Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders in over 32,000 Rotary clubs. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. It was founded in 1905 by Paul P. Harris. Rotary clubs belong to Rotary International (RI) and are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto “Service Above Self,” Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians are members of Rotary clubs. To become a Rotarian, one must be invited to join a Rotary club by a member of that club.
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: First. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service; Second. 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; Third. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life; Fourth. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service. (RIC 4, SRCC 4) The RI Board has agreed that the four explanatory statements in the Object of Rotary are of great and equal significance and are actions that must be taken simultaneously.