Jerry Hampton received the Lifetime Presidential Volunteer Service Award for more than 10,000 hours of service to his community, at a surprise reception on Saturday, June 27, at Graceland University. Surrounded by over 50 family members and friends, a modest Hampton listened to Jesse Bollinger, Director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Graceland University’s Affiliate Relations department, describe his contributions.
“For over a half century, Jerry has stepped forward and offered his services to so many organizations and people locally and regionally,” Bollinger said. “Just a few examples include Hospice of Central Iowa, Des Moines Festival of Trees, pastoral care for prisoners, church activities, RSVP and the John Stoddard Cancer Center. His impact on students, the community and the lives he has touched are a true legacy of service.”
The President’s Volunteer Service Award is offered in multiple levels and is designed to recognize each milestone of service achievement. Levels include bronze, silver, gold and the highest honor, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, for those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime. Along with the honor of presidential recognition, recipients receive a personalized certificate, an official pin, medallion or coin, and a congratulatory letter from the president of the United States.
Hampton attended Graceland University in the 1950s, returning as a member of the faculty in 1960. Over the years, he has been a fixture on the sidelines of the many sports he has coached. In addition to those sidelines, he also made his mark in the classroom with his students. “Even students who weren’t on one of his teams or in his class felt his positive influence,” Bollinger said. “And, of course, Jerry’s Pizza Shack became the place for students to socialize and make memories, and for alums to return to share those memories whenever they come back to Graceland.”
“Because Jerry does not seek recognition for what he does, I know he would want this message to be one that encourages others to take action, get involved and help out,” added Greg Sutherland, Graceland University’s Executive Director of Affiliate Relations. “At the same time, Jerry’s efforts set him apart from his peers. Receiving this award is a tremendous honor — an honor well earned.”
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