Arch C. Klumph was one of the founders (and president) of the Rotary Club of Cleveland and was elected the sixth president of Rotary International in 1916.
He conceived the idea of a Rotary Club Foundation and convinced Rotarians to begin an endowment during World War I. He promoted “endowments for the purpose of doing good in the world” at the 1917 convention in Atlanta, Georgia and thus, The Rotary Foundation was born. Klumph was selected as one of its first Trustees, serving as chairman from 1928 to 1934.
During Rotary International’s centennial celebration, The Rotary Foundation Trustees sought a meaningful way to recognize the Foundation’s highest-level donors. The Trustees inaugurated the Arch C. Klumph Society in 2005.
On October 21, 1992, Rotary officials dedicated a granite monument to Klumph in Cleveland’s lakefront park. At that time Rotary clubs had raised $500 million to provide scholarships, food and medicine for the needy and began a global program to inocculate children against polio as part of their worldwide program.
The Rotary Foundation impressed Bill Gates so much that he patterned his foundation after it.