The first motto of Rotary International, "He Profits Most Who Serves Best," was approved at the second Rotary Convention, held in Portland, Oregon, in August 1911.
The phrase was first stated by a Chicago Rotarian, Art Sheldon, who made a speech in 1910 that included the remark, "He profits most who serves his fellows best." At about the same time, Ben Collins, president of the Rotary Club of Minneapolis, Minnesota, commented that the proper way to organize a Rotary club was through the principle his club had adopted -"Service, Not Self."
These two slogans, slightly modified, were formally approved to be the official mottoes of Rotary at the 1950 Convention in Detroit - "He Profits Most Who Serves Best" and "Service Above Self."
The 1989 Council on Legislation established "Service Above Self" as the principal motto of Rotary, since it best explains the philosophy of unselfish volunteer service.