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Trustee Alice Spitzer Honored with the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award

April 25, 2013

On behalf of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, President Philip Amerson presented the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award to Alice Spitzer, a retiring trustee, this past Sunday, April 21st.  President Amerson surprised Spitzer with the award in front of her home congregation, First United Methodist Church of Peoria, Illinois, for her years of service to the church and the seminary.

Spitzer and her husband, Kyle, moved to Peoria in 1968. With the exception of the four years they lived in Wisconsin, they have worshiped at First United Methodist Church of Peoria. Spitzer has served in almost every lay ministry possible, including: Sunday school teacher; youth group volunteer; church trustee; adult education teacher; delegate to Annual Conference; and community outreach ministries, including Habitat for Humanity and HIV/AIDS ministry.

Spitzer was among the first to join Garrett-Evangelical’s Council of Laity in 2009. A year later she was asked to join the board of trustees. Spitzer was instrumental in helping establish a scholarship at Garrett-Evangelical on behalf of First United Methodist Church of Peoria. Further, Alice and Kyle have hosted a number of Small Informational Gatherings on behalf of the seminary and its current capital campaign, Forging our Future, Phase III.

"Alice and Kyle have been strong advocates for seminary education as well as supporters of Garrett-Evangelical in particular,” said President Amerson. “Alice has served with distinction as a member of the board of trustees. She has been particularly helpful as an advocate in her home congregation (First UMC, Peoria) and in the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference.  The Spitzers are the type of laypersons who think about the future of the church and take actions, large and small, to support the work of educating clergy. Like Eliza Garrett, Alice Spitzer looks to the future and asks, ‘How can I help prepare strong leaders for the church?’ This award is a small token of appreciation for her vision and actions in support of preparing future leaders for the church."

The Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award is presented in the name and spirit of Eliza Clark Garrett, who was the inspiration and chief benefactor/founder of Garrett Biblical Institute. Founded in 1853, the school has grown and evolved into Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. The 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.