Dr. Alan Stauffacher, Superintendent of Schools for the Heber Springs School District, was recognized at the October 31 meeting of the Heber Springs Rotary Club as a Paul Harris Fellow. Named after the founder of Rotary, the recognition is given in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among people of the world.
Paul Harris founded Rotary International in 1905. He organized the first Rotary Club 'in fellowship and friendship' with three clients and local businessmen. His aim was to bring together business leaders in order to provide humanitarian services and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. When Harris died in 1947, there were around 6000 Rotary clubs all over the world. Since then, the number of clubs has expanded to more than 35,000, with around 1.2 million members.
The Paul Harris Fellow recognition award was established in 1957. It was started to show appreciation for significant contributions to the Rotary Foundation Fellowships for Advanced Study. At that time, it was the only program of the foundation.
Other notable figures have been named throughout the years as Paul Harris Fellows, such as U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, U.S. astronaut James Lovell and UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar. The number of Paul Harris Fellows reached one million mark in 2006.