Simpson College has established the Carver Medal to annually recognize an outstanding individual whose life exemplifies the commitment and vision of service of George Washington Carver. George Washington Carver was a remarkable man. The son of slaves, his determination and persistence led to a life of tremendous accomplishment and success. Carver is most noted as a great agricultural scientist but he was also much more than just a scientist. He was also an artist, inventor, author, teacher and humanitarian concerned about the plight of the poor and disadvantaged in society. His concern for helping poor farmers as he said “the man farthest down” revolutionized agricultural practices in the South and paved the way for a better life for all.
George Washington Carver was also a man of deep faith in God. His practical approach to science was continuously influenced by his faith. His early morning walks in the woods served to assist him reconcile his faith in God with the natural beauty of the land in a way that inspired him to seek a life of service for the greater good of all people. He viewed the world holistically and understood that his gifts in the field of science and agriculture were meant to serve a Larger Reality.
“It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success.”
The Carver Medal is given annually to an individual who has distinguished himself/herself through service. To someone who has, like Dr. Carver, used their gifts and imagination to serve as an inspiration to others. To an individual who has demonstrated leadership and conviction, advanced the fields of science, education, the arts or religion, and dedicated themselves to addressing humanitarian issues. The medal, as well as the lecture series, pays tribute to Dr. Carver’s legacy at Simpson and the College’s commitment to diversity throughout its history.