Rotary International

Rotary International MHM is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It is a non-political and non-sectarian organization open to all people regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political preference. There are 34,282 member clubs worldwide, and 1.2 million individuals, known as Rotarians, have joined.[2]

Rotarians usually gather weekly for breakfast, lunch, or dinner to fulfill their first guiding principle to develop friendships as an opportunity for service. "It is the duty of all Rotarians," states their Manual of Procedure,[3] "outside their clubs, to be active as individuals in as many legally constituted groups and organizations as possible to promote, not only in words but through exemplary dedication, awareness of the dignity of all people and the respect of the consequent human rights of the individual." The Rotarian's primary motto is "Service Above Self"; its secondary motto is "One profits most who serves best."[4]

Rotary International
Rotary International Logo
MottoService Above Self
TypeService club
HeadquartersEvanston, Illinois, United States
  • Global (Over 200 countries and territories)
1.22 million
Official language
English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish
Barry Rassin (July 2018 - Present)[1]
Key people
Paul P. Harris (Founder)
PublicationThe Rotarian
Map of the presence of Rotary International.


The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:[5]

  1. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service.
  2. High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society.
  3. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life.
  4. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

This objective is set against the "Rotary 4-Way Test", used to see if a planned action is compatible with the Rotarian spirit. The test was developed by Rotarian and entrepreneur Herbert J. Taylor during the Great Depression as a set of guidelines for restoring faltering businesses and was adopted as the standard of ethics by Rotary in 1942. It is still seen as a standard for ethics in business management.[6] The 4-Way Test considers the following questions in respect to thinking, saying or doing:[7]

  • Is it the truth?
  • Is it fair to all concerned?
  • Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  • Will it be beneficial to all concerned?


The first years of the Rotary Club

The first Rotary Club was formed when attorney Paul P. Harris called together a meeting of three business acquaintances in downtown Chicago, United States, at Harris's friend Gustave Loehr's office in the Unity Building on Dearborn Street on February 23, 1905.[8] In addition to Harris and Loehr (a mining engineer and freemason[9]), Silvester Schiele (a coal merchant), and Hiram E. Shorey (a tailor) were the other two who attended this first meeting. The members chose the name Rotary because initially they rotated subsequent weekly club meetings to each other's offices, although within a year, the Chicago club became so large it became necessary to adopt the now-common practice of a regular meeting place.

The next four Rotary Clubs were organized in cities in the western United States, beginning with San Francisco,[10] then Oakland, Seattle,[11] and Los Angeles.[12] The National Association of Rotary Clubs in America was formed in 1910.[13][14] On November 3, 1910, a Rotary club began meeting in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the beginning of the organisation's internationality.[15] On 22 February 1911, the first meeting of the Rotary Club Dublin was held in Dublin, Ireland.[16] This was the first club established outside of North America. In April 1912, Rotary chartered the Winnipeg club marking the first establishment of an American-style service club outside the United States.[17]:45 To reflect the addition of a club outside of the United States, the name was changed to the International Association of Rotary Clubs in 1912.

In August 1912, the Rotary Club of London received its charter from the Association, marking the first acknowledged Rotary club outside North America. It later became known that the Dublin club in Ireland was organized before the London club, but the Dublin club did not receive its charter until after the London club was chartered. During World War I, Rotary in Britain increased from 9 to 22 clubs,[18] and other early clubs in other nations included those in Cuba in 1916, Philippines in 1919 and India in 1920.

In 1922, the name was changed to Rotary International.[17] From 1923 to 1928, Rotary's office and headquarters were located on E 20th Street (now E Cullerton Street) in the Atwell Building (designed by famed Chicago architect, Alfred S. Alschuler[19]).[20] During this same time, the monthly magazine The Rotarian was published mere floors below by Atwell Printing and Binding Company.[21] By 1925, Rotary had grown to 200 clubs with more than 20,000 members.[22]

World War II era in Europe

Rotary Clubs in Spain ceased to operate shortly after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.[23]

Clubs were disbanded across Europe as follows:[23]

Rotary International's has worked with the UN since the UN started in 1945. At that time Rotary was involved in 65 countries. The two organizations shared ideals around promoting peace. Rotary received consultative status at the UN in 1946–47.[25]

From 1945 onward

Rotary International 50th Anniversary 8c 1955 issue U.S. stamp
U.S. stamp commemorating Rotary International's 50th anniversary in 1955

Rotary clubs in Eastern Europe and other communist-regime nations were disbanded by 1945–46, but new Rotary clubs were organized in many other countries, and by the time of the national independence movements in Africa and Asia, the new nations already had Rotary clubs. After the relaxation of government control of community groups in Russia and former Soviet satellite nations, Rotarians were welcomed as club organizers, and clubs were formed in those countries, beginning with the Moscow club in 1990.

In 1985, Rotary launched its PolioPlus program to immunize all of the world's children against polio. As of 2011, Rotary has contributed more than 900 million US dollars to the cause, resulting in the immunization of nearly two billion children worldwide.[26]

As of 2006, Rotary has more than 1.2 million members in over 32,000 clubs among 200 countries and geographical areas, making it the most widespread by branches and second largest service club by membership, behind Lions Clubs International. The number of Rotarians has slightly declined in recent years: Between 2002 and 2006, they went from 1,245,000 to 1,223,000 members. North America accounts for 450,000 members, Asia for 300,000, Europe for 250,000, Latin America for 100,000, Oceania for 100,000 and Africa for 30,000.

Rotary International Presidents 2001–present

Other notable past Presidents

Organization and administration

In order to carry out its service programs, Rotary is structured in club, district and international levels. Rotarians are members of their clubs. The clubs are chartered by the global organization Rotary International (RI) headquartered in Evanston, Illinois. For administrative purposes, the more than 32,000 clubs worldwide are grouped into 529 districts, and the districts into 34 zones.


Rotary Durham Bede
A plaque showing where the local Rotary Club meets, Durham, England.

The Rotary Club is the basic unit of Rotary activity, and each club determines its own membership. Clubs originally were limited to a single club per city, municipality, or town, but Rotary International has encouraged the formation of one or more additional clubs in the largest cities when practical. Most clubs meet weekly, usually at a mealtime on a weekday in a regular location, when Rotarians can discuss club business and hear from guest speakers. Each club also conducts various service projects within its local community, and participates in special projects involving other clubs in the local district, and occasionally a special project in a "sister club" in another nation. Most clubs also hold social events at least quarterly and in some cases more often.

Each club elects its own president and officers among its active members for a one-year term. The clubs enjoy considerable autonomy within the framework of the standard constitution and the constitution and bylaws of Rotary International. The governing body of the club is the Club Board (sometimes called Club Council), consisting of the club president (who serves as the Board chairman), a president-elect, club secretary, club treasurer, and several Club Board directors, including the immediate past president and the President Elect. The president usually appoints the directors to serve as chairs of the major club committees, including those responsible for club service, vocational service, community service, youth service, and international service.

Rotarians may attend any Rotary club around the world at one of their weekly meetings.

District level

A district governor, who is an officer of Rotary International and represents the RI board of directors in the field, leads his/her respective Rotary district. Each governor is nominated by the clubs of his/her district, and elected by all the clubs meeting in the annual RI District Convention held each year. The district governor appoints assistant governors from among the Rotarians of the district to assist in the management of Rotary activity and multi-club projects in the district.

Zone level

Approximately 15 Rotary districts form a zone. A zone director, who serves as a member of the RI board of directors, heads two zones. The zone director is nominated by the clubs in the zone and elected by the convention for the terms of two consecutive years.

Rotary International

Rotary International Headquarters
Rotary International Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, United States.

Rotary International is governed by a board of directors composed of the international president, the president-elect, the general secretary, and 17 zone directors. The nomination and the election of each president is handled in the one- to three-year period before he takes office, and is based on requirements including geographical balance among Rotary zones and previous service as a district governor and board member. The international board meets quarterly to establish policies and make recommendations to the overall governing bodies, the RI Convention and the RI Council on Legislation.

The chief operating officer of RI is the general secretary, who heads a staff of about 900 people working at the international headquarters in Evanston and in seven international offices around the world.


According to its constitutions ("Charters"), Rotary defines itself as a non-partisan, non-sectarian organization. It is open to business and professional leaders aged 18 and upwards, with no regard to economic status.[27]

One can contact a Rotary club to inquire about membership but can join a Rotary club only if invited; there is no provision to join without an invitation as each prospective Rotarian requires a sponsor who is an existing Rotarian.[28] Some clubs, though not all, have exclusivist membership criteria: reputation and business or professional leadership may be a specific evaluation criterion for issuing invitations to join, and representation from a specific profession or business may be limited to a percentage of a specific club's membership.

Active membership

Active membership is by invitation from a current Rotarian, to professionals or businesspersons working in diverse areas of endeavour. Each club may limit up to ten percent of its membership representing each business or profession in the area it serves. The goal of the clubs is to promote service to the community they work in, as well as to the wider world. Many projects are organised for the local community by a single club, but some are organised globally.

Honorary membership

RotaryClub San Marcos tx
A sign showing where the local Rotary Club meets, San Marcos, Texas, United States

Honorary membership is given by election of a Rotary Club to people who have distinguished themselves by meritorious service in the furtherance of Rotary ideals. Honorary membership is conferred only in exceptional cases. Honorary members are exempt from the payment of admission fees and dues. They have no voting privileges and are not eligible to hold any office in their club. Honorary membership is time limited and terminates automatically at the end of the term, usually one year. It may be extended for an additional period or may also be revoked at any time. Examples of honorary members are heads of state or former heads of state, scientists, members of the military, and other famous figures.

Female membership

From 1905 until the 1980s, women were not allowed membership in Rotary clubs, although Rotarian spouses, including Paul Harris's wife Jean, were often members of the similar "Inner Wheel" club. Women did play some roles, and Jean Harris made numerous speeches. The author of the biography of Dale Carnegie, Carlos Roberto Bacila, describes that in 1955 when women were not permitted to attend Rotary meetings, the Brooklyn Rotary Club made an exception and finally allowed Marilyn Burke, Carnegie's secretary, accompany him in a lecture inside the Rotary. In 1963, it was noted that the Rotary practice of involving wives in club activities had helped to break down female seclusion in some countries.[29]:58–62 Clubs such as Rotary had long been predated by women's voluntary organisations, which started in the United States as early as 1790.[17]:50

The first Irish clubs discussed admitting women as members in 1912, but the proposal foundered over issues of social class. Gender equity in Rotary moved beyond the theoretical question when in 1976, the Rotary Club of Duarte in Duarte, California, admitted three women as members. After the club refused to remove the women from membership, Rotary International revoked the club's charter in 1978. The Duarte club filed suit in the California courts, claiming that Rotary Clubs are business establishments subject to regulation under California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination based on race, gender, religion or ethnic origin. Rotary International then appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The RI attorney argued that "... [the decision] threatens to force us to take in everyone, like a motel".[30] The Duarte Club was not alone in opposing RI leadership; the Seattle-International District club unanimously voted to admit women in 1986. The United States Supreme Court, on 4 May 1987, confirmed the Californian decision supporting women, in the case Board of Directors, Rotary International v. Rotary Club of Duarte.[31] Rotary International then removed the gender requirements from its requirements for club charters, and most clubs in most countries have opted to include women as members of Rotary Clubs.[30][32] The first female club president to be elected was Silvia Whitlock of the Rotary Club of Duarte, California in 1987.[33] By 2007, there was a female trustee of Rotary's charitable wing The Rotary Foundation while female district governors and club presidents were common.

Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley - Applause 2015 - Stierch
Women Rotarians in 1950s costume at the Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley's annual fundraiser in 2015

Women currently account for 22% of international Rotary membership.[34] In 2013, Anne L. Matthews, a Rotarian from South Carolina, began her term as the first female vice-president of Rotary International. Also in 2013, Nan McCreadie was appointed as the first female president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI).[35] The first woman to join Rotary in Ghana, West Africa was Hilda Danquah (Rotary Club of Cape Coast) in 1992. The first woman president in Ghana was Dr. Naana Agyeman-Mensah in 2001 (Rotary Club of Accra-Airport). Up until 2013, there has been 46 women presidents in the 30 Rotary clubs in Ghana. In 2013, Stella Dongo from Zimbabwe was appointed District Governor for District 9210 (Zimbabwe/Zambia/Malawi/Northern-Mozambique) for the Rotary year 2013–14 making her the first female District Governor in the region. She had previously held the offices of Assistant Governor (2006–08), District Administrator (2008–09) and President of The Rotary Club of Highlands (2005–06). She was also Zimbabwe's Country Coordinator (2009–10). Stella, who is a Master PRLS 5 Graduate has been recognised and awarded various District awards including Most Able President for year 2005–06 and Assistant Governor of the year 2006–07 and a Paul Harris Fellow.

The change of the second Rotarian motto in 2004, from "He profits most who serves best" to "They profit most who serve best", 99 years after its foundation, illustrates the move to general acceptance of women members in Rotary.

Racial and sexual orientation diversity

The first Rotary Clubs in Asia were in Manila in the Philippines and Shanghai in China, each in July 1919. Rotary's office in Illinois immediately began encouraging the Rotary Club of Shanghai to recruit Chinese members "believing that when a considerable number of the native business and professional men have been so honoured, the Shanghai Club will begin to realize its period of greatest success." As part of considering the application of a Club to be chartered in Kolkata (then Calcutta), India in January 1920 and Tokyo, Japan in October 1920, Rotary formally considered the issue of racial restriction in membership and determined that the organization could not allow racial restrictions to the organization's growth. In Rotary's legislative deliberations in June 1921, it was formally determined that racial restrictions would not be permitted. Non-racialism was included in the terms of the standard constitution in 1922 and required to be adopted by all member Clubs.

Rotary and other service clubs in the last decade of the 20th century became open to gay members.[36]


Rotary Clubs sponsor a number of affiliated clubs that promote the goals of Rotary in their community.

Inner Wheel Clubs

Inner Wheel is an international organization founded in 1924 to unite wives and daughters of Rotarians. Inner Wheel Clubs exist in over 103 countries. Like Rotary, Inner Wheel is divided into local clubs and districts. Female spouses of Rotary members are traditionally called "Rotary Annes".


Interact is Rotary International's service club for young people ages 12 to 18. Interact clubs are sponsored by individual Rotary clubs, which provide support and guidance, but they are self-governing and self-supporting.

Club membership varies greatly. Clubs can be single gender or mixed, large or small. They can draw from the student body of a single school or from two or more schools in the same community.

Each year, Interact clubs complete at least two community service projects, one of which furthers international understanding and goodwill. Through these efforts, Interactors develop a network of friendships with local and overseas clubs and learn the importance of

  • Developing leadership skills and personal integrity
  • Demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others
  • Understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work
  • Advancing international understanding and goodwill

As one of the most significant and fastest-growing programs of Rotary service, with more than 33,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas, Interact has become a worldwide phenomenon. Almost 340,000 young people are involved in Interact.


Rotaract: a service club for young men and women aged 18 to 30 with around 215,000 members in 9,388 clubs in 176 countries. Rotaract was founded in 1968 by Charlotte North Rotary Club, located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Rotaract clubs are either community or university based, and they are sponsored by a local Rotary club. This makes them true "partners in service" and key members of the family of Rotary.[37] "Rotaract" stands for "Rotary in Action".

Rotary Community Corps

The Rotary Community Corps (RCC) is a volunteer organization with an estimated 157,000 non-Rotarian men and women in over 6,800 communities in 78 countries.


Rotary International monument in Tigre, Argentina.

Rotary concentrates on six areas: promoting peace, improving health through disease prevention and treatment, improving the health of mothers and children, water and sanitation, education, and economic development.[38]


RYLA, or Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, is a leadership program for young people aged 14 to 30 across the globe that aims to unite and provide resources for future leaders.



The most notable current global project, PolioPlus, is contributing to the global eradication of polio. Sergio Mulitsch di Palmenberg (1923–1987), Governor of RI District 204 (1984–1985), founder of the RC of Treviglio and Pianura Bergamasca (Italy), was the man who inspired and promoted the RI PolioPlus vaccination campaign.[39] Mulitsch made it possible shipping the first 500,000 doses of antipolio vaccine to the Philippines at the beginning of 1980.[40] This project later gave rise to the NGO "Nuovi Spazi al Servire" co-ordinated by Luciano Ravaglia (RC Forlì, Italy).[41] Since beginning the project in 1985, Rotarians have contributed over US$850 million and hundreds of thousands of volunteer-hours, leading to the inoculation of more than two billion of the world's children. Inspired by Rotary's commitment, the World Health Organization (WHO) passed a resolution in 1988 to eradicate polio by 2000. Now a partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) with WHO, UNICEF and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rotary is recognized by the United Nations as the key private partner in the eradication effort.

The last Polio victim Painting
"The Last Polio Victim" Painting by D3770 Rotarian known Folk Painter Elito "AmangPintor" Circa

In 2008, Rotary received a $100 million challenge grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Rotary committed to raising $100 million. In January 2009, Bill Gates announced a second challenge grant of $255 million. Rotary again committed to raising another $100 million. In total, Rotary will raise $200 million by 30 June 2012. Together, the Gates Foundation and Rotary have committed $555 million toward the eradication of polio. At the time of the second challenge grant, Bill Gates said:

"We know that it's a formidable challenge to eradicate a disease that has killed and crippled children since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians. We don't know exactly when the last child will be affected. But we do have the vaccines to wipe it out. Countries do have the will to deploy all the tools at their disposal. If we all have the fortitude to see this effort through to the end, then we will eradicate polio."[42]

There has been some limited criticism concerning the program for polio eradication. There are some reservations regarding the adaptation capabilities of the virus in some of the oral vaccines, which have been reported to cause infection in populations with low vaccination coverage.[43] As stated by Vaccine Alliance, however, in spite of the limited risk of polio vaccination, it would neither be prudent nor practicable to cease the vaccination program until there is strong evidence that "all wild poliovirus transmission [has been] stopped". In a 2006 speech at the Rotary International Convention, held at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Bruce Cohick stated that polio in all its known wild forms would be eliminated by late 2008, provided efforts in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India all proceed with their current momentum. As of October 2012, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan still had wild polio, but it had been eliminated in India.[44]

In 2014, polio survivor and Rotarian Ramesh Ferris met with the Dalai Lama to discuss the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. The meeting went viral via a selfie taken by Ferris with the Dalai Lama.[45]

Exchanges and scholarships

Some of Rotary's most visible programs include Rotary Youth Exchange, a student exchange program for students in secondary education, and the Rotary Foundation's oldest program, Ambassadorial Scholarships. Today, there are six different types of Rotary Scholarships. More than 38,000 men and women from 100 nations have studied abroad under the auspices of Ambassadorial Scholarship, and today it is the world's largest privately funded international scholarships program. In 2006–07 grants totaling approximately US$15 million were used to award some 800 scholarships to recipients from 69 countries who studied in 64 nations. The Exchange Students of Rotary Club Munich International publish their experiences on a regular basis on Rotary Youth Exchange with Germany. In July 2009 the Rotary Foundation ended funding for the Cultural and Multi-Year Ambassadorial Scholarships as well as Rotary Grants for University Teachers.

Rotary Fellowships, paid by the foundation launched in honor of Paul Harris in 1947, specialize in providing graduate fellowships around the world, usually in countries other than their own in order to provide international exposure and experience to the recipient.[29]:62 Recently, a new program was established known as the Rotary peace and Conflict Resolution program which provides funds for two years of graduate study in one of eight universities around the world. Rotary is naming about 75 of these scholars each year. The applications for these scholarships are found on line but each application must be endorsed by a local Rotary Club. Children and other close relatives of Rotarians are not eligible.

Rotary Peace Centers

Starting in 2002, The Rotary Foundation partnered with eight universities around the world to create the Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution. The universities included International Christian University (Japan), University of Queensland (Australia), Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) (France), University of Bradford (UK), Universidad del Salvador (Argentina), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (US), Duke University (US), and University of California, Berkeley (US) Since then, the Rotary Foundation's Board of Trustees has dropped its association with the Center in France at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, the Center in Argentina at the Universidad del Salvador, and the Center in the US at the University of California. In 2006, a new Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University (Thailand) began offering a three-month professional development program in peace and conflict studies for mid-level and upper-level professionals. In 2011, the Rotary Peace Center at Uppsala University (Sweden) was established and began offering a two-year master's program in peace and conflict studies.

Up to 100 Rotary Peace Fellows are selected annually to earn either a professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies or a master's degree in a range of disciplines related to peace and security. Each Rotary Peace Center offers a unique curriculum and field-based learning opportunities that examine peace and conflict theory through a variety of different frameworks. The first class graduated in 2004. As with many such university programs in "peace and conflict studies", questions have been raised concerning political bias and controversial grants. The average grant was about $75,000 per fellow for the two-year program and $12,000 per fellow for the three-month certificate program.

Literacy programs

Rotary clubs worldwide place a focus on increasing literacy. Such importance has been placed on literacy that Rotary International has created a "Rotary Literacy Month" that takes place during the month of March.[46] Rotary clubs also aim to conduct many literacy events during the week of September 8, which is International Literacy Day.[47] Some Rotary clubs raise funds for schools and other literacy organizations. Many clubs take part in a reading program called "Rotary Readers", in which a Rotary member spends time in a classroom with a designated student, and reads one-on-one with them.[48] Some Rotary clubs participate in book donations, both locally and internationally.[49] As well as participating in book donations and literacy events, there are educational titles written about Rotary Clubs and members, such as Rotary Clubs Help People, Carol is a Rotarian by Rotarian and children's book author Bruce Larkin and "Rhoda's Rescue" by Maine author Barbara Walsh in conjunction with Rotary Club of Waterville, Maine's Rhoda Reads early literacy program.


Rotary International publishes an official monthly magazine named The Rotarian in English (first published in 1911 as The National Rotarian). From April 1923 to August 1928, "The Rotarian" was managed and printed from the same building - the Atwell Building - as Rotary's office and headquarters[20][21]; the building was designed for Atwell Printing and Binding Company by famed Chicago architect, Alfred S. Alschuler.[19] Other periodicals are independently produced in more than 20 different major languages and distributed in 130 countries.


See also


  1. ^ "Barry Rassin selected to be 2018-19 Rotary president".
  2. ^ "About Rotary".
  3. ^
  4. ^ "The history of Rotary's mottoes".
  5. ^ "Manual of Procedure" (PDF). 2010.
  6. ^ Russell, Jeff. "Can You Survive Rotary's Four-Way Test?" Journal of Management in Engineering, May/June 2000, Vol. 16, Issue 3, p. 13.
  7. ^ "Guiding principles | My Rotary". Retrieved 2016-04-19.
  8. ^ De Grazia, Victoria. Irresistible Empire: America's Advance Through 20th-Century Europe. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. p. 27. ISBN 0-674-01672-6. and Arnone Sipari, Lorenzo (2006). Spirito rotariano e impegno associativo nel Lazio meridionale: i Rotary Club di Frosinone, Cassino e Fiuggi, 1959–2005. Cassino: University of Cassino Press. p. 15.
  9. ^ "Gus Loehr", Rotary International.
  10. ^ Rotary International (November 2008). The Rotarian. Rotary International. p. 46. ISSN 0035-838X.
  11. ^ "Our History | Rotary Club of Seattle - Seattle 4". Rotary Club of Seattle. 16 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Our History | LA5 Rotary Club of Los Angeles". LA5 Rotary Club of Los Angeles. 16 April 2018.
  13. ^ District 5950 Rotary International (1 May 2009). Rotary International: Almost a Century 1910–2007. AuthorHouse. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-4389-0584-6.
  14. ^ Proceedings: Twenty-Eighth Annual Convention of Rotary International. Rotary International. p. 1.
  15. ^ Rotary International (February 1980). The Rotarian. Rotary International. p. 70. ISSN 0035-838X.
  16. ^ S. Padraig Walsh (1 January 1979). The First Rotarian: The Life and Times of Paul Percy Harris, Founder of Rotary. Scan Books. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-906360-02-6. On 22 February 1911 the Rotary Club of Dublin was formed by formal resolution, with Morrow himself as the organizing secretary.
  17. ^ a b c Wikle, Thomas A. (Summer 1999). "International Expansion of the American-Style Service Club". Journal of American Culture. 22 (2). doi:10.1111/j.1542-734X.1999.2202_45.x.
  18. ^ Lewis, Basil (2003-07-03). "Rotary in World War 1". Rotary Global History Fellowship. Archived from the original on 2008-06-13.
  19. ^ a b "The Buildings of Alfred S. Alschuler". CommunityWalk. 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  20. ^ a b "Locations of Rotary Headquarters". RotaryGlobalHistory. 2019. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  21. ^ a b "The Rotarian Archives". RotaryInternational. 2019. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  22. ^ Rosemarie T. Downer (1 March 2009). The Self-Scarred Church. Xulon Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-60791-473-0.
  23. ^ a b Lewis, Basil (2003-03-16). "The Onset of War Closed Clubs in the 1930s and 1940s". Rotary Global History Fellowship. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30.
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  28. ^ Rotary International. "Joining Rotary is by invitation only". Archived from the original on 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  29. ^ a b Bird, John. "The Wonderful, Wide, Backslapping World Of Rotary." Saturday Evening Post, 2/9/1963, Vol. 236, Issue 5
  30. ^ a b Stuart Taylor Jr. (1987-05-05). "High Court Rules that Rotary Clubs Must Admit Women". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-11.
  31. ^ "Board of Directors, Rotary International v. Rotary Club of Duarte". Rotary International v. Rotary Club. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  32. ^ "Rotary eClub One Makeup".
  33. ^ Hanf, Susan; Polydoros, Donna (1 October 2009). "Historic Moments: Women in Rotary". Rotary International News. Rotary International. Archived from the original on 2009-10-03. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  34. ^ Rotary International Online Member Data 12 June 2017
  35. ^ Lake, Howard. "Nan McCreadie to become Rotary's first female president." UK Fundraising. 25 June 2013.
  36. ^ Quittner, Jeremy. "Join the Club." Advocate, 4/16/2002, Issue 861
  37. ^ a b "Rotaract, Interact, and RYLA | Rotary". Retrieved 2016-04-19.
  38. ^ Dochterman, Clifford L. (2012). ABCs of Rotary, Fifth edition, 2012. Rotary International. p. 7.
  39. ^ Forward, David C. A Century of Service: The Story of Rotary International. Published by Rotary International. Evanston, IL: 2009. First edition 2003. ISBN 0915062224.
  40. ^ Franco Pellaschiar, "Corrispondenza, atti, attestati e stralci di documenti sull'impegno di Sergio Mulitsch per l'Operazione PolioPlus". In Realtà Nuova, anno LXVII, n. 3, Milano, 2003.
  41. ^ Luciano Ravaglia, "L'eredità di Sergio Mulitsh: "Nuovi spazi al servire", l'Istituto Ong fra rotariani italiani". In Realtà Nuova, anno LXVII, n. 3, Milano, 2003.
  42. ^ "Bill Gates – Rotary International". Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 2009-01-21. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
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  48. ^ "Rotary Reader Brochure" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
  49. ^ Literacy Project Award Guide
  50. ^ "Cidadãos Estrangeiros Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 20 March 2019.

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 42°02′45″N 87°40′57″W / 42.0458°N 87.6824°W

India National PolioPlus

India National PolioPlus Society is a non-profit organization. The Initiative has achieved significant progress toward its goals. There has been a dramatic decline in cases everywhere in the seventeen years since the target was set in 1988.

Its volunteers throughout the world have helped organize national immunization days, staffed health stations and given drops to children. Rotarians have helped leverage a further US $6.7 billion from the governments the world over for this cause.

In India, since the campaign was launched, the disease incidence has reduced to ‘zero' at present.Indian Rotarians are also contributing to the program by donating large funds and in kind support. During every NID /SNID Indian Rotarians are seen volunteering by manning Polio booths and administering Polio drops to children.

Inner Wheel Club

Inner Wheel is an international women's organisation founded in 1924 by Margarette Golding, a nurse, business woman and the wife of a Manchester Rotarian. The first meeting was held on 10 January 1924 when 27 ladies attended. This date is now known as International Inner Wheel Day. Gradually other groups formed themselves into Inner Wheel Clubs and in 1934 the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland was formed.

The number of clubs around the world grew until in 1967 International Inner Wheel came into being. Today there are clubs in over 100 countries around the world. Inner Wheel clubs are grouped into districts with twenty-nine districts within Great Britain and Ireland. Most clubs meet monthly, often with a speaker at the meeting but members meet socially on a regular basis.

Before 1989, Rotary International generally prohibited women as members. This was the original reason for establishing an organisation for the wives and daughters of Rotarians, known as Inner Wheel. Despite women now being able to join Rotary, Inner Wheel Clubs continue to grow in many countries.

The International Inner Wheel objectives are (a) promoting true friendship, (b) encouraging the ideals of personal service, and (c) fostering international understanding.

Jack Nielsen (tennis)

Jack Fridtjof Charles Hücke Coucheron Nobel Nielsen (Norwegian pronunciation: [tʃɑk nɪlsɛn(ː)]) (3 August 1896 – 9 January 1981) was a Norwegian tennis player. He was a six-time national tennis champion of Norway.

James W. Davidson

James Wheeler Davidson (14 June 1872 – 18 July 1933) was an explorer, writer, United States diplomat, businessman and philanthropist. He is remembered for The Island of Formosa, Past and Present (1903) on the history of Taiwan and also noted for greatly aiding the internationalisation of Rotary International.

Lombardi Award

The Lombardi Award is awarded by the Lombardi Foundation annually to the best college football player, regardless of position, based on performance, as well as leadership, character, and resiliency. From 1970 until 2016 the award was presented by Rotary International specifically to a lineman or linebacker. The Lombardi Award program was approved by the Rotary International club in Houston in 1970 shortly after the death of famed National Football League coach Vince Lombardi. The committee outlined the criteria for eligibility for the award, which remained in place until 2016: A player should be a down lineman on either offense or defense or a linebacker who lines up no further than five yards deep from the ball.The voting electorate is made up of the head coaches from all NCAA Division I schools, sports media personnel from across the country, and former winners and finalists of the Lombardi Award. The total number of voters is approximately 500. Ohio State University holds the record for most Lombardi awards with six. Orlando Pace, the only two-time winner (1995 and 1996), is the most recent offensive lineman to be honored.

The main part of the trophy used to be a block of granite, paying homage to Lombardi's college days at Fordham University as an offensive lineman when his offensive line was referred to as the "Seven Blocks of Granite". A new trophy designed by Texas sculptor Edd Hayes replaced the original block of granite.

Luther H. Hodges

Luther Hartwell Hodges (March 9, 1898 – October 6, 1974) was a businessman and American politician. After a career in textile manufacturing, he entered public service, gaining some state appointments. Elected as lieutenant governor of North Carolina in 1952, he succeeded to the Governor's office in 1954 after the death of the incumbent. He was elected in 1956 to a full four-year term, serving in total as the 64th Governor of the state of North Carolina from 1954 to 1961.

In 1961 he was appointed as United States Secretary of Commerce under President John F. Kennedy, serving until 1965. He returned to North Carolina and served as chairman of Research Triangle Park, a major facility established during his tenure as governor.

Morgan Park, Chicago

Morgan Park, located on the far south side of the city of Chicago, Illinois, United States, is one of the city's 77 official community areas.

Nitish Chandra Laharry

Nitish Chandra Laharry (1892–1964) was an Indian lawyer, social worker and film producer from Kolkata. He was the first person of Asian origin to be elected as the president of Rotary International and was the producer of the first motion picture of Bengal. It was during his presidency that Rotary International started its Youth wing, Interact Club. The Government of India awarded him the third highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan, in 1963, for his contributions to society.

Paul P. Harris

Paul Percy Harris (April 19, 1868 – January 27, 1947) was a Chicago, Illinois, attorney. He founded Rotary International in 1905.

Richard L. Evans

Richard Louis Evans (March 23, 1906 – November 1, 1971) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) (1953–71); the president of Rotary International (1966–67); and the writer, producer, and announcer of Music and the Spoken Word for forty-one years (1929–71).

Robert D. Orr (bust)

Robert D. Orr is a public artwork by American artist Don Ingle which is located on the Indiana State House: Third Floor Rotunda, which is near Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America. The bust is a bronze political sculpture of Robert D. Orr, the 45th Governor of Indiana. Created in 1987, the bust was a gift by the Rotary International chapter of Evansville, Indiana. The bust measures 30 x 21 x 15 in.; 76.2 x 53.34 x 38.1 cm.


Rotaract originally began as a Rotary International youth program in 1968 at Charlotte North Rotary Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States, and has grown into a major Rotary-sponsored organization of over 9,522 clubs spread around the world and 291,006 members. It is a service, leadership, professional and community service organization (often miscommunicated as a Social Service Club) for young men and women between the ages 18–30 (membership will end upon reaching 31 years of age).

Rotaract focuses on the development of young adults as leaders in their communities and workplaces. Clubs around the world also take part in international service projects, in a global effort to bring peace and international understanding to the world.

"Rotaract" stands for "Rotary in Action", although the name originally comes from a combination of "Rotary" and "Interact" (International + Action), the high school level program created by Rotary International in 1962.

Most Rotaract activities take place at the club level. Rotaract clubs hold formal meetings, usually every two weeks, which feature speakers, special outings, social activities, discussions or visits to other clubs. Club members get together on designated days for service project work, social events, or professional/leadership development workshops.

To be eligible for membership, prospective members must be 18–30 years of age, show that they are committed to Rotaract, and show that they are of good standing in the community. After being approved by the club, prospective members are 'inducted' to become members, also known as 'Rotaractors'.

The avenues of service include Club Service, Community Service, International Service and Professional Development.

Rotary Foundation

The Rotary Foundation is a non-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. It is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.

The Foundation was created in 1917 by Rotary International's sixth president, Arch C. Klumph, as an endowment fund for Rotary "to do good in the world." It has grown from an initial contribution of US$26.50 to more than US$1billion. It has one of the largest and most prestigious international fellowship programs in the world.

Rotary Scholarships

Rotary International offers a number of scholarships worldwide for periods of 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years.

Rotary Smith Award

The Rotary Smith Award was created in 1988 to honor the most outstanding college baseball player of the year. The award was founded by the Greater Houston Sports Association. In 1996, the Rotary Club of Houston joined the award committee. Prior to the 2004 season, the award was succeeded by the Roger Clemens Award, honoring the most outstanding college baseball pitcher.

Rotary Youth Exchange

Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) is a Rotary International student exchange program for students in secondary school. Since 1929, Rotary International has sent young people around the globe to experience new cultures. Currently, about 9,000 students are sponsored by Rotary clubs every year. Typically, students are sent to another country for a year-long stay, generally living with multiple host families during the year and being expected to perform daily tasks within the household as well as attend school in the host country. Short term exchange programs are also quite common. These typically involve direct student exchanges between two families arranged through Rotary to coincide with major school holiday periods.

Service fraternities and sororities

Service fraternity may refer to any fraternal public service organization, such as the Kiwanis or Rotary International. In Canada and the United States, the term fraternal organization is more common as "fraternity" in everyday usage refers to fraternal student societies.

In the context of the North American student fraternity and sorority system, service fraternities and service sororities comprise a type of organization whose primary purpose is community service. Members of these organizations are not restricted from joining other types of fraternities. This may be contrasted with professional fraternities, whose primary purpose is to promote the interests of a particular profession, and general or social fraternities, whose primary purposes are generally aimed towards some other aspect, such as the development of character, friendship, leadership, or literary ability.

Some general fraternities and their chapters, especially members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, emphasize the service aspects of their activities; however classification as a strictly service organization has legal meaning in regard to Title IX. Service fraternities, like professional fraternities and honor societies must be open to members of both genders since they do not have an exemption from Title IX similar to the one given in section (A)(6)(a) for social fraternities and sororities.


ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that provides temporary shelter and life saving supplies to displaced families.Each ShelterBox typically contains a tent designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, water purification kit, blankets, tools, and other necessities to help a family survive after a disaster. The contents of a ShelterBox are tailored to the nature and location of the disaster.ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organisations, international aid agencies and Rotary clubs worldwide.

Shykh Seraj

Shykh Seraj (born 7 September 1954) is a Bangladeshi journalist, media personality and agriculture development activist. He was awarded Ekushey Padak in 1995 and Independence Day Award in 2018 by the Government of Bangladesh.

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