Rotary Themes through the Years

Each January, as Rotary district governors-elect convene at the International Assembly for training and fellowship, they can be certain of two things: a lot of take-home reading and the announcement of a new RI theme.

The tradition of crafting a theme is credited to 1949-50 RI President Percy C. Hodgson, who outlined a list of four objectives for his term in office. Among them were the better application of the principles of vocational service and dedication to world understanding and peace through international service programs.

Though Hodgson’s 83-word proclamation ran substantially longer than today’s shorter, punchier themes, Rotarians’ desire to celebrate and support their president’s annual program of service has remained the same. Other early themes include Rotary Is Hope in Action (Joaquin Serratosa Cibils, 1953-54), Kindle the Spark Within (Nitish C. Laharry, 1962-63), and Good Will Begins with You (Ernst G. Breitholtz, 1971-72).

In the decades that followed, RI presidents introduced theme logos, lapel pins, ties, and scarves. Theme ties were introduced in the 1990s, and are now given out yearly. Many have incorporated the theme for the year. The first scarves showing the RI theme were designed by 1998-99 RI President James L. Lacy and his wife, Claudine, Follow Your Rotary Dream.

Theme Logo Rotary Year RI Theme RI President District 5630 Governor
1980-1981	Take Time to Serve 1980-1981 Take Time to Serve

Rolf J. Klärich
Rotary Club of Helsinki-Helsingfors
Finland

Dr. Wm. G. Hasemeyer
North Platte
1981-1982	World Understanding and Peace through Rotary 1981-1982 World Understanding and Peace through Rotary

Stanley E. McCaffrey
Rotary Club of Stockton
California, USA

Bill Sherwood
Oxford

1982-1983	Mankind Is One — Build Bridges of Friendship throughout the World 1982-1983 Mankind Is One — Build Bridges of Friendship throughout the World

Hiroji Mukasa
Rotary Club of Nakatsu
Oita, Japan

Eldon Jasa
Kearney
1983-1984	Share Rotary, Serve People 1983-1984 Share Rotary, Serve People William E. Skelton
Rotary Club of Christiansburg-Blacksburg
Virginia, USA
Edwin Loutzenheiser
Hastings
1984-1985	Discover a New World of Service 1984-1985 Discover a New World of Service

Carlos Canseco
Rotary Club of Monterrey
Nuevo León, Mexico

Darrell Peters
Arnold

1985-1986	You Are the Key 1985-1986 You Are the Key

Edward F. Cadman
Rotary Club of Wenatchee
Washington, USA

Neal Baxter
North Platte
 1986-1987	Rotary Brings Hope 1986-1987 Rotary Brings Hope

M.A.T. Caparas
Rotary Club of Manila
Manila, Philippines

Emmett Jones
McCook

1987-1988	Rotarians — United in Service — Dedicated to Peace 1987-1988 Rotarians — United in Service — Dedicated to Peace

Charles C. Keller
Rotary Club of California
Pennsylvania, USA

Al Achterberg
Holdrege

1988-1989	Put Life into Rotary — Your Life 1988-1989 Put Life into Rotary — Your Life

Royce Abbey
Rotary Club of Essendon
Victoria, Australia

Cliff Lord
Indianola
1989-1990	Enjoy Rotary! 1989-1990 Enjoy Rotary!

Hugh M. Archer
Rotary Club of Dearborn
Michigan, USA

Ken C. Wehrrnan
Arnold
1990-1991	Honor Rotary with Faith and Enthusiasm 1990-1991 Honor Rotary with Faith and Enthusiasm

Paulo V.C. Costa
Rotary Club of Santos
São Paulo, Brazil

James W. Biehl
Lexington
1991-1992	Look Beyond Yourself 1991-1992 Look Beyond Yourself

Rajendra K. Saboo
Rotary Club of Chandigarh
Union Territory, India

Jack E. Rasmussen
Grand Island
1992-1993	Real Happiness Is Helping Others 1992-1993 Real Happiness Is Helping Others

Clifford L. Dochterman
Rotary Club of Moraga
California, USA

Nathan L. Eastman
Kimball
1993-1994  Believe in What You Do — Do What You Believe in

1993-1994

Believe in What You Do — Do What You Believe in

Robert Barth
Rotary Club of Aarau
Switzerland

Milton W. Rogers
Chappell
1994-1995	Be a Friend 1994-1995 Be a Friend

Bill Huntley
Rotary Club of Alford & Mablethorpe
Lincolnshire, England

Jack R. Knicely
Sidney
1995-1996	Act with Integrity, Serve with Love, Work for Peace 1995-1996 Act with Integrity, Serve with Love, Work for Peace

Herbert G. Brown
Rotary Club of Clearwater
Florida, USA

Bevin Bump
Chadron
1996-1997	Build the Future with Action and Vision 1996-1997 Build the Future with Action and Vision

Luis Vicente Giay
Rotary Club of Arrecifes
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Bob Phares
North Platte
1997-1998	Show Rotary Cares — for your community, for our world, for its people 1997-1998 Show Rotary Cares — for your community, for our world, for its people

Glen W. Kinross
Rotary Club of Hamilton,
Brisbane Queensland, Australia

Melvin H. Gosda
Grand Island
1998-1999	Follow Your Rotary Dream 1998-1999 Follow Your Rotary Dream

James L. Lacy
Rotary Club of Cookeville
Tennessee, USA

Karl J. Borden
Kearney Dawn
1999-2000	Rotary 2000: Act with Consistency, Credibility, Continuity 1999-2000 Rotary 2000: Act with Consistency, Credibility, Continuity

Carlo Ravizza
Rotary Club of Milano
Sud-Ovest, Italy

David L. Varmette
Chadron
2000-2001	Create Awareness — Take Action 2000-2001 Create Awareness — Take Action

Frank J. Devlyn
Rotary Club of Anáhuac
Distrito Federal, Mexico

Jerry Draucker
Ogallala
2001-2002	Mankind Is Our Business 2001-2002 Mankind Is Our Business

Richard D. King
Rotary Club of Niles (Fremont)
California, USA

Marcie Schmidt
Minden
2002-2003	Sow the Seeds of Love 2002-2003 Sow the Seeds of Love

Bhichai Rattakul
Rotary Club of Dhonburi
Thailand

Diane Finch-Oerter
Arnold
2003-2004	Lend a Hand 2003-2004 Lend a Hand

Jonathan B. Majiyagbe
Rotary Club of Kano
Kano State, Nigeria

Mark Mendenhall
North Platte
2004-2005	Celebrate Rotary 2004-2005 Celebrate Rotary

Glenn E. Estess Sr.
Rotary Club of Shades Valley
Alabama, USA

Ken Gnadt
Grand Island
2005-2006	Service Above Self 2005-2006 Service Above Self

Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar
Rotary Club of Göteborg
Sweden

William E. Ballou
Kearney
2006-2007	Lead the Way 2006-2007 Lead the Way

William B. Boyd
Rotary Club of Pakuranga
Auckland, New Zealand

Cloyd Clark
McCook
2007-2008	Rotary Shares 2007-2008 Rotary Shares

Wilfrid J. Wilkinson
Rotary Club of Trenton
Ontario, Canada

Robert “Bob” Stetter
Valentine
2008-2009	Make Dreams Real 2008-2009 Make Dreams Real

Dong Kurn Lee
Rotary Club of Seoul Hangang
Seoul, Korea

Thomas L. Kraus
Ogallala
2009-2010	The Future of Rotary Is in Your Hands 2009-2010 The Future of Rotary Is in Your Hands

John Kenny
Rotary Club of Grangemouth
Scotland

Dr. James Shreck
North Platte
2010-2011	Building Communities -- Bridging Continents 2010-2011 Building Communities — Bridging Continents

Ray Klinginsmith
Rotary Club of Kirksville
Missouri, USA

Dave Snow
St. Paul
2011-2012	Reach Within to Embrace Humanity 2011-2012 Reach Within to Embrace Humanity

Kalyan Banerjee
Rotary Club of Vapi
Gujarat, India

Ronald L. Bazata
Kearney
2012-2013	Peace Through Service 2012-2013 Peace Through Service Sakuji Tanaka
Rotary Club of Yashio
Saitama, Japan
Dian Edwards
O’Neill
2013-2014	Engage Rotary Change Lives 2013-2014 Engage Rotary Change Lives

Ron D. Burton
Rotary Club of Norman
Oklahoma, USA

Duane Tappe
McCook
RI President-elect Gary C.K. Huang chose Light Up Rotary as his theme for 2014-15. 2014-2015 Light Up Rotary

Gary Huang
Rotary Club of Taipei Taiwan
Taipei, Taiwan

Koby Rickertsen
Gothenburg
Be a Gift to the World 2015-2016 Be a Gift to the World

K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran
Rotary Club of Columbo
Sri Lanka

Don Peterson
Kearney Dawn
2016-2017 Rotary Serving Humanity

John F. Germ
Rotary Club of Chattanooga
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Tom Mortimer
St. Paul

2017-2018 Rotary: Making A Difference

Ian H.S. Riseley
Rotary Club of Sandringham
Victoria, Australia

Jerry Milner
Grand Island Noon 
  2018-2019 Be the Inspiration

Barry Rassin
Rotary Club of East Nassau
New Providence, Bahamas

Dale Schultz
Hastings Sunrise

A list of past presidents and RI themes can be found in the Official Directory.