November 23, 1915, a group of 23 local businessmen gathered for lunch at the Hotel Julien to
establish a Rotary Club. Rotary was the vision of attorney, Paul Harris, who assembled the first club
in Chicago in 1905 as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas
and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. The group’s motto – “Service Above Self”- eventually
caught on throughout the country.
Rotary Club of Dubuque received its charter February 1, 1916, as the 198th Rotary Club and the 10th
in the state of Iowa. The Dubuque club has stayed strong, vibrant, and philanthropic for over