Paul Harris Fellows
Paul Percy Harris (April 19, 1868–January 27, 1947)
Paul Harris was born in Racine, Wisconsin. At age 3, when his family fell on hard times, they moved to Vermont to live with Harris’ paternal grandparents. He attended PrincetonUniversity, the University of Vermont, and the University of Iowa. For the next five years, he worked odd jobs for a newspaper as a salesman and a reporter, on fruit farms, as an actor and cowboy, and on cattle ships that traveled to Europe. Harris would settle in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago, where he lived until his death in 1947.
He began his law practice in 1896 in Chicago. In 1905, Harris organized the first Rotary Club “in fellowship and friendship” with three clients, Silvester Schele, Gustavus Loehr, and Hiram Shorey. His initial goal was to create a club of professional and business men for friendship and fellowship. Early on, Harris realised that Rotary needed a greater purpose. While Harris served as president of the Chicago Rotary Club in 1907, the club initiated its first public service project, the construction of public toilets in Chicago. This step transformed Rotary into the world’s first Service Club
A Paul Harris Fellow is given to those individuals who have contributed more than $1000US in one year to the Annual Program Fund, the Polio Plus Fund or the Humanitarian Grants Program of the Rotary Foundation. Additionally, individual Rotary clubs may from time to time honour individuals as Paul Harris Fellows. These honorees are individuals who meet high professional and personal standards set forth by Paul Harris. Paul Harris Fellowships can be also be given by individual clubs to non-Rotarians for humanitarian work they have done in their local communities or internationally
A Paul Harris Fellow receives a special certificate and a gold pin. At the discretion of the Fellow’s club, the Fellow may also receive a gold medallion on a blue-and-gold ribbon.
Multiple-time Paul Harris Fellows are recognized as they continue to contribute. Additionally, Paul Harris Fellows receive recognition points which they may contribute towards the recognition of other members as Paul Harris Fellows.