Garrett-Evangelical News

Benjamin Kendrick Receives Eliza Garrett Award

EVANSTON, Ill., June 2009 -- Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary presented the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award to Benjamin J. Kendrick, executive director of the Marcy-Newberry Association of Chicago, during the seminary's 152nd commencement service in May.

eliza-garret-award09"By any measure, Benjamin Kendrick has already had an extraordinary career, and by all indications, he's not finished yet," said Dr. Philip A. Amerson, seminary president. "During his 30 years as executive director of the Marcy-Newberry Association of Chicago, he has helped the agency grow from two sites serving 2,000 people each year to 15 sites serving 35,000 annually with a budget of $8.2 million. We honor Mr. Kendrick with the Eliza Garrett Award for a life devoted to service to others, to his community, and to his city."

The award is presented in the name and spirit of Eliza Clark Garrett, who was the inspiration and chief benefactor/founder of Garrett Biblical Institute, which was founded in 1853 and has grown and evolved into Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. This award is given to honor persons who by their imaginative acts of communal restoration and healing reflect God's mission and purposes for our world.

Facing neighborhood gentrification, Kendrick ignited a passionate effort to ensure the West Side retains a vibrant African-American community presence. Under his leadership, Marcy-Newberry built a transitional living center for homeless young women, the first of its kind on the city's West Side; Newberry Park, 84 low and moderately priced rental units that were the first of their kind built on the West Side in many years; and, in collaboration with the University of Illinois Chicago and the City of Chicago with help from a MacArthur Foundation Grant, created Westside 2000, which provides jobs for community residents.

Marcy-Newberry Association has served residents of the West Side for more than 120 years. In 1883, Elizabeth Smith Marcy with other mission-minded, Methodist women set the association's course that it follows today when they began providing direct service to community residents while actively working for social and economic change. Marcy-Newberry is a National Mission Institute of The United Methodist Church's General Board of Global Ministries.

Among his many honors, The United Methodist Church named Kendrick Executive of the Year. He has received the United Way Executive of the Year Award, the Mazalene Roberts Towner Scholarship Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award, the Commission on the Urban Agenda Urban Hero Award, the Malcolm X College Partnership Award, the Holy Angels Church Social Award, the ABLA Public Housing's Community Award, and the Malcolm X College and Bolozi Wazee Committee's Outstanding Community Service Award.

Kendrick is president of Westside 2000 and CEO of Westside Transformation. He has served on the boards of the Weiboldt Foundation, Chicago Reporter, Community Renewal Society, Friends of the Park,

Black Executives Coalition, Mayor's Citywide Youth Council, and The United Methodist Church's Northern Illinois Conference Housing Committee.

Before joining Marcy-Newberry, he served as Director of Youth Services for Cook County CEDA and in various assignments with Chicago Youth Center. From 1968 to 1973, he was a classroom teacher and counselor in the Chicago Public Schools. In 1979, he was Carol Mosley Braun's first campaign manager when she ran for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly.

Kendrick completed his undergraduate studies at Wiley College and Wilberforce University. He has earned graduate certificates at George Williams College and UIC. He is the father of Erika J. Kendrick, a Stanford University graduate and author of "Confessions of a Rookie Cheerleader."

Garrett-Evangelical is a graduate school of theology of The United Methodist Church founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 500 students from many denominations and various cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.

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The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.