The first Probus organization was created in New Haven, Connecticut in 1921. Over the following years additional chapters formed across Connecticut as well as in Massachusetts and the New York City area, prompting formation of a parent body, Probus National, Inc. The Hartford chapter formed in 1955 under the leadership of Dr. Morris Kotick. In the 1960’s Dr. Kotick was joined by Michael Kulick and Mark Goldberg as prominent leaders; Mark Goldberg has served as National President as well as President of the Hartford Chapter. Michael Kulick was instrumental in establishing official 501c3 status for the entire organization.
Through the 1970s and 1980s, the Hartford Chapter thrived in a societal atmosphere that valued participation in social and civic groups. Probus became a strong supporter of the fledgling initiative of Camp Horizons, later to develop into Horizons Inc, a world class educational, vocational, and recreational facility for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. However, old practices, widespread throughout the preceding decades — gender discrimination, racial segregation, and religious divisions — came increasingly under critical scrutiny by society. The Probus organizations, including Hartford, moved decisively in that period to promote a more open, inclusive, and purely secular model, with a clear focus on its mission of enhancing the lives of IDD individuals among us.