Thursday, May 26, 2011

Please Join Me in Acknowledging this Service

Last night I went to a recognition dinner.  It could have been in any town, for any cause.  It was in my town, a college event, to recognize those who served in leadership.  It was an evening in which the participants applauded for one another and smiled.  The food was good. Spirits were high. There are thousands of such events.  Service and recognition are characteristics of the generosity and good will of the people of this great country.  Those recognized last night came from many different walks of life.  They had in common a commitment to others.  They volunteered their knowledge, skills and abilities. They shared an evening in which each was spotlighted and thanked.  It doesn't get better than that.

I went to the event last night because my sister and brother in law were among those to be recognized.  They have endowed a fellowship to provide full time support for a graduate student in memory of their daughter, a graduate of Evergreen.  Here is how the fellowship is described on the college website:

The Sara Bilezikian Memorial Fellowship

Two years full-time (12 credits/quarter) in-state tuition for one incoming MES (Master of Environmental Studies) student.
This fellowship is offered to one student who demonstrates commitment to environmental protection, environmental advocacy, and social justice. Financial need is also taken into consideration.  This fellowship is awarded every other year (2011, 2013, 2015. . .) to an incoming MES student.  International students are eligible. FAFSA is required.  Next possible round of applications may be in Summer 2011.

My sister shone.  She received their award and turned to the audience.  In few words, simply spoken she told how many of those in the room shared her honor because of the roles they play.  She introduced several recipients of the Sara Bilezikian Fellowship.  She thanked the staff and faculty.  And she acknowledged the loved ones who complete the fabric of community and support.  I know that she will grieve the loss of her child for the rest of her life.  Last night she was bathed in well deserved recognition.  I was proud. 

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