“Service Above Self” and “One Profits Most Who Serves Best” both trace back to the early days of the organization.
In 1911 “He Profits Most Who Serves Best” was approved as the Rotary motto. It was adapted from a speech made by Rotarian Arthur Frederick Sheldon at the first Rotary convention. Sheldon declared that, “Only the science of right conduct toward others pays. Business is the science of human services. He profits most who serves his fellows best.”
At the 1950 RI Convention in Detroit, slightly modified versions of the two slogans were formally approved as the official mottoes of Rotary: “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,