Kathryn GrubeKathryn Grube accepts Statesboro Herald Humanitarian of the Year Award Tuesday during the 19th Annual Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Awards at the Russell Union Ballroom on the campus of Georgia Southern University.
Kathryn Grube was emotional and surprised Tuesday night upon learning she was the 2007 Statesboro Herald Humanitarian of the Year. Grube was honored during the 19th Annual Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Awards gala, hosted by the Statesboro Herald and other sponsors.
“Thank you all so much,” she said. “I’m certainly not deserving... I am astounded by it. I am humbled by it.”
Circumstance almost kept Grube from attending the ceremony but those in charge of the gala made sure she was able to make it, she told the crowd.
Bruce Yawn, the 2001 recipient of the award, presented Grube with the 2007 Statesboro Herald Humanitarian of the Year award.
Grube, wife of Georgia Southern University President Dr. Bruce Grube, “has been in Statesboro only eight years, but what an impact she has made ...” he said.
“To everything she does, to every project in which she is involved, she brings and enthusiasm and a passion that inspire and persuade others to become involved,” he said. “Immediately upon her arrival in Statesboro she sought out organizations in which she could volunteer her time and energy to help others.”
He gave a long list of activities and events in which Grube was involved, including serving as honorary co-chair of the 2000 March of Dimes fund raising walk; chapter chair of the American Red Cross Bulloch County chapter; co-chair of the 2003 United Way of Southeast Georgia fund drive; charter membership of the Statesboro Arts Council and chair of the facilities committee during the construction of the Averitt Arts Center.
She also served as President of the Arts Council from 2003-2004, during the center’s first year of operation, he said.
“Tim Chapman, the director of the Averitt Arts center, told me that there is no way to put a value on the volunteer efforts she put into the Arts center project that led to the successful completion of the project and the finished product so many of us have enjoyed for the past three years,” he said.
“Kathryn Grube’s infectious smile, warm and friendly personality, and sneaky wit immediately won the hearts of many” soon after her arrival in the community, he said. “Yes, I did say sneaky. To pull off some of the pranks she is capable of, you have to be a little sneaky.”
Grube has been a dedicated supporter of her husband’s presidency and serves as host for many University events each year, he said.
Other efforts Grube has accomplished include being honorary spokesperson for Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), helping with the University’s Holiday Helpers program at Christmas, volunteering with the GSU Botanical Gardens and as an ex-officio board member of the Georgia Southern Symphony Association, Yawn said.
“Kathryn Grube has certainly fulfilled her role as First Lady of Georgia Southern University, and to many university first ladies that role would seem sufficient,” he said. “But not to Kathryn Grube. She feels that she has a larger role to fulfill - making the community in which she is a part of a better place to live. She has a passionate devotion to promoting human welfare and advancing social reforms that improve one’s quality of living.”
Yawn teased Grube about the many practical jokes she has played in which he was “on the receiving end,” but reassured her he would not get even during the awards banquet. “Relax, I’ll get even another time.”
But on a serious note, he said “Kathryn, you have blessed us with your charm, personality and presence in our community for the past eight years, and your humanitarian efforts have made Bulloch County a better place to live.”
An emotional Grube credited her father for teaching her to care for others and her husband for guidance and support. After she received her award, she embraced Dr. Grube before resuming her seat as the crowd gave her a standing ovation.
Humanitarians of the Year
John M. Wilson Jr.
Deen Day Smith
David H. Averitt