Rich Parr Receives Leadership and Diversity Award

Wellsville High School Graduate Recognized for Promoting Racial Harmony

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Rich Parr

ALLIANCE, OH (01/31/2011)(readMedia)-- Darrell "Rich" Parr, a senior communication major of Wellsville, Ohio, recently received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership and Diversity Student Award at the University of Mount Union. He was presented the award for his ability to promote racial harmony while advocating for social justice. Rather than questioning diversity, Parr explores it.

Parr is an active member of the Dynamo, WRMU and the Black Student Union (BSU). As a member of the BSU and a Caucasian, this is a clear indication that he wants to break racial boundaries and further promote racial harmony.

"His efforts cannot be viewed as a task, but rather actions that come naturally in everyday life. He has stopped people in the middle of conversation to correct their racial slurs and demonstrated personal disapproval before graciously continuing the conversation with them," said Katie Kelly, a classmate of Parr's and senior middle childhood education major of Sharon, PA. "I have seen him remain calm, cool and collected in the midst of a heated debate over racial disputes, and he never once backed down, even against a friend. He does not stand up for the popular vote; he stands up for what is just. For that, I admire and respect Rich."

Jilian Hinton, another classmate of Parr's, described him as one who doesn't see color. He sees people instead, and he accepts them for who they are.

Aside from Kelly and Hinton, Parr was nominated by Dr. Len Cooper, assistant professor of communication and Barbara Lyons, secretary in academic affairs and director of Inspirational Voices of Praise (IVOP).

University of Mount Union

The University of Mount Union, founded in 1846, is a four-year, private institution grounded in the liberal arts tradition. The University is located in Alliance, OH, 80 miles of both Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Mount Union offers an array of broad-based and career-specific undergraduate and graduate programs to its 2,200 students who experience outstanding opportunities for success after graduation. Ranked as one of America's Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the University is committed to providing a student-centered approach and an exceptional educational experience. For more information, visit