The voice of junior Nicole E. Phillips wavered as she described her journey to Anderson University at the annual President’s Appreciation Dinner Saturday.
Phillips received a $5,000 scholarship and award for her community service, Christian values and academic excellence while pursuing biology and pre-medical degrees. The 2005 Madison County Medical Society Distinguished Scholar Award recognized her as the ninth recipient for outstanding students headed into a medical career.
She was one of three people honored at the dinner for community servitude. Dr. Charles and Pam King received the William P. Riethmiller Community Partnership Award from the university for their work in the community.
Phillips, a Newburgh, Indiana resident maintains a 3.9 grade point average. She has been involved in community programs including one that transports single mothers to doctor appointments and helps them gain the skills they need to succeed in life. She also has performed mission trips to inner city Philadelphia and rural West Virginia.
“It’s Nicole’s scholarship, heart for service and Christian commitment that has set her apart,” said Karen Roller, executive director of development for AU. “Students cannot apply for this scholarship. They are nominated and named by their science professors -- those faculty members who know full well their students’ scholarship, their heart and their potential for the work that is ahead.”
The Kings have been long-time members of the Anderson community and served it endlessly. Charles King served patients through his medical practice on the east side.
“They are known for their infectious warmth and positive attitudes,” said James L. Edwards, Anderson University president. “Dr. King and the late Tom McMahon developed an educational program designed to promote abstinence and prevent teen pregnancy. The program is still used in the Madison County schools today. Dr. and Mrs. King have been great cheerleaders and friends to this institution over the years.”
Edwards continued to describe a long list of achievements and boards that the couple have been a part of through the years. Charles King has served on the board of St. John’s Health System, the board of Star Financial Bank and the Board of Health, to name a few activities.
Pam King has been a teacher and a charter member of the board for the AU Town and Gown program. She has served on other boards such as the YMCA, United Way and the Anderson Fine Arts Center.
“This award is especially important to me because I worked with William Riethmiller,” she said, then looked at the large wooden case of the clock given to the couple. “When I look at this clock, it will always remind me that we should always reserve a portion of time for others.”
Charles said he was able to get an education because of the GI bill: “This country is great because it takes the time and the energy to educate its young people.”
“I’ve always felt I owed the community something,” he said. “And in a small way, we felt that there wouldn’t be anything better to do than to help others get an education.”
To Phillips, education and helping others is important. When she picked AU, she wanted a school where she could get individualized attention, she said.
“People at this university want you to succeed,” Phillips said during her acceptance speech for the Madison County Medical Society Award. “College is a place where dreams come true. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a doctor.”
She said that Anderson University professors give out their home telephone numbers because they want to help students day or night.
“The education I’m receiving, it’s everything I thought it would be,” Phillips said. “Every day I’m being pulled and stretched.”
President Edwards said it’s students like Phillips and supporters like the Kings that make institutions like AU function.
He said, “We are surrounded by good people.”
— Avon Waters is a reporter with the Anderson Herald-Bulletin ( http://www.theheraldbulletin.com )