President Speaks – November 2016

Arch Klumph’s Revolution

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

Looking back at the momentous 1917 Rotary ­Convention in Atlanta, it is difficult to see what could have been ­contentious about the words of then-President Arch C. Klumph: “It seems ­eminently proper that we should accept endowments for the ­purpose of doing good in the world.” Yet, at the time, support for the idea was far from unanimous. Some thought an ­endowment fund would create more trouble than it was worth. But Klumph’s idea received the support it most needed in the form of an ­initial donation of $26.50 from the Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri.

Nearly 100 years later, we recognise Klumph’s idea as not only visionary, but revolutionary: It set in place the mechanism that allowed Rotary to become the vast force for “doing good in the world” that it is today.

In many ways, our Rotary Foundation is the foundation of Rotary as we know it. It has created a mechanism for ­cooperation and partnership among clubs and between Rotary and other organisations; it has enabled us to be ever more ambitious in our work and to reach for goals of historic proportions, such as the eradication of polio. It is impossible to quantify the good that has been done over the last century as a result of The Rotary Foundation. All we can know for sure is that Arch Klumph, if he could see it, would be proud.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you at our international convention in Atlanta: the city where our Foundation was born. I hope a record number of Rotarians will be there to celebrate the centennial of our Foundation. In the meantime, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate! I encourage you to read more about the Foundation centennial at There, you’ll learn about the history of our Foundation and find ideas for events and projects in your clubs and your community.

One of the most important ways we are celebrating the ­Foundation centennial is with a fundraising goal of $300 million. Your gift to your Foundation is the best way of ensuring a strong second century for Rotarians Doing Good in the World and for Rotary Serving Humanity.


John F Germ
President, Rotary International

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