News & Events

McKay Sharpe receives Michael Emory Award

Mckay.Sharpe03McKay Sharpe, a junior social work major from Columbia, SC, has received the Michael Emory Award from Mars Hill University.

Sharpe received the award during Mars Hill’s community engagement convocation on April 8.

The Michael Emory Award is presented annually to an individual who demonstrates Christ-like compassion, loyalty and service to the economically, socially or emotionally oppressed and diligent pursuit of truth and justice, even when such pursuit may be unpopular. The award is given in honor of “Big Mike” Emory, MHC class of ’94, whose life exemplified the criteria of the award. “Big Mike” was in seminary preparing for a life of ministry when a tragic accident led to his untimely death.

During her time on the Mars Hill campus, Sharpe has hosted a successful letter writing campaign about voter suppression; met with local and state representatives about civil rights and voter identification laws; helped found the first collegiate NAACP chapter in Western North Carolina; led 30 Mars Hill students and faculty to the Moral March in Raleigh on February 8; educated students about voter registration in the residence halls and meeting spaces; brought Rev. Curtis Gatewood, vice president of NC-NAACP, to speak during one of MHU’s weekly crossroads events; and invited her grandmother – who performs a one-woman play about campaign spending - to campus to educate students about campaign reform.

Caroline Twiggs, Field Coordinator for Lifeworks, said: “McKay is an inspiration, not only to her peers, but to faculty, staff and the community. I could not count the times that I have had community partners call me to tell me that they met the most remarkable student that is mature, passionate, motivated, responsible, and ‘together’…and that we need 100 more like her! And I couldn’t agree more!”

(MHU Office of Communications / April 16, 2014)