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Bold Goals


We establish some of our most ambitious programs and partnerships. Building peace and fighting polio take on increased importance as we look for ways to make a lasting impact.

1985: Rotary launches PolioPlus

PolioPlus supports the commitment Rotary made a few years earlier to "eliminate polio though immunization." Today, that commitment remains a top priority and the PolioPlus program coordinates the efforts of Rotary and its partners.

  1. A volunteer immunizes a child against polio in Bolivia. 1989. The WHO's America region is certified polio-free in 1994.

  2. A poster advertising National Immunization Days in Tanzania in 1996.

  3. A healthcare worker uses a bicycle to travel to children in remote areas during a National Immunization Day in Cote d'Ivoire, in 2013. The cooler is vital for keeping the polio vaccine cold and useable.

  4. A Rotary volunteer marks the finger of a child to indicate she has just received polio vaccine. Attock, Punjab, Pakistan. 2019.

About a year after women join Rotary worldwide, The Rotarian magazine runs a feature story looking at the impact of Rotary's expanded membership.

1987: Women join Rotary

Women join Rotary clubs throughout the U.S. following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1989, women join clubs worldwide.

1988: Peace Forums and advocacy

The Foundation holds its first Peace Forum in Evanston, Illinois, USA, as part of a pilot program. The program is later broadened and peace-focused events continue under many names.

The Peace Forum newsletter shared key messages from the events with members around the world.

Ending polio requires close coordination with our partners. A Rotary member from India meets with members of the WHO India National Polio Surveillance Project at the WHO country office in New Delhi, India, in 2019.

1988: Partners in the fight against polio

Inspired by Rotary's immunization work in the Philippines and global fundraising success, the World Health Assembly sets a goal of worldwide polio eradication. Rotary is a founding member of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

1999: Peace Centers empower leaders

Foundation Trustees approve the creation of the Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution, now known as Peace Centers. An inaugural class of Rotary Peace Fellows begins studies in 2002.

  1. Rotary Peace Fellows at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, in 2022.

  2. Rotary Peace fellows in 2019 at Duke University-University of North Carolina in Durham, North Carolina, USA.

  3. Rotary Peace Fellows at International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. 2011.

  4. Rotary Peace Fellows at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. 2014.

2004: Arch Klumph Society recognizes donors

Rotary creates the Arch Klumph Society to recognize individuals, couples, and organizations that have contributed $250,000 or more to the Foundation. The first annual dinner is held at the 2005 convention in Chicago.

Arch Klumph Society lapel pin

Explore more of Rotary's history