AU Supporters Honored with Drum Awards

Three couples, all longstanding friends and supporters of Africa University, were presented with the institution’s highest honor at the 18th Richard E. “Dick” Reeves Legacy Society Recognition Dinner on September 7th. The honorees included Rev. Dr. William McFadden and Mrs. Martha McFadden, Rev. Jimmy L. Carr (posthumous award) and Rev. Joy T. Carr, and Rev. Dr. Donald R. Wood and Mrs. Dorothy A. Wood.

The McFaddens and the Carrs were initially scheduled to be recognized in September 2017, but the advent of Hurricane Irma forced the postponement of the awards presentations to 2018.

In honoring Dr. McFadden and Mrs. McFadden, Africa University recognized their effectiveness in sharing the university’s story and advocating for its ministry in the East Ohio Conference and beyond. Dr. McFadden chairs Africa University’s Planned Giving Council and the East Ohio has the distinction of being the conference with the highest number of planned gift donors to the institution .

The most poignant moment of the evening came during the recognition of the contributions of Rev. Jimmy Carr and Rev. Joy Carr.

Rev. Jimmy Carr served on the Africa University site selection committee and was a founding member of the Africa University Board of Directors. He and his wife gave towards the Mississippi Conference’s gift of the 'Cross and Flame' that sits on a hilltop overlooking the main campus at Old Mutare, Zimbabwe. Rev. Carr died of heart failure in March 2017, just three days before he and his wife were due to travel Zimbabwe. They had planned to be there with fellow Mississippi United Methodists to celebrate the university’s 25th anniversary and formally present the gift of a $1.3 million scholarship endowment to Africa University. That gift was the result of a two-year Mississippi Conference campaign that Rev. Jimmy Carr co-chaired.

The couple’s son, Mr. David Carr, stood alongside his mother as she accepted the drum and heard about the rainbow that began at the university farm and stretched across the campus to the base of the Cross and Flame on the day his father died.

Rev. Dr. Donald R. Wood and Mrs. Dorothy A. Wood rounded out this year’s list of honorees. The Woods are major donors and members of the Richard E. “Dick” Reeves Legacy Society. Good News Television (GNTV), led by Dr. Wood, has donated state-of-the-art audio visual and multimedia services to Africa University for more than two decades. GNTV’s services are a significant in-kind contribution to meetings, donor appreciation events, and institutional promotion tools.

Dr. Wood, now semi-retired, has served in pastoral ministry and in communications ministry across the global United Methodist connection for more than 40 years. Mrs. Wood is retired, having served as an elementary school teacher, librarian and media specialist.

These September 2018 honorees bring the total number of Africa University Drum Award recipients to 46. There are two other recent awardees —Rev. Dr. A. Lynn Hill and Mrs. Susan Hill. The drum award presentation to Dr. Hill and Mrs. Hill took place in June, at a celebration to mark Dr. Hill’s retirement as senior pastor of the Franklin First United Methodist Church in Franklin, TN.