Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. 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. There are over 35,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures and races. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.  Rotary began as an idea in 1905.

View YouTube video The Boys of 1905 – a History of Rotary International.

Rotary History and Archives is the authority on Rotary’s rich, evolving history. Located in Lincolnwood, Illinois, USA, the History and Archives team continues to update and provide access to its collection of tens of thousands of items from all over the world.

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, andthe 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.

The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.


Professional Networking
A founding principle of Rotary was to meet periodically to enjoy camaraderie and
enlarge one’s circle of business and professional acquaintances. As the oldest
service club in the world, Rotary club members represent a cross-section of the
community’s owners, executives, managers, political leaders, and professionals
– people who make decisions and influence policy.
Service Opportunities
Club members have many opportunities for humanitarian service, both locally
and internationally. Service programs address such concerns as health care,
hunger, poverty, illiteracy, and the environment. Rotarians experience the
fulfillment that comes from giving back to the community.
International Awareness
With more than 35,000 clubs in over 200 countries & geographical areas,
Rotarians gain an understanding of humanitarian issues through international
service projects and exchange programs. One of Rotary’s highest objectives is to
build goodwill and peace throughout the world.
Rotary was founded on fellowship, an ideal that remains a major attraction of
membership today. Club members enjoy the camaraderie with like-minded
professionals, and club projects offer additional opportunities to develop enduring
friendships. Rotary club members who travel have friendly contacts in almost
every city in the world.
Good Citizenship
Weekly Rotary club programs keep members informed about what is taking place
in the community, nation, and world and motivated to make a difference.
Family Foundations
Rotary sponsors some of the world’s largest youth exchange, educational
exchange, and scholarship programs. Rotary clubs provide innovative training
opportunities and mentoring for young leaders and involve family members in a
wide range of social and service activities.
Social activities give Rotarians a chance to let loose and have fun. Every Rotary
club and district hosts parties and activities that offer diversions from today’s
demanding professional and personal schedules. Conferences, conventions,
assemblies, and social events provide entertainment as well as Rotary
information, education, and service.
Ethical Environment
Encouraging high ethical standards in one’s profession and respect for all worthy
vocations has been a hallmark of Rotary from its earliest days. In their business
and professional lives, Rotarians abide by The Four-Way Test:
Of the things we think, say or do:
1) Is it the TRUTH?
2) Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4) Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

History of the 4 way test

Leadership Development
Rotary is an organization of successful professionals. Team building, fundraising,
public speaking, planning, organization, and communication are just a sampling
of the leadership skills that club members can exercise and enhance. Being a
Rotary leader provides further experience in learning how to motivate, inspire,
and guide others.
Diversity in Membership
Rotary’s classification system ensures that a club’s membership represents a
variety of the community’s professional men and women, including leaders in
business, industry, the arts, government, sports, the military, and religion. Rotary
clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.

Avenues of Service
Rotary’s Five Avenues of Service are the philosophical and practical framework for the work of this Rotary club.
1. Club Service, the first Avenue of Service, involves action a member should take within this club to help it function successfully.
2. Vocational Service, the second Avenue of Service, has the purpose of promoting high ethical standards in businesses and professions, recognizing the worthiness of all dignified occupations, and fostering the ideal of service in the pursuit of all vocations. The role of members includes conducting themselves and their businesses in accordance with Rotary’s principles.
3. Community Service, the third Avenue of Service, comprises varied efforts that members make, sometimes in conjunction with others, to improve the quality of life of those who live within this club’s locality or municipality.
4. International Service, the fourth Avenue of Service, comprises those activities that members do to advance international understanding, goodwill, and peace by fostering acquaintance with people of other countries, their cultures, customs, accomplishments, aspirations, and problems, through reading and correspondence and through cooperation in all club activities and projects designed to help people in other lands.
5. Youth Service, the fifth Avenue of Service, recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities, involvement in community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding.

Rotarian Code of Conduct

In 1989, Rotary International established Service Above Self as the principal motto of Rotary, because it best conveys the philosophy of unselfish volunteer service.


Please click on the links on the header or footer of this page to learn about the Alamo Heights Rotary Club.