McMullan Award is good chemistry for Kable

This spring, when graduating senior Joe Kable received a call asking him to meet with Dean of the College David Bright, his stomach knotted up. "What's this about?" he asked. "I can't tell you," replied Dean Bright's assistant, Jo Taylor, "but you won't be disappointed."

"I went over there," Kable says, "and he and [Emory College Associate Dean Peter] Dowell sat me down and told me I'd won this new award, the McMullan Award. Then they told me what it was. They pretty much had to scrape me off the floor."

Presented for the first time this year, the McMullan Award recognizes a graduating senior who exemplifies outstanding leadership and citizenship. It is accompanied by a $20,000 gift for the recipient to use at his or her discretion. The dean and College faculty made nominations based on citizenship, leadership, and service, and a committee of faculty and administrators made the selection. According to Dowell, the committee sought a student who might become "a presidential candidate or discover a cure for AIDS or write the great American novel."

Active since his freshman year in Volunteer Emory, a student-run organization that serves as a clearinghouse for volunteer work, Kable has contributed many hours to working with Atlanta's homeless. This year he was one of two co-directors of Volunteer Emory. A chemistry major, Kable was a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship in 1995 and was named to Phi Beta Kappa, Mortar Board, the Dean's List, and Emory Scholars. Professor of Chemistry Ronald Johnson says, "We see a chemistry student as good as him only a few times in a career."

Kable, who intends to pursue graduate work in neurochemistry in an M.D./Ph.D. program, plans to use the McMullan Award to travel next year. He hopes to visit relatives in Ireland and work with an international nonprofit agency, possibly teaching science in Africa.

The award was established by William L. Matheson, a 1943 Emory College alumnus, and named for Matheson's uncle, Lamar McMullan. Matheson is retired from a career in corporate law and private practice. By establishing the award, Dowell says, Matheson has honored "the memory of an uncle who played an important role in his life and [rewarded] Emory College graduates who are destined to be our future leaders." (Photo by Ann Borden)

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