The Lipscomb University family and the local community is invited to hear the announcement of the 2011 Mary Morris Award for Exemplary Service to Society at 10:55 a.m., Thursday, April 14, in Collins Alumni Auditorium.
The Mary Morris Award is given annually to someone who demonstrates a high level of service to community and church and who exhibits vision in creating new avenues to expand Christian principles in unconventional ways.
The award has been presented in the past to community servants who have served in Third World nations, established long-term programs to feed the poor or provide water wells and provided counseling and adoption services.
The Mary Morris Award was established in memory of Mary Morris, an outstanding servant to humanity who died of cancer at age 36 in September 2005. Morris was an associate professor of education at Lipscomb University and founder of the Center for Character Development, which promoted the CHARACTER COUNTS! program in schools, businesses and organizations throughout the city.
The Mary Morris Award is given annually to a member of the Lipscomb “family” who:
- Exhibits a spirit of volunteerism in his or her life activities;
- Engages in meaningful civic activities in the community that help spread God’s light;
- Has demonstrated a commitment to Christian missions wherever they may be;
- Is an advocate for Lipscomb University; and
- Exhibits vision in creating new avenues to expand Christian principles in unconventional ways.
Nancy Moon Gonzalez
The first recipient in 2006 was Nancy Moon Gonzalez, who was honored for her service in Honduras and Guatemala through development of curriculum and schools.
In 2007, Randy Steger, founder and president of the Nashville-based Healing Hands International and professor of business administration at Lipscomb University, was honored.
Healing Hands was born in 1991 when Steger challenged his Lipscomb marketing students to create a marketing and business plan for a humanitarian effort. The students decided to collect and send medical supplies to Eastern Europe. Their efforts were so successful that Steger and a group of local Nashvillians modeled the students’ plan to continue the benevolent project. As a result, Healing Hands was incorporated in 1994 and has now delivered humanitarian aid to 66 countries around the globe.
In 2008, Jon Lee, a Lipscomb alumnus, received the award for the establishment and operation of The Living Water Project, a nonprofit effort to fund clean and accessible water for people in impoverished areas of the world.
Founder Shanon Dickerson saw the project come to life in 2000 after he challenged a group of young friends to join him in raising money to dig wells in Africa and India. Dickerson’s mission work brought to his attention the needless deaths of thousands of people who lack clean water. When Dickerson died in 2002 from a rare form of cancer, Lee took the reins of The Living Water Project.
Lindsey and Andrew Krinks
In 2009, Lindsey and Andrew Krinks were honored for their involvement with the homeless community in Nashville. Lindsey Krinks initiated the first 30-hour Famine and Facing Hunger Week in which the ladies of Lipscomb’s Pi Kappa Sigma led the campus in a week of focus on the world’s poor through giving and fasting.
Both Andrew and Lindsey Krinks have taught poetry and creative writing classes for homeless men and women at the Campus for Human Development (CHD) and together wrote about their experiences in an August 2008 article published in The Other Journal, a national online journal that explores the intersections of theology and culture.
In 2010, Tom Burton, who has led local counseling and adoption agency AGAPE for more than 25 years, was honored for his tireless work to bring faith-based adoption and foster care services to Middle Tennessee. During his tenure, AGAPE has grown to include 17 affiliate locations which offer primarily counseling and psychological services. Additionally, AGAPE continues its original mission to offer adoption and foster care, as well as support services for women with an unplanned pregnancy.