BUIES CREEK - With Campbell University currently in a yearlong effort to expand on its service to others, Wednesday’s annual Gore Center for Servant Leadership Awards took on an air of extra importance.
Three young women were honored for their service as “servant leaders” at the ceremony, held in conjunction with the E. Bruce Heilman Lectures series at Turner Auditorium Wednesday.
Kristen Fischer, a junior biology student who has traveled to Nashville, St. Louis, the Appalachian Mountains, Haiti and Romania for student mission trips, was the first to receive a Servant Leadership Award, named for two of Campbell’s most prominent alumni and benefactors, Edward and Dinah Gore.
Heather Higgins, a junior political science and pre-law student, was honored for her work on campus as a residence assistant, tutor and mentor; as well as her work for Congressional campaigns in Washington, D.C.
Courtney Williamson, a senior kinesiology student, has traveled the world -- from Alaska to Honduras and points in between -- for missionary work and directed Campbell’s Relay for Life, as well as several other local sports clinics and worship services.
“You are a witness to some of the great things our students are doing,” Mark Hammond, Dean and professor of the College of Arts & Sciences, told the crowd of students and faculty in attendance. “And you’re also here to see some of the service accomplishments of our alumni,” he added, referring to the Gores, who in the past have funded the arena that bears their late son’s name, as well as the University Chapel’s Bell Tower and Prayer Room.
Dr. Lisa Keyne -- executive director for North Carolina Campus Compact, which works with campuses on civic-based projects -- presented the Heilman Lecture Wednesday. The Heilman Lectures are designed to provide a forum for decorated scholars and distinguished professionals to discuss challenges facing students in the 21st Century.
Keyne’s lecture was titled, “You are more precious than pandas,” a line spoken to her by a faculty member in China while Keyne and other teachers were involved in service project teaching English to students in rural areas of the country. The quote was an answer from another English teacher, who asked why the American visitors were accompanied by security guards everywhere they went.
“Servant leaders are rare and greatly valued,” Keyne said. “I invite you not to be just a volunteer, but to be a servant leader.”
To celebrate its 125th anniversary, Campbell University is challenging its faculty, staff, students and alumni to complete 125,000 collective hours of service this academic year.
“The Campbell community represents thousands of hours of time spent with Sunday School classes, small groups, civic organizations, non-profit agencies, friends and family serving our neighbors,” said the Rev. Faithe Beam, Campbell’s Campus Minister who served Wednesday’s benediction. “We want to celebrate this.”
For more information about taking part in the University’s service projects, contact Beam at (910) 893-1548 or email [email protected].
Story and photos: By Billy Liggett, Assistant Director for Publications