As part of Georgia Tech’s IVAN ALLEN COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS FOUNDER’S DAY events, an outstanding person is awarded with the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage.
Ivan Allen Jr., Atlanta’s Mayor from 1962-1970, did not conform to his Southern counterparts in supporting segregation. Instead, he worked closely with Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Civil Rights leaders to make Atlanta a focal point of integration. The Prize for Social Courage is named in his honor and presented to individuals who go above and beyond in order to help their fellow human beings in some way. Last year, we produced a tribute video about the first award winner, former Senator Sam Nunn, for his work with The Nuclear Threat Initiative.
This year, we had the honor of producing a video about Dr. William Foege. To be honest, I did not know who he was when we started the project, but as we interviewed other luminaries in the Global Health arena about him, it did not take long to realize this one man has literally changed the world. Among other things, he led the way in the eradication of Small Pox.
The theme that emerged from all of our interviews was that Dr. Foege is very smart, creative and persuasive, but also humble and willing to give away credit for the work he’s been involved in. He’s a leader of the highest stature (literally; he’s 6’7”), and it makes me proud to have told just one version of his very big story.