JACKSON, Tenn. – April 10, 2007 – Ralph Leverett, professor of special education and director of Union University’s Master of Education program, was one of five Jackson citizens selected for the 2007 Jefferson Awards for Public Service.
The Jefferson Awards were established in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Robert Taft and Sam Beard to encourage and honor individuals for their achievements and contributions through public and community service. Everett received the award in the Education and Literacy category.
“We applaud the selection of Ralph Leverett as a recipient of this year’s Jefferson Award,” Union University President David S. Dockery said. “His commitment to service and his many involvements in this community are most commendable. He is a great ambassador for Union University.”
Leverett joined the Union faculty in 1997, and during that time has also served as a part-time speech-language pathologist for the West Tennessee School for the Deaf.
He is a member of the advisory council for TREDS, a division of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital addressing the needs of people who are deaf and blind; the board of directors of the STAR Center, an agency that provides technological support to people with a wide range of disabilities; the board of directors of the Foundation of the Tennessee Speech-Language Hearing Association and the Friends of the West Tennessee School for the Deaf.
Leverett said he was honored – and surprised – by the award.
“I just see so many people who do what I do, that it seems odd that I would have been singled out,” Leverett said.
Sponsored by The Jackson Sun, the Jefferson Awards come with a $1,000 donation from the Gannett Foundation that will be made to a charity of each recipient’s choice.