of Directors shall establish guidelines for this award.

ARTICLE III: MEETINGS

Section 1. The Society will strive to hold its Annual Convention in a different location in North America each year in order to make it more accessible to a greater portion of the membership and to provide an opportunity for different members to host.

Section 2. A potential volunteer member to host the next Annual Convention shall either attend the meeting at which the choice of the site is to be made and confirm their written bid intention to attendees or, if absent at that meeting, shall be contacted directly by the President during that meeting to confirm his/her willingness to host.

Section 3. The designated host has primary responsibility for developing the agenda and making appropriate arrangements for the Annual Convention following guidelines established by the Board of Directors.

Section 4. The Board of Directors shall decide the number, auctioneer, type and financial arrangements for any auctions or sales to be held at the Annual Convention. The host shall assure space and agenda time is provided for such auctions or sales.

Section 5. There are two types of auctions the Society may conduct at its Annual Convention:

  • The "Society Auction" which is usually held at the Annual Meeting as a fund-raiser. One hundred per cent of the proceeds from this auction go into the Society’s treasury.
  • Commission auctions are held at different times during the Annual Convention. Commissions to the Society for these auctions are a percentage of the gross revenues for any specific consignment as follows: from $1 to $2,499 = 20%; from $2,500 to $4 ,999 = 15%; and in excess of $5,000 = 10%. Commissions charged for auctions held under the Society’s Estate Service are the same as other commission auctions.

Section 6. The Society is committed to implementing an Estate Service which provides a vehicle for the disposal of book collection items contained in the estate of a member. The Board of Directors shall establish written guidelines detailing Estate Service procedures.

ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS AND STAFF

Section 1 . Presidential appointments shall serve for the length of the President’s term.

Section 2. Compensation received by any officer or staff person consists of reimbursement for actual expenses incurred in the conduct of official Society business as approved by the Board of Directors.

Section 3. An honorarium, in appreciation for services rendered, shall be given to the Executive Director and Newsboy Editor, the specific amount of which is to be determined by the Board of Directors and is dependent upon the Society’s financial conditions.

ARTICLE V: DUTIES OF OFFICE HOLDERS

Section 1. The Executive Director may appoint another member to be responsible for keeping minutes of any official meeting.

Section 2. Persons authorized by the President and Board of Directors to make miscellaneous expenditures for the Society out of personal funds may be reimbursed upon receipt of an invoice properly approved by the person responsible for the expenditure.

Section 3 . The Editor of Newsboy shall:

  • Produce a magazine (called Newsboy) to be devoted to the study of Horatio Alger, Jr. and other authors of books for young readers, their lives, works, and influence on the culture of America
  • Produce a minimum of six issues of Newsboy per year.
  • Newsboy coverage may, in addition to Horatio Alger, Jr., include a variety of authors of juvenile books.
  • Mail Newsboy by first class mail.
  • Accept paid advertisements, the proceeds of which go into the Society’s treasury.

Section 4. The Board of Directors may develop and implement advertising programs to publicize the Society’s function and activities and may develop resolutions to recognize or commemorate special individuals or events. Any proceeds realized from these programs shall be deposited into the Society’s treasury.

Section 5. The Board of Directors, on behalf of the Horatio Alger Society, recognizes the Horatio Alger Repository at Northern Illinois University as the Society’s official repository for all materials relating to, about, and written by, Horatio Alger, Jr. Society members are encouraged to provide copies of books written by Horatio Alger, Jr. and other related Alger items to the Repository. The Society shall be a member of the Friends of the Northern Illinois University Libraries upon payment of the annual fee in effect at that time.

Section 6. The Board of Directors, on behalf of the Horatio Alger Society, recognizes and supports in any way it can, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

ARTICLE VI: STANDING COMMITTEES

Section 1. The Chairman of any standing or ad hoc committee shall have the power to replace any member of his/ her committee who does not satisfactorily perform the duties required of him/her.

Section 2. As a matter of practice and custom, the Chairperson of the Newsboy Award and the Carl Hartmann Luck and Pluck Award committees may be the winner of that specific award the previous year.

Section 3. The Executive Director shall develop a system for Board of Directors approval to enable members to contribute to the annual Strive and Succeed Award.

ARTICLE VII: AD HOC COMMITTEES

The President shall assure that any ad hoc committee is working as intended and will produce results as expected. The President shall report the activity of his/her ad hoc committees at the Annual Meeting.  

(End of Bylaws)