The active and vibrant World Affairs Council of Hilton Head as we know it today has its origins in the Foreign Affairs Seminar, when a small group of like-minded islanders began meeting at the Hilton Head Public Library in 1981. The organization drew on its own members to present topics of interest and lead discussions regarding current events and media coverage of foreign policy issues. Since then the organization has flourished, bringing national and international speakers to Hilton Head, expanding to over 1100 members, and offering a wide range of programs for its membership and the wider community.
1981: Foreign Affairs Seminar (FAS) founded in 1981. Membership grew to 50 over the next 3 years.
1985: FAS moved to larger space at Palmetto Electric Community Room.
1991: With membership expanding to more than 100, moved to a larger venue at Congregation Beth Yam.
2002: When membership grew to 400, the group moved to Main Street Theater.
2005: FAS became an affiliate of the World Affairs Councils of America. Changed the name to World Affairs Council of Hilton Head, and incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
2006: WACHH had a membership of 400, with a wait list of 400, limited by the size of the venue.
2007: Summer Forums established, offering foreign policy talks by Council members in a Summer Forum open to members, guests and non-members.
2010: WACHH found a new home at First Presbyterian Church allowing space for new members and wait-listed applicants. Membership grew to 800. Over the next few years, the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions program and the Council’s Fall Forum study group for members were developed.
2012: Academic WorldQuest is started in partnership with Beaufort Country School District.
2014: Evening Speaker Series established, open to members, guests, and the general public. We start our Model UN Program.
2021: WACHH turns 40 !