The Paul Harris Fellowship Award is one of the highest honors Rotary can bestow upon a person. Recipients are Rotarians and community professionals, recognized for their outstanding contributions, exemplifying the highest ideal in Rotary in placing “SERVICE ABOVE SELF.” This honor accompanies a donation of $1,000 or more, in the recipient’s name, to Rotary International’s “Annual Program Fund,” which supports Rotary’s world-wide programs.
First, who is Paul Harris? Paul Percy Harris (pictured right) was a Chicago attorney best known for founding Rotary International in 1905, a service organization that currently has well over 1.1 million members worldwide. In 1957 the Paul Harris Fellows program was established to show appreciation for, and encourage substantial contributions to what was then the Rotary Foundation, in support of Ambassadorial Scholarships. In 1979 at the Rotary International Assembly the RI President James Bomar challenged each Rotary club to make one non-Rotarian a Paul Harris Fellow. When $US 1000 is contributed to The Rotary Foundation, a request can be made for an individual to be recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow; that person can be a Rotarian or a member of the community who is not a Rotarian.
Recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx were nominated as Paul Harris Fellows by the Rotary e-Club of Florida for their civil service to the United States and the World.