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Meeting Information


We meet In Person
Fridays at 7:30 AM
Sheraton Hotel
625 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94301-2301
United States of America
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Club Contact

Palo Alto University Rotary Club
District 5170
Club 25,471
P. O. Box 760
Palo Alto, CA 94302 

President's Message


We are a diverse, curious, passionate membership focused on making life better for human beings around the globe and the betterment of the environment. We are Millennials, Gen Xers, Gen Yers, Baby Boomers, and the Greatest Generation! We are serious about service above self.
Join us for a Friday meeting and you'll catch the "Maverick spirit"!
Think Bravely!
Katie Cooney

2019 Well Project in Las Trincheras, El Salvador

The well has been drilled in Las Trincheras, producing water for the 1,700 inhabitants who have been struggling without adequate water. To give a brief history, the well project was awarded a Global Grant in the amount of $130,000.00 to install a well and provide water infrastructure to the community. Unfortunately, the project got mired in red tape with one of the governments permitting agencies in El Salvador. Alvaro and Guillermo of ESNA worked tirelessly to obtain the necessary permits to access the funds for the grant. Eventually, Rotary International would not extend the deadline any further. The grant funding source dried up, no pun intended. Eventually, Living Waters, a nonprofit went ahead with drilling the well at its own cost and expense. They had to go through over 100 feet of volcanic rock to reach the aquifer. ESNA will need to fund the remaining water infrastructure.

Image result for rotary end polio now campaign
Home Page Stories
Kenneth Kaufman
Palo Alto University Founder & Emeritus,
presented Bob Williams the award and Proclamation with the following words.
Robert Beresford Williams 
B. 6/23/1921

As a teenager, Bob earned an Eagle Scout Award and was an American swimming relay record holder. As a Naval Academy midshipman, he held the highest appointive rank, Brigade Commander; the highest elective office, Class President; and was a two-sport varsity athlete. At graduation, accelerated a year because of the war, Bob received a Letter of Commendation from the Superintendent and the Class of 1897 Leadership Sword -- the acknowledged leader of his Naval Academy Class of 1945. As a shipboard officer during WW II, he fought in four Pacific campaigns.

After leaving the Navy, in time Bob became the most successful international life insurance executive of his era, highly honored and highly publicized. He established offices in London and Beirut, in addition to Menlo Park. Bob developed a clientele of the rich and famous around the world, even including a Saudi Prince who later became the King of Saudi Arabia. Operating in the Middle East during the oil crises of the 1970s, he generated unequaled positive publicity for the life insurance industry. During Bob’s tenure in the life insurance business, no individual has had a greater impact on professional ethical conduct than he. As the President of the industry’s professional association, Bob tightened the ethical conduct standards. He was an innovator, creating new marketing procedures and opening up markets in the Middle East for American companies.

Bob is known as an innovative thinker and charismatic leader. Indicative of his vision and impact are the more than 500 testimonials he received during his late ‘80s and ‘90s – heart-felt and enthusiastically written, from broad-based sources including colleagues and persons of influence. Oft honored, in 2012 for example, Bob received the National Eagle Scout Association’s Distinguished Eagle Scout Award for service to country, and, Bob and his wife, Carol, were honored as Distinguished Citizens.

Each year, Bob’s two national initiatives, Honoring of Veterans and Enhanced Sportsmanship, the ethics of good sportsmanship, involve and inspire millions of Americans.  Veterans are now honored every fall at home football games near Veterans Day by almost 600 colleges and thousands of high schools. The words of a college President, “Your work on behalf of our Veterans serves as a shining example of the values we wish to instill in our graduates.” The words of two Director of Athletics: “His sportsmanship leadership and passion have earned him the reputation as the nation’s #1 Sportsmanship authority, expert and advocate.  No one can match his record for making a life-time difference for sports in America. He is a great American.” (USAFA); and, We have fully subscribed to Bob's direction and aspire to always exceed his vision in any aspect of competition.His values and ideals have touched the lives of virtually every midshipman who participated in our athletic program.” (USNA).  Bob has been honored for his visionary sportsmanship leadership – locally, nationally, even Internationally. Scotland’s N.E. Fife Sports Council named its new Boys Tournament the Bob Williams Trophy for Bob’s many years of leadership inspiring its boy golfers to “honor the game.”

Bob is recognized as the Naval Academy’s #1 Volunteer, a volunteer without an equal. For more than 50 years he has transmitted his ideals, his values, his enthusiasm, his vision, his passions, and his thoughts and ideas A Naval Academy Foundation Trustee since 1969, in 2018 Bob was honored with The Chairman’s Distinguished Volunteer Award. He created four official Naval Academy ceremonies. Two occur each year, Naval Academy Founder’s Day, a day for bringing the Naval Academy family closer together and the Honoring of Veterans, at a football game near Veterans Day will, perhaps, remain in place as long as there is a Naval Academy. The other two were one-time ceremonies – the Ambassador of Exploration Award, acknowledging the receipt of the Lunar Sample (moon rock) that Bob had procured from NASA for the USNA Museum and the other honored the 50th Anniversary of the First Space Flight by Rear Admiral Shepard, Bob’s Annapolis classmate and roommate. For the training of the Naval Academy Brigade, he put in place four Brigade Traditions. His recommendation led to the creation of the annual five academy sportsmanship competition, The Superintendent’s Distinguished Citation for Sportsmanship. In 2016, Bob sponsored the highly regarded video, The Founding of the United States Naval Academy.

The words of two Superintendents, “You have represented the Alumni so admirably for so long, I think that many of us can’t imagine an Alumni initiative that doesn’t involve you.” and, “On behalf of the Naval Academy and all Alumni around the world, I want to personally thank you for your continued support.” Alumni Association Chair, “…. his legacy and traditions will live on for generations. …. He is a Naval Academy and a national treasure.”

Bob has left a legacy for the Naval Academy and for our country. “The seeds that Bob has planted will long serve future generations, inspiring them with the ethic of good sportsmanship, a love of their school, and a heightened respect and gratitude for those men and women who have served and are now serving their country.”

After months of preparation, on October 2nd a dinner program, “The Time for Civil Discourse is NOW,” featuring a keynote address by the general secretary of Rotary International: John Hewko was hosted for almost 250 people at the Stanford Faculty Club. The event was the brainchild of the Palo Alto University Rotary Emeriti Group, a group of distinguished former Palo Alto University Rotarians, who are using their intellectual capital and position in the community to improve civil discourse.


Club member Okke Schrijvers gave an introduction to this timely topic drawing on stories about Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. During John's presentation, he drew on the example of Rotary's efforts to eradicate polio to highlight the importance of civil discourse, and the powerful role Rotary can play in improving civil discourse. Over the years of attempting to eradicate polio, there were many falsehoods spread about the vaccination efforts. Rotary was able to overcome the obstacles and resistance by listening and understanding people’s concerns. John then linked the topic of civil discourse to the last US presidential election and the role that media, old and new, have played in polarizing the citizenry. John concluded with recommendations for how the lessons learned during polio eradication could be applied more broadly.


The evening program was recorded and the video is available on the Palo Alto University Rotary Club Youtube channel at https://youtu.be/m7UGRjv0qDk. Feel free to share this link with others as we all work towards the goal of improved civil discourse.


Funding for the evening was generously provided by The John Ernest Foundation of our charter president Ken Kaufman.

PAUR was proud to partner with Youth Community Service for an evening of fun and holiday cheer with our local veterans. We had a wonderful evening assisting the veterans making unique holiday crafts, gifts and decorations.
As part of PAUR's commitment to Community Service and the environment, we partnered with Farming Hope (a local NGO that plants food as a mechanism to empower people out of homelessness) to plant 50 fruit trees
Our volunteers had a great time working on the project. We know that funding the fruit trees will be good for the environment, good for food insecure neighbors and ultimately good for the homeless participants in the Farming Hope program.
And, of course, more Photos in the Album!
PAUR was pleased to return to Stevenson House (local affordable senior housing complex in Palo Alto) to host an Oktoberfest celebration for residents and their guests. Now that Stevenson House has completed the $20M renovation, the event was hosted onsite. The event is popular with the residents and provides a great opportunity for the residents to socialize with the community.
Incoming President Uwe Bergmann with a happy Stevenson House resident.
Check out the Photos in the Album!
International Service
2019 WASH Station Grant - Won! 

With the Rotary Club of San Salvador, we'll partner on the Project WASH in schools, more here.


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April 2021