During the Rotary District 5970 Conference the first weekend in May 2021, former MISD Superintendent Dr. Bill Jacobson was recognized as the recipient of the Service Above Self Award, an internationally competitive award. This is Rotary’s highest honor and recognizes Rotarians who demonstrate Rotary’s motto, Service Above Self, by volunteering their time and talents to help others. The award is internationally competitive and is granted to no more than 150 Rotarians worldwide each year.
Out of the approximate 3,000 members in District 5970 that covers the northern half of Iowa with more than 50 Rotary Clubs, Bill was nominated and out of the 500 nominated internationally he was one of 150 Rotarians to receive the award. Bill Jacobson is a member of the Downtown Cedar Rapids Rotary Club.
With a motto of ‘Service Above Self,” Rotary International’s mission ‘is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.”
Jacobson joined the Rotary Club of Cedar Rapids in 1975 as a way to connect to his community and people who were making positive changes. In 2019 he released “Journey of the Cedar Rapids Rotary Club,” a 118-page softcover book designed mainly as a resource for new Rotary members, but also for anyone else interested is seeing how the group, founded June 1, 1914, has grown into the 34th largest Rotary Club in the world.
Former MISD Superintendent Jill Olsen presented the award during the virtual conference. Jill Olsen herself is one of 8 recipients from District 5970 of this prestigious award. Also present virtually was Marion School Foundation Executive Director Erin Steffen, former MISD Superintendent Sarah Pinion, Dr. Jacobson’s family and Rotarians from across the state of Iowa.