News & Events
MULLINAX AND RATHBURN RECEIVE BRYAN CARING AWARDS
Dr. Marc Mullinax, professor of religion and philosophy, and senior student Kristina Rathburn of Burnsville, NC, have received the 2011 G. MacLeod Bryan Caring Awards from Mars Hill College.
|Tina Rathburn and Dr. Marc Mullinax|
The Bryan Caring Award was one of several awards for service which were presented at the Mars Hill College Community Service Convocation, April 12. The award recognizes members of the college community who make significant contributions to a better community and a better world. The Caring Award recognizes recipients who have made a positive impact on the community, whose involvement in the community is ongoing, whose action in the community is directed at serious social challenges and who works to connect the campus and wider community.
The award was named in honor of Dr. G. McLeod (“Mac”) Bryan, a member of the MHC class of ’39, and a professor at Wake Forest University, who not only worked tirelessly for the cause of peace and justice, but influenced countless others to join the cause through the years.
During her time at Mars Hill College, Kristina Rathburn has been active in planning, promoting and participating in many service activities and events on campus. Notably, she was a lead planner for the 2010 and 2011 “Hunger Weeks” at MHC, which raised awareness of food insecurity, and funding for Neighbors in Need and Manna Food Bank. Off campus, Rathburn volunteers weekly at A Hope Day Center and often at Three Streams Family Health Center.
In her acceptance speech on April 12, Rathburn called attention to the many other people at Mars Hill who make a habit of giving to others: “We have some really incredible students, some incredible faculty.” She said. “It’s an amazing place to be, and I’m so honored that I’ve been able to do my college experience here.”
Rathburn credited her parents with promoting “citizenship,” good treatment of others, and responsibility during her primary school years. Those early lessons laid the foundation for a college career focused on others, she said.
|Award recipients Marc Mullinax and Tina Rathburn pose with several members of the "Mac" Bryan family.|
“My friend was asking me the other day, ‘why do you do what you do?’ and I’ve been puzzling over that question for quite some time. I think I do the things I do because I believe in a better world. I believe in the world as it should be not as it is," she said. " [My friends] joke that I live in a different reality where everyone shares and everyone believes in social justice and everyone thinks that we’re all equal and that the world can be that way. Well, that’s the world that I live in, and that’s the world I strive for.”
The faculty/staff recipient of the Bryan Caring Award is Dr. Marc Mullinax. A 1977 graduate of Mars Hill College, Mullinax went on to earn degrees at the University of Tennessee, Southeastern Seminary and Union Seminary in New York. He has taught religion and philosophy at Mars Hill for ten years.
In addition to being an engaging professor, Mullinax serves as a mentor to numerous students. He is a participant in numerous campus service opportunities, and a frequent volunteer at A Hope Day Center, Room at the Inn, Manna Food Bank, and other local ministries. Furthermore, he creates connections for students to do the same. He is also the faculty sponsor of Ethos, a campus inter-spirituality group which focuses on finding the connection between spirituality and social justice.
Mullinax’s nomination for the Bryan award, submitted by MHC ministry associate Debra Huff and interim chaplain Monroe “Monk” Ashley, detailed the many ways that Mullinax influences the campus community.
The nomination included these remarks: “Marc’s activity on campus as a superb classroom teacher and his concern for students who may not feel a strong sense of community mark him as one who not only makes his own impact but prepares students to make their own. That is to say, his actions at MHC are not only impacting the here and now, but they have a ripple effect on the larger community through those he influences. He is well-known for the “know thyself” challenges to his students, daring them to discover their strengths and exercise them for the greater good.”
In his acceptance speech for the award, Mullinax said that many other people had inspired and challenged him to make concern for others a way of life.
“Just as no raindrop thinks that it’s the cause of the flood, sometimes, we are like raindrops that do not realize how, together, we slake thirsts and irrigate the dry lands. Thanks for nourishing and nominating and sustaining and encouraging me,” he said.
Mullinax compared his life to “winning the lottery,” of circumstance, and said that good fortune requires him to understand and share with those who have fewer privileges.
“I was dealt a full hand of privilege – white, male, educated, protestant, heterosexual, American. These are a winning, lucky hand of lottery tickets to the entitled assumptions of success today,” he said. “To me, this award is about the process of transforming privilege into the currency of ‘the other,’ or adding one’s own raindrop of compassion to others, so that we might together change things.”
|Dr. Carlton Eversley|
This is the first year that the Bryan award has been presented at Mars Hill College since the death of Mac Bryan in September of 2010. Several members of the Bryan family, including Mac’s wife Edna, and his two sons, George and Andrew, attended a banquet in honor of the Bryan Award recipients on the evening of April 12.
This year’s Bryan Lecture was given by Rev. Dr. Carlton Eversley. Since 1984, Dr. Eversley has been the pastor of Dellabrook Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, where he is heavily involved in movements for freedom, justice and equality in the city.