Commencement 2012 >>

Dunn receives Brittain Award for service and leadership

By Beverly Clark | May 9, 2012

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Evan Dunn is the 2012 recipient of the university's highest student honor, the Marion Luther Brittain Award, which is presented each year to a graduate who has demonstrated exemplary service to both the university and the greater community without expectation of recognition. 

Emory University senior Evan Dunn spent much of his time in college involved in the type of behind-the-scenes service and quiet leadership not likely to attract the spotlight. That is, until now. 

Dunn is the 2012 recipient of the university's highest student honor, the Marion Luther Brittain Award, which is presented each year to a graduate who has demonstrated exemplary service to both the university and the greater community without expectation of recognition. 

Candidates are required to demonstrate a strong character, meritorious service and sense of integrity. Dunn receives the award, which also comes with $5,000, during the central commencement ceremony May 14. 





"I am humbled and honored to receive this. I hope I can live up to the expectations of this award, and give back as much as I can in my life," says Dunn, a political science and history major in Emory College of Arts and Sciences who drew up in nearby Cobb County, Ga.

His service and leadership development began at Oxford College with the Bonner Leaders Program, a "definitive experience for me that set the stage for everything else I've done," Dunn says. The Bonner Leaders Program gives students leadership training and opportunities for ongoing, in-depth service work, as well as a scholarship stipend to provide financial support in place of a job.

After transitioning to Emory College, he interned with the International Rescue Committee, working as a tutor and helping refugees navigate the healthcare system. He is co-founder and program manager for a refugee GED program in Clarkston, Ga., and leads a weekly Volunteer Emory service trip to the program for other students. 

On campus, Dunn serves on the Honor Council and led the Emory College Council's Committee for Academic Integrity. He has also served as an orientation leader and captain and currently works with the Oxford Continuee Association. In addition, he works as a student manager in the Student Activity and Academic Center.

After graduation, Dunn will teach high-school math in Atlanta as part of Teach for America for two years. He plans to return to school to earn a law degree and masters in public health to pursue a career in policy making and healthcare. 

In addition to earning scholarships, Dunn is a recipient of Emory Advantage, a financial aid program that replaces eligible loans with institutional grants. The aid allowed him, and his younger sister who just completed her freshman year at Oxford, to attend Emory. 

"At Oxford I learned how to say yes. I took on as much as I could handle. But here at Emory I learned how to say no. I have been forced to make sacrifices," Dunn says. "It's been good because it made me think about what is really important to me. I tried to do what I was passionate about because those are the things I did best."