The Chapel’s Humanitarian Service Award aims to recognize individuals with a commitment to service and simplicity. The award is inspired by the lives of two Duke professors: Dr. George R. Parkerson Jr.and the late Dr. C. Eric Lincoln. The recipient of the award receives a grant of between $1,500 and $3,000 to further humanitarian efforts.
The award has its roots in a relation between two Duke professors. In 1990, religion professor, sociologist and United Methodist minister C. Eric Lincoln started the Humanitarian Service Award endowment to honor Dr. George R. Parkerson, Jr., former chairman of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke’s School of Medicine. By establishing this endowment, Dr. Lincoln sought to recognize Dr. Parkerson’s “caring love and concern for humanity” and to encourage others to do the same. Both Parkerson and Lincoln have exemplified lives in service of others. Dr. Lincoln’s life was dedicated to service through reconciliation, hospitality, care, mentoring, and ecumenism. Throughout his career, Dr. Parkerson’s concern for humanity has been revealed in his work in family medicine and as he has helped his students “see life whole.” The purpose of the award is to lift up an individual who has demonstrated both a long-term commitment to serving others and a lifestyle marked by simplicity, characteristics Dr. Lincoln believed described Dr. Parkerson.
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