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Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The 1.2 million Rotarians who make up more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in nearly every country in the world share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self. Rotary clubs are open to people of all cultures and ethnicities and are not affiliated with any political or religious organizations.


The world's first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to capture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The Rotary name derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members' offices.

Rotary's popularity spread, and within a decade, clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York to Winnipeg, Canada. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents. The organization adopted the Rotary International name a year later.

As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving club members’ professional and social interests. Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing their talents to help serve communities in need. The organization's dedication to this ideal is best expressed in its motto: Service Above Self.
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Herbert J. Taylor
44th Rotary President

Herbert J Taylor & the 4-Way Test

In 1932, Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor created The Four-Way Test, a code of ethics adopted by Rotary 11 years later. The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions:
Of the things we think, say or do
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Service Above Self

Our motto, Service Above Self, embodies our humanitarian spirit. Rotary’s Avenues of Service guide our activities:

  • Through Club Service, we have fun, build lasting friendships, and make sure that our club runs well
  • Through Vocational Service, we volunteer our professional skills to serve others and promote integrity in everything we do
  • Through Community Service, we address local needs and work with our community to bring lasting improvements
  • Through International Service, we meet humanitarian needs around the globe and promote world understanding and peace
  • Through New Generations Service, we work with young people to help them become the next generation of leaders, visionaries, and peacemakers

The Legacy of Paul Harris

Paul Harris (April 19, 1868–January 27, 1947) was the Chicago, Illinois, attorney who founded Rotary International in 1905. By the time of his death at the age of seventy-nine, Rotary International had grown to more than 200,000 members in 75 countries. Today, 1.2 million Rotarians belong to over 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas

Paul Harris Fellows
Paul Harris Fellow recognition was created in memory of Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary as a way to show appreciation for contributions to the Foundation’s charitable and educational program. A Paul Harris Fellow is someone who contributes or in whose name is contributed, US $1000. They do not have to be a Rotarian. This in one of the most meaningful ways an individual can be honored in the world of Rotary.
Peace Through Service
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Each one of us has a job to do — to get fully engaged in Rotary, to lead by example, and to inspire others to join us. Working together, we will build a stronger Rotary — and a better world.

Ron Burton
President Rotary International

Welcome to the
Rotary Club of Gettysburg
Please join us. We meet every Monday at 12 noon at the Historic Gettysburg Hotel.

1 Lincoln Square, Gettysburg, PA 17325