One of the most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics in the world is the Rotary 4-Way Test. It was created by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor in 1932 when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy. Taylor looked for a way to save the struggling company mired in depression-caused financial difficulties. He drew up a 24-word code of ethics for all employees to follow in their business and professional lives. The 4-Way Test became the guide for sales, production, advertising and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy.

Herb Taylor became president of Rotary International in 1954-55. The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. Here it is in English:

"Of the things we think, say or do:
1. Is it the Truth?
2. Is it Fair to all concerned?
3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?"

The 4 Way Test Speech Contest is a public speaking contest for high school age youth.  Principally encouraged by the area schools English departments, students may write a speech on any subject, however, it must include the four points of the Rotary 4 Way Test.  Students first compete in their classrooms and the finalists from each local school compete a their sponsoring Rotary Club for cash and/or prizes.  Finalists from each club then go on to compete at the local district level and the four top finalists are invited to give their winning speeches at our District Conference.