2015 Archives

Perkins presents inaugural “Person of Faith” Award and 2015 Seals Laity Award

Awards will be presented at a luncheon on March 7

February 17, 2015

Perkins Chapel at Southern Methodist UniversityDALLAS (SMU) – Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University announces the selection of Hind Jarrah as inaugural recipient of its Person of Faith Award, and Kay Prothro Yeager as recipient of the 2015 Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award. Both awards will be presented at a 12:00 p.m. luncheon Saturday, March 7, 2015, during the three-day Perkins Theological School for the Laity.

The Perkins School of Theology Person of Faith Award was created in 2015 to recognize a woman, man, or young person who – through their own religious institution or the wider interfaith community – is making a significant contribution as a peacemaker or reconciler. The award is open to persons of all religious traditions.

The Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award is presented annually to laypersons in the United States who embody the Christian faith and commitment of service to Christ in the church, community, and world as exemplified by Judge Woodrow B. Seals, a distinguished layperson whose interest and energy were instrumental in establishing the Perkins Theological School for the Laity. Selection for the Seals Award is made by a committee of the Perkins Lay Advisory Board.

Advance registration for the luncheon is available online (http://bit.ly/1MgJJ1E). The luncheon will be held in the Great Hall of Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall on the campus of SMU. For a map, visit smu.edu/maps.

About Hind Jarrah

Hind Jarrah
Hind Jarrah

Hind Jarrah, first recipient of the new Perkins School of Theology Person of Faith Award, is executive director of the Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, a non-profit, educational, philanthropic, outreach and social service organization dedicated to empowering Muslim women and their families. 

The organization was established to end misconceptions about Islam and Muslim women. On its launch in August 2005, 300 Muslim women attended from 29 different countries and 22 different careers. Born in Beirut to Palestinian parents, Jarrah has been engaged in the promotion of understanding and respect for multicultural diversity since 1982, when she co-founded the Arabic Heritage Society, a non-profit, educational organization.

Almas Muscatwalla, vice chair of the Interfaith Council of Thanks-Giving Square in Dallas, praises the selection of Jarrah as Person of Faith Award recipient. “Jarrah is an active member of the civil society, who considers diversity as a strength and pluralism as a way forward. She is an example of what it means to live your faith daily by extending your time and knowledge towards the good in the society.”

After September 11, widespread misconceptions about Islam and Muslims resulted in Hind Jarrah becoming a frequent guest speaker on topics, such as core principles of Islam, the peoples and cultures of the Muslim world, women in Islam, and Muslim non-Muslims relations. More recently, Jarrah was the only Muslim woman in Dallas to participate in the pioneering ISNA/URJ Muslim-Jewish Dialogue held in six cities nationwide. She has organized and participated in interfaith dialogue presentations and panel discussions in schools, colleges, churches, Rotary and Lions Clubs, and international societies. Jarrah served on the Faith and Feminism Committee at the Dallas Women’s Foundation and on the Board of Trustees from 2006–2009. Jarrah graduated from the American University of Beirut with a B.Sc. in Pharmacy (1974) and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas (1980). She received her Master’s degree in Neuroscience and Cognition from University of Texas at Dallas in 2000.

About Kay Prothro Yeager

Kay Prothro Yeager
Kay Prothro Yeager

Kay Prothro Yeager, named by Perkins School of Theology as recipient of the 2015 Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award, is a community volunteer, civic leader, and the former mayor of Wichita Falls, Texas (1996–2000). 

Her connections to Perkins School of Theology span three generations. She is the granddaughter of J.J. and Lois (Craddock) Perkins, for whom Perkins School of Theology is named; daughter of the late Elizabeth Perkins Prothro, for whom Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall at Perkins School of Theology is named; and sister in-law of Caren H. Prothro, former chair of the SMU Board of Trustees (2010–2014). Ms. Yeager currently serves as president of the board of Presbyterian Manor, an elderly-care residence in Wichita Falls; as vice president of the Perkins-Prothro Company; and as vice president and a trustee of the Perkins-Prothro Foundation. Mrs. Yeager has been a member of the Perkins School of Theology Executive Board since 2000.

“Kay has always put God, her family, and her church first in her life,” says Rev. Paul Q. Goodrich, senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Wichita Falls, Texas, where Ms. Yeager has been an active lifelong member. “She somehow has also been able to find the time and energy to serve The United Methodist Church at large, her community, and her country.”

Mrs. Yeager’s work in the larger community includes serving as chair of the board of the Yellowstone National Park Foundation. She previously served as chairwoman of the board of the Multi-Purpose Events Center (MPEC) in Wichita Falls. The final addition of the MPEC complex, completed in 2003, is named the Kay Yeager Coliseum in her honor. Mrs. Yeager is a 1961 graduate of Sweet Briar College. She spent her junior year at the University of St. Andrew in Scotland. Mrs. Yeager attended SMU during the summer of 1959 and was enrolled in English American literature courses.

Perkins Theological School for the Laity, scheduled this year for March 5–7, is supported by the Howard-Holbert Endowment Fund. The fund was established in 1986 in honor of the late Virgil P. Howard, who was associate director of the Perkins Intern Program and professor of Supervised Ministry; and John C. Holbert, who served as Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics at Perkins School of Theology from 1997 until his retirement in 2012.

For more information about the Perkins Theological School for the Laity, contact Rev. Gary MacDonald, director of Advanced Ministerial Studies at Perkins, AdvanceMinistry@smu.edu, 1-888-THEOLOGY (ext. 4).

For more information about the Perkins School of Theology Person of Faith Award and the Woodrow B. Seals Laity Award, contact Rev. Connie Nelson, director of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations at Perkins, clnelson@smu.edu, 214-768-2335.

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