Georgetown, KY (Jan. 31) – Georgetown College Founders Day Convocation filled John L. Hill Chapel with history befitting the start of a year-long celebration of 225 years of Christian higher education in Scott County, KY.
Theatre professor George McGee, our Maskrafters director, put a lot of our history in perspective with a show-stopping Founders Day address in the character of Rev. Elijah Craig, the founder of schools that were the forerunners of Georgetown College. “By being here today,” Craig/McGee told the campus community, “you become part of the story – this garden in the wilderness.”
Dr. William H. Crouch, Jr., the College’s 23rd president, then thanked “Elijah…for taking a stand for Christian higher education.”
Adding to the recent history of recognizing our outstanding teaching, Psychology Department chair Jennifer Price was surprised with the Curry Award for Faculty Excellence. Named in honor of Dr. Ralph Curry and Dr. Gwen Curry, two long-time leaders of the GC faculty and former chairs of the English department, this honor recognizes three elements of faculty life that were important to the couple: service to faculty, excellence in scholarship, and dedication to students.
Provost Rosemary Allen said, “the Curry award is special because it gives us an opportunity to recognize faculty who combine excellent teaching and academic research with the very important behind-the-scenes work of faculty committees and the special projects that are part of our institutional tradition of shared governance.”
Building up to the announcement of the “awesome” Jennifer Price, Dr. Allen said: “This year, the award goes to someone who most definitely shows that balance of excellent teaching, exemplary research, and extraordinary faculty service. On the scholarship side, she has over 20 publications and 30 presentations, and she is consulted widely as an expert in her field. She involves students in her research and mentors them as they prepare for graduate schools. She gives freely of her time to students, both inside and outside of the classroom, providing extraordinary support for students who are often marginalized. Her service to the faculty has been multidimensional; she serves her department as chair, and the faculty as a whole in her central role in the implementation of the Foundations and Core program. Personally, I don’t know of any faculty member who is more thoroughly competent, balanced, thoughtful, caring, and effective, inside and outside of the classroom.”
Psychology professor Karyn McKenzie, one of the winner’s nominators, said, “The attributes I most admire about Dr. Price include her unflappable optimism and her ability to get anything she needs done, done. Her role as faculty adviser to Spectrum, a new organization on campus, shows her genuine care for all students, and I greatly admire her persistence in seeing this important organization be realized.”
McKenzie added, “Because of her optimistic approach to life, it is only fitting that she teaches the popular course, Positive Psychology. I think the fact that when she offered Positive Psychology as a FDN 112 class, there was so much interest from freshmen she ended up offering two sections of it, both of which were full with waitlists speaks volumes about her teaching abilities.
McKenzie also cited Price’s formation of the Clinical Psychology Research Team, which combines student involvement with psychological research – something that gives GC students an advantage over other students when it comes to graduate school applications, as first-hand research experience is often required for admission.
Previous Curry Award winners are 2006 – Sonny Burnette; 2007 – Susan Bell; 2008 – Will Harris; 2009 – Brad Hadaway; 2010 – Bill Stevens and Cliff Wargelin; and 2011 – Harold Tallant.
Earlier in the program, the College inducted four historical giants into the GC Hall of Fame. Previously announced, they all are synonymous with something that’s still important to today’s Georgetown students: Grundy and Jean Janes (the College’s partnership with Colegio Bautista, the Baptist academy in Temuco, Chile); and Dr. Paul Parks (the Paul and Phyllis Parks Baptist Scholarship Program) and Lee E. Cralle, Jr. (Cralle Student Center).
Here’s more on the inductees:
Grundy and Jean Janes have dedicated their lives to Christian missions. They were appointed Southern Baptist missionaries to Chile after graduating from Georgetown College. They served in the Baptist Academy in Temuco, where Grundy was head master and Jean was chair of the Department of English.
After retirement, they served as missionaries in residence at Georgetown College and helped form a partnership between the college and The Colegio Bautista. They have continued to help coordinate that partnership.
Dr. Paul Parks has dedicated his life to Christian service as a physician, Baptist layman, and longtime Georgetown College trustee. One of 14 children, Dr. Parks is a graduate of Georgetown College and the University of Louisville Medical School. He has held leadership positions in the Kentucky Medical Association including chairman of the board. He and his late wife, Phyllis, were loyal members of First Baptist Church, Bowling Green where he served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, and on numerous committees.
Dr. Parks was a member of four presidential search committees at Georgetown and was awarded an honorary degree by his alma mater in 1989. He later established the Paul and Phyllis Parks Baptist Scholarship Program to recognize, recruit, and educate highly qualified Baptist students.
Lee E. Cralle, Jr. was a Louisville businessman and generous philanthropist. Along with his good friend, Ira Porter, Cralle envisioned a student center for the Georgetown College campus. His first major philanthropic endeavor was a gift to the college to build the Lee E. Cralle Student Center in 1965.
Mr. Cralle was president of the YMCA of Kentucky for 25 years. He was a trustee for the Kentucky Council of Boy Scouts of America. He was awarded an honorary degree from Georgetown College in 1969. In 1989, he established the Cralle Foundation which continues to promote excellence in education for young people of Kentucky.