Each January, as Rotary District governors-elect from all over the world gather at the International Assembly for training and fellowship, the then Rotary International President-elect announces his (hopefully soon to be her) RI Theme.
The RI Theme sets the tone for what Rotary Clubs around the world will work towards once the Rotary International President-elect (RIPE), the 534 District governors-elect (DGEs) and the 35,000 Rotary Club Presidents-elect begin their new year on July 1st.
The excitement, anticipation and fanfare around RI Theme announcements have been a Rotary staple for the since 1955 and this year was no exception as RI President-elect John F. Germ said, and that being a part of Rotary is a “great opportunity” to make that happen.
Germ unveiled the 2016-17 presidential theme, Rotary Serving Humanity, to incoming district governors on 18 January at the International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA.
“I believe everyone recognizes the opportunity to serve Rotary for what it truly is: not a small opportunity, but a great one; an opportunity of a lifetime to change the world for the better, forever through Rotary’s service to humanity,” said Germ.
Rotary members around the globe are serving humanity by providing clean water to underdeveloped communities, promoting peace in conflict areas, and strengthening communities through basic education and literacy. But none more important than our work to eradicate polio worldwide, he said.
The timing of releasing RI Themes is carefully choreographed to the training which incoming District Governors (known as District Governors-elect) and Club Presidents (known as Presidents-elect) receive as the added significance of the RI Theme is to keep Rotary fresh each year while provide unique inspiration to the incoming world-wide leadership.
Below are the RI Theme Pins for the past 37 years. Merchandising the RI Theme on pins, ties, scarfs, clothing, banners and other giftware has evolved steadily since 1979-80. Prior to that the RI Theme was communicated in booklet form.