Nancy G. Brinker named UNT Humanitarian Laureate

North Texas Humanitarian Award
North Texas Humanitarian Award
Thursday, April 22, 2004

Event to be rescheduled.

DENTON (UNT), Texas — The University of North Texas will award Nancy G. Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, its annual North Texas Humanitarian Award. The presentation of the award, originally scheduled for May 5 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Lacerte of Dallas, has been postponed. Brinker has the flu and is unable to attend the ceremony in her honor. UNT is making plans to reschedule the event.

UNT founded the award in 2003 to recognize community leaderswhose selfless acts inspire the university family — its alumni, students,faculty and staff — and others in the North Texas community. Recipientsof the award become UNT Humanitarian Laureates, esteemed for their ability toeducate by civic example.

UNT President Norval Pohl and UNT System Chancellor Lee Jackson will bestow the award upon Brinker for developing the foundation, which today is considered the nation's leading catalyst in the fight against breast cancer. When Brinker's sister, Suzy, died of breast cancer at the age of 36 in 1980, Brinker promised herself that she would fulfill her sister's plea to help others battling the disease. The foundation, created in 1982, funds research, breast cancer education, and screening and treatment projects for individuals who are medically underserved. In 1983, Brinker also founded the Komen Foundation's signature program — the Komen Race for the Cure, the largest series of 5K run and fitness walks in the world.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed Brinker to the 18-member National Cancer Advisory Board as one of six laypeople. In 1992, she was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to the three-member President's Cancer Panel to monitor the progress of the National Cancer Program and was selected by Vice President Dan Quayle to serve as the chair of a subcommittee to study the progress of breast cancer research and education in the United States and around the world. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Brinker to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary. Most recently, Brinker was installed into the Cancer Research & Treatment Funds Cancer Survivors Hall of Fame in 2002.

"Nancy Brinker is known worldwide for her compassion and outreach. She advocates women's health issues and speaks on the importance of patient's rights and medical advancements in breast cancer research and treatment," says Pohl. "She is a hero to all those affected one way or another by breast cancer — which is all of us."

To commemorate the designation of North Texas Humanitarian Laureate, Brinker will receive an original work of art, handcrafted by two UNT alumni while they were graduate students in UNT's School of Visual Arts: Mark Herndon ('04 M.F.A.) and Masumi Kataoka ('03 M.F.A.). It is a modern representation of a ceremonial academic mace, a symbol of the worthiness of the leader who wields it. Its design comprises solid silver, 18-karat gold and walnut.

UNT presents the North Texas Humanitarian Award annually to individuals who embody a public spirit to better the North Texas region and whose accomplishments are consistent with the public service component of UNT's mission. Restaurateur Philip J. Romano was the 2003 North Texas Humanitarian Laureate for founding Hunger Busters, and he also serves as honorary chair of this year's event.

Tickets for the event are $100 and the proceeds will benefit the Nancy G. Brinker Presidential Scholarship at UNT and the UNT Cornerstone Fund for Excellence.Tickets can be purchased by calling (940) 565-3689.

Physical description and symbolism of the North Texas Humanitarian Award:

The award is an original work of art, handcrafted by two alumni of UNT's School of Visual Arts while they were graduate students: Mark Herndon ('04 M.F.A.) and Masumi Kataoka ('03 M.F.A.). It is a modern representation of a ceremonial academic mace, a symbol of the worthiness of the leader who wields it. It has several symbolic features.

Its crown is two half circles — sterling silver hands, embracing a goldflame. It is the flame of leadership, the flame of education. The holder of thehumanitarian award is esteemed for the ability to educate by civic example.

The award's body and its base are sculpted walnut, a wood selected forits beauty and its strength. Like this fine wood, the recipient of the awardhas grace and fortitude — the courage to overcome obstacles in the pathto improve the life of others.

The award's base holds the mace in an upright position so that we see itas a torch. However, the holder of this award is not someone who passes the torch,but someone who makes the flame burn brighter. North Texas Humanitarian Laureatesilluminate the unmet needs in our communities and fulfill them.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108