About Us

Celebrating 175 years of Scottish heritage and culture in Chicago.

“…Man to man, the world o’er
Shall brothers be…”

Robert Burns, “A Man’s A Man For A’ That”

Chicago Scots value two things above all: people and homeland. Founded in 1845, we are proud to be Chicago’s first and longest-running not-for-profit organization. Since the day of our founding, we have been working to promote Scottish culture throughout Chicagoland. How do we do that?

  • We support our principal charity, Caledonia Senior Living & Memory Care, through financial support, organizational leadership, community outreach and volunteerism.
  • We organize and host Scottish cultural events, including the annual Scottish Festival and Highland Games, to educate, entertain, preserve Scottish customs, and promote both traditional and contemporary Scottish culture.
  • We reach out to the next generation of the Scottish-American community by providing scholarships to help bright, talented students pursue academic excellence at universities in Scotland and the United States.
  • We arrange and foster cultural initiatives like the Scottish History and Genealogy Clubs, and the world’s only Scottish American Museum and Scottish American Hall of Fame, to tell the stories of Scottish journeys and experiences, as well as accomplishments in and contributions to North America.
  • We develop and enhance trans-Atlantic friendship and exchange by organizing conferences and initiatives to engage the private, public, academic, cultural, and not-for-profits sectors in Scotland and North America.
  • We welcome everyone who is Scottish by birth, by heritage or simply by inclination.

With this in mind, we use the following values to guide us:

EQUALITY: We believe in the equality of every individual, and in freedom of every kind. This belief is the cornerstone of both Scottish and American identity. In this, we are inspired by famous Scottish poet Robert Burns’ work, “For a’That and a’That.”

EDUCATION: We believe in the importance of education, learning and critical thinking, and we take this inspiration from the Scottish Enlightenment.

ENTERPRISE: We believe in hard work, self-reliance, entrepreneurialism, and honesty in every sphere of life, inspired by the impressive history of Scottish invention and innovation.