The Rotary Minute is a quick one-minute story that features the work and impact of Rotary in our community and world!

Arch C. Klumph: The Father of the Rotary Foundation

January 2021 is Vocational Service Month | District 7070
During last week’s presentation of our exceptional donors to the Rotary International Foundation, former president Clark Brekke mentioned that we have club donors who were members of the Arch Klumph Society.  “The who Society, I said?”  So needless to say, the first thing I did when I got back to my office was to look up Arch Klumph. Wow is the first thing I said after reading his profile.

Arch C. Klumph was modest about his role in the creation of the Rotary Foundation. But he was pivotal in writing Rotary’s Constitution in 1915. By writing a constitution for Rotary, he gave Rotary International its first centralized power and made all the objects and fundamentals of Rotary universal. Arch Klumph also took pride in establishing the first European branch office of Rotary International.
Klumph was born in the small town of Conneautville, Pennsylvania, USA, on June 6, 1869. When he was a child, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he would become a founding member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland in 1911. As club president in 1913, he advocated for the club to build a reserve that would ensure its means to do future good work. This idea would stay with him as he moved on to serve Rotary in other roles. 

Five years after he became a Rotarian, Klumph was elected to serve as Rotary International’s president for 1916-17. Near the end of his term, at the 1917 Rotary Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, he reminded Rotarians that, “Rotary is at the present time entering a new era, demanding improved methods in administrative machinery, with which to carry out the splendid principles which have been laid down heretofore.” He defined six points of action, including the establishment of an endowment, which would later become The Rotary Foundation:

Through Klumph’s simple yet profound statement, the Rotary Endowment Fund was born. In 1928, the name formally changed to The Rotary Foundation, and a Board of Trustees was established, with Klumph serving as the first trustee chair from 1928 to 1935. 
Even after stepping down as chair, Klumph remained dedicated to educating Rotary leaders and members about the importance of the Foundation and encouraging contributions. 

Klumph died on 3 June 1951 at age 82, but his influence lives on through The Foundation. And as we learned last week from Clark Brekke, what an amazing legacy Arch Klumph has left both Rotary and the world! And that is today’s Rotary Minute!