Arch J Klump

Arch J Klumph

No single Rotarian has had a more pronounced and lasting influence on the activities of Rotary than Arch Klumph..

Born in Conneutville, Pennsylvania on 6 June, 1869, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio at an early age and left school at 12 years of age to supplement the family income. He became office boy at Cayuhoga Lumber Company where he spent his working life, eventually owning the company. Aware of his lack of formal education, he attended night school. He also took music lessons becoming an accomplished flautist and was flautist in the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra for seven years. Joining the Rotary Club of Cleveland in 1911, he became its president in 1913 and the sixth President of Rotary International in 1916-1917.

On June 18, 1917 he took the rostrum at the first plenary session of the Atlanta Convention saying, “We have called the attention of the organisation this year to the possibility of a future endowment fund for Rotary. Carrying on as we are, as a miscellaneous community service, it seems eminently proper that we should accept endowments for the purpose of doing good in the world, in charitable, educational or other avenues of community progress, or such funds could be used in extension work….” A near unanimous ballot approved Klumph’s proposal, and the Endowment Fund became a mere technical reality until one year later, when the Fund received its first contribution of $26.50 from the Rotary Club of Kansas City Mo, being the cash surplus from the 1916 Kansas City Convention which the Kansas City club had intended to be spent on a memento for Klumph. Klumph’s plan, however was not new to him, at least. Four years previously, on the day of his retirement from the presidency of the Cleveland Club, he had proposed “that an emergency fund be built up which will, in future enable the Club to do many things.” On 10 June 1928, the Endowment Fund became The Rotary Foundation and Arch Klumph served as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the first five years.

Arch Klumph died in Cleveland on 3 June, 1951.