Volunteering was just Emily Tripp's way to make herself "feel at home" when she entered Oxford College four years ago. As a result of her impressive record of volunteer and community service, the graduating senior received Emory's highest student service award, the Marion Luther Brittain Award, during the commencement ceremony.
The honor is an expression of gratitude for service performed without expectation of reward or recognition. The award was established at Emory in 1942 through a bequest from a distinguished Emory alumnus, Dr. M.L. Brittain, a former president of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Tripp, who graduated with joint bachelor's and master's of arts degrees in English, said she hopes to get a master's degree in teaching. "I've had so many wonderful teachers and professors through the years, I would like to also make a difference in students' lives by helping them reach their full potential," said Tripp.
Earlier this year, she was one of six students to receive Emory's 1996-97 Humanitarian Award, and she also received Oxford's Virgil Eady Award in 1995 for her extensive community service. While at Emory, Tripp volunteered at several Atlanta-area programs including a Saturday morning public school tutoring program, The Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity.
Joseph C. Moon, Oxford College associate dean for Campus Life, said, "When I speak to my colleagues at Oxford or in Atlanta about Emily, the conversation always turns to a feeling of awe we share for this bright, loving, tireless young woman. Emily is more than a collection of activities, she is an incredibly capable, service-oriented person who adds her unique spirit to all those who know her."
In addition to volunteering during the school year, Tripp has spent her summers traveling around the world doing service projects through her church or the Emory-Oxford Service-Learning program. The day after commencement, Tripp will travel to South Africa with an Oxford/Emory group to participate in a three-week service project.
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