Torch is…

An intellectual hotspot. Dining out with old and new friends. Hearing stimulating papers on challenging subjects. Lively discussion and invigorating experiences. A way to grow, at any age.

The International Association of Torch Clubs is an organization of about 70 clubs of professional and academic men and women who meet eight or nine times a year for dinner, social time and a paper presentation by a member followed by discussion.

That’s it.

Torch is not a service organization, so no pancake feeds or missions abroad. It is for those people who are curious and enjoy a life-long pursuit of learning.

Torch has clubs throughout the East Coast, the South, the Midwest and the West and in Canada. Now in its 95th year, Torch is looking forward to its centennial in 2024.

As part of our preparation for that 100-year celebration, we are launching a new club development initiative to start 25 new clubs in the next year or two, raising up to $60,000 to support that effort.

Torch members enjoy a number of services from our International offices. Each member receives The Torch, a magazine that reprints the best papers presented by members plus news about Torch clubs and members. Regional directors across the nation work with clubs in their districts to gain new members, provide assistance from the International office and set regional meetings where there can be interclub exchanges of ideas and programs. A wide variety of aids for club business is available either electronically or with hard copies. An annual Torch convention brings members from many clubs together for meetings, paper presentations, tours and the annual awards night when the top paper, the Paxton Prize, is delivered.

If Torch sounds like an experience you would enjoy, please consider joining a club in your community, or helping start a new club. Twenty members can initiate a club and with election of officers and passing bylaws, a charter dinner will be held. Torch officers are available to assist new club startups at anytime, anywhere.

Usually, receptions or lunches are held for prospective members, with an explanation of what Torch is all about, with sample copies of The Torch magazine and application forms. Funds are available to support this effort. A one-time initiation fee of $10 provides a membership kit and attractive pin for new members. Annual dues for Torch International are $50. Each club determines where and when their monthly dinners are held, and the cost for that.

Torch International is a federation of local clubs who determine their own schedules, fees, paper presentations and local practices.

For more information or for help to start a club, please contact George Conklin, President, at 919-225-3957 or