Service Above Self
MU graduate and Kirksville resident Ray Klinginsmith recently finished his term as president of Rotary International.
The guest list of the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm isn’t the first place you’d expect to find an attorney from northeast Missouri. But in 2010, that’s exactly where Ray Klinginsmith, who recieved bachelors and law degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia, found himself. As outgoing president of Rotary International, Klinginsmith spent the majority of the past year touring the globe and spreading Rotary’s vision of "service above self."
A Rotarian for more than 50 years, Klinginsmith made presidential stops in places as diverse as Sri Lanka (where he was escorted in military airplanes for security) and Turkey (where the Islamist country is flirting with eurozone membership).
But this isn’t the first time Klinginsmith has gone abroad representing Rotary. In 1961, as a young college student, he was awarded a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship to study for a year at University of Cape Town in South Africa.
“There weren’t many opportunities to study abroad back then,” Klinginsmith says. “Schools didn’t have robust programs like they do now. Basically the only way to go was a Rhodes Scholarship or through Rotary.”