Serving from the heart
Lampkin, Davis and Wood receive 2005 Sullivan Award
Words like “humility” and “selfless” characterize the University of Virginia’s 2005 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award winners: fourth-year students Jeremy E. Davis and Sally D. Wood, and Patricia M. Lampkin, vice president for student affairs — each of whom will receive their awards at Valediction on May 21.
Created in 1925, the awards are given to distinguished students and members of the University community in memory of Algernon Sydney Sullivan, the late New York lawyer, businessman and philanthropist. The awards are intended to perpetuate the excellence of character and humanitarian service he epitomized.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Patricia M. Lampkin, vice president for student affairs, exhibits a dedication and commitment to the student body that is arguably un-matched at U.Va. She is perceived by the many students who know her as a teacher, mentor and friend.
One such student is graduating fourth-year student Jennifer Allen. Following a particularly difficult time in Allen’s life, Lampkin invited the young woman to stay with her and her family for as long as she needed.
“I am confident Pat would do the same for anyone who really needed her,” Allen said. “On a number of occasions, she has recommended that I offer the extra bed in her basement to any of my friends who might need a place to crash over Thanksgiving or Christmas. Giving is just natural to Pat. It’s an inclination I know she cannot ignore.”
A native of Decatur, Ill., Lampkin began her career at U.Va. in 1979 and earned her doctorate of education degree from the University in 1986. Since then, she has served variously as associate dean of students responsible for residence life, as associate vice president for student affairs, interim vice president and, beginning in October 2002, as vice president.
Lampkin also served as U.Va.’s compliance officer for the Americans with Disabilities Act from 1991 to 2000 and, during the 2000-2001 academic year, produced a pivotal strategic report on the student experience at U.Va.
She has received several awards from the University community, including the Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award, the Raven Award, the IMP Distinguished Faculty Award and the Ernest H. Ern Award.
An adjunct professor in the Curry School of Education, Lampkin teaches a graduate course on the organization and administration of student affairs programs. She also teaches an undergraduate seminar on honor and ethics, an area of special interest stemming from her involvement with U.Va.’s student-run Honor Committee.
Lampkin’s receipt of the Sullivan Award was kept confidential until Finals Weekend, which precluded her from being interviewed for this article. The confidentiality was maintained to prevent her from insisting the award be directed elsewhere.
According to one nominator, “Never has she asked for recognition for what she does. In fact, Pat is uncomfortable in the limelight and always wants to deflect praise and positive attention to others and away from her. My only hesitation in nominating her was that [question] — ‘Will she be too humble to allow us to recognize her in the way that she so richly deserves?’”
Jeremy E. Davis
Since March 2002, Jeremy E. Davis has served as a role model to countless students through the Office of African-American Affair’s Peer Advisor Program. Described in his nomination letters as selfless and humble, this student from Trenton, N.J., routinely reached out to entering students, helping them to adjust to the changes inherent in college life and in living away from home for the first time. In his role as a senior peer advisor during the 2004-2005 academic year, he motivated fellow peers with notes of praise, organized a Peer Advisor Pride Day last fall, and even brought frozen juice bars to an orientation and training session on a particularly hot day.
A psychology major and anthropology minor who plans to attend medical school, Davis tutored first-year pre-med students in chemistry (sometimes motivating them with a free pizza) and revised and updated the Peer Advisor Pre-Med Survival Guide.
Off Grounds, he tutored elementary school children through Abundant Life Ministries and Madison House. He was active in the Daniel Hale Williams Pre-Med Society and in IMPACT, an evangelical ministry by and for African-American students. He also served as the U.Va. liaison to Teach for America, and will teach in Atlanta through the program his first two years after graduation.
“Every year he has given more and more of himself — to African-American students, to University students-at-large and to our local community,” said associate dean Sylvia V. Terry, director of the OAAA Peer Advisor Program. “He is a man of heart.”
The news that he’d been selected to receive a Sullivan Award came as a huge surprise to Davis, who had been eating lunch with a couple of friends at the time of the announcement. “I didn’t know how to react,” he said. “It’s an honor to be recognized for something that you just normally do. Good work pays off on its own. You don’t look for recognition; you only do what you love to do.”
Davis credits his parents, who raised five children, for inspiring him to give back to the community he found at U.Va. “Especially my mom — raising the five of us, and seeing the dedication and hard work and amount of time she put in with us, that comes through,” he said. “You want to give back because you’ve had that love yourself back home.”
Sally D. Wood
According to fourth-year student Ross Baird, Sally D. Wood “is the type of person who is probably embarrassed that she is winning one of the University’s most prestigious awards.” Her humility is so complete that Baird, a close friend, never knew the full extent of her public service until she was nominated for the Sullivan Award. “Our conversations never focused on her, because she places her focus and attention on the people around her,” he said.
One focal point for her volunteerism has been Madison House, where she served on the board of directors and was both a volunteer for and director of various programs. She coached soccer for pre-schoolers; cared for homeless pets in local shelters; assisted medical personnel in the U.Va. Hospital emergency room, pediatric unit and Women’s Place; helped rehabilitate physically and emotionally handicapped adults and children by teaching them to ride horses; served as a teacher’s aide in a fourth-grade math class; delivered food from local bakeries to the Salvation Army; and aided in the construction of houses through the Albemarle Housing Improvement Project.
Beyond Madison House, Wood’s volunteerism extended to the Inter-Sorority Council, the Virginia Institute for Autism, the Honor Committee and other causes. She helped organize the 2003 Women’s Health Festival at U.Va. and, as a trustee of her class, headed the committee responsible for planning this year’s Finals Weekend.
A native of Atlanta, Wood also is an Echols Scholar, a Jefferson Scholar and a member of the Raven Society. Finding out that she’d been selected to receive a Sullivan Award came as “a completely unexpected honor,” Wood said. “I almost fell out of my chair when Dean [Angela] Davis called me.”
While at U.Va., Wood said, she has met many inspiring students, faculty, staff members and area residents. She credits her family for motivating her to engage in public service. They “have integrated community service and genuine care for people into their everyday lives,” she said. “I have seen the impact of their kindness and selflessness and have been inspired throughout my life.”
After graduating with an interdisciplinary degree in education policy, with a concentration in inequalities corresponding to race, gender and class, Wood will attend the University of North Carolina to finish her pre-med requirements. It’s the next step toward pursuing her rekindled dream of becoming a doctor. She also hopes to work at a hospital or clinic in the Chapel Hill area.