MLK Humanitarian Awards Honor Exceptional Student Leader, Newly-Retired Chaplain

(LEBANON, Ill., January 24, 2022) – A computer science major and a former chaplain of the University were the recipients of McKendree University’s 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Awards at a celebration held on Thursday, Jan. 20. The annual awards celebrate the spirit and legacy of the Reverend Dr. King. This year’s recipients have demonstrated care and compassion, understanding and tolerance for all people, and humanitarian principles and ideals. They have also led or participated in service programs that reflect these ideals.

Emmanuel Segbedzi, a junior from Accra, Ghana and resident of Lebanon, Ill., is the president of the Student Government Association (SGA), a UNI 101 peer mentor, a New Student Orientation (NSO) leader and a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society. A valued athlete on the Bearcat cross country and track and field teams, Segbedzi also frequently volunteers for the Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service and Center for Faith & Spirituality on campus. He has demonstrated a desire to further social justice issues at McKendree, improve communication through the McKendree App and launch an inter-college allegiance board.

“I am very pleased to be nominated,” Segbedzi said upon receiving the award. “This award isn’t just for me alone, but for the faculty and staff who made this possible. Your words of wisdom are always in my heart.”

Rev. Dr. B. Tim Harrison of Lebanon, Ill., was presented with the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Humanitarian Award, the first of its kind. Harrison served the University for 23 years, retiring in 2021. Throughout his time as McKendree’s chaplain, he brought meaningful spiritual enhancement to campus and supported students individually on their faith journeys. He led dozens of immersion trips locally and abroad in order to give students a broader world view, and he has exhibited great passion in furthering social justice issues and encouraging inclusion and diversity on campus. After his retirement, he returned to church ministry as the minister of Friedens United Church of Christ in Troy, Ill.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” Harrison said. “We give these awards to inspire others. My goal, my prayer is that someday we will love and care for one another without the need for an award.”

Guest speaker Dr. Karla Scott, professor of communication at Saint Louis University and author of The Language of Strong Black Womanhood, presented her keynote speech, which highlighted Dr. King’s work as a humanitarian and the concept of equity. She charged attendees to practice the qualities of a good humanitarian in their own lives like the two awardees.




Rev. Dr. Tim Harrison (left) and Emmanuel Segbedzi (right) are this year’s recipients of the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award.

Rev. Dr. Tim Harrison (left) and Emmanuel Segbedzi (right) are this year’s recipients of the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award.