Rotary has been many things, to many people, in the last 111 years. Through Rotary, our members have found friends, community, and a sense of purpose; we’ve forged connections, advanced our careers, and had incredible experiences we couldn’t have had anywhere else. Every week, in more than 34,000 clubs around the world, Rotarians come together to talk, laugh, and share ideas. But above all, we come together for one, overriding goal: service.

Service to humanity has been the cornerstone of Rotary since its earliest days, and its main purpose ever since. There is no better path to meaningful service today than Rotary membership; and no organization better placed to make a real and positive difference in our world. No other organization so effectively brings together committed, capable professionals in a wide variety of fields, and enables them to achieve ambitious goals. Through Rotary, we have the capacity, the network, and the knowledge to change the world: the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves.

Today, our organization is at a historic juncture that will determine, in so many ways, what comes next. Together, we have provided extraordinary service to our world; tomorrow, our world will depend on us to do even more. Now is the time to capitalize on our success: as we complete the eradication of polio, and catapult Rotary forward, with determination and enthusiasm, to be an even greater force for good in the world.

Paul Harris could hardly have imagined that one day, more than 1.2 million Rotarians would be combining their efforts and their resources to serve humanity together. We can only imagine what great deeds Paul Harris would have expected of such a Rotary! It is our responsibility to achieve those deeds, and our privilege to carry forth the tradition of Rotary Serving Humanity.

John Germ 
President, Rotary International 
2016-17