April 7, 1998
Collegeville, Minn. -- The Colman J. Barry Award for Distinguished Contributions to Religion and Society will be presented by Saint John's University to David Phillips and Timothy Shriver. Phillips is executive director of Courage Center in Minneapolis. Shriver is president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics International. The award presentation is scheduled for Friday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. in the Warner Palaestra as part of the annual Fellows Dinner. SJU will also hold a dedication of its athletic facilities renewal project as part of the day's events.
Phillips has been executive director of Courage Center since 1986. Courage Center is a nonprofit organization that provides a broad continuum of services to people with physical disabilities and sensory and neurological impairments to help them achieve as much independence and self-sufficiency as possible.
More than 70 services are made available at Courage Center by a range of charitable underwriting. More than 4,000 volunteers are involved in fund raising activities and assist in providing services which range from medical rehabilitation, camping and vocational services, to sports and recreation, residential services, education and training institutes. Annually serving more than 18,000 clients, Courage Center has been recognized with a President's Volunteer Action Award, chosen as the Outstanding Residential Facility in the country, and its Aquatics programs awarded the National Program Innovation Award.
Before being named president and chief executive officer in June 1996, Shriver served as president of the 1995 Special Olympics World Games Organizing Committee in Connecticut. There are accredited Special Olympics programs in more than 143 countries and 25,000 communities in the United States.
In recent years, Shriver has applied his educational interests to film. He is the co-producer of "Amistad," a film about the extraordinary life of a man headed for slavery who eventually is granted his freedom in 1842 by the Supreme Court. He is also co-producer of "The Loretta Claiborne Story" at Disney Studios, a film chronicling the courage and achievements of a woman born with mental retardation who has become a world-class athlete, teacher and advocate.
The Colman J. Barry Award recognizes the contributions that the Rev. Barry, a Benedictine monk of Saint John's Abbey, made during his life of scholarship and teaching. The author of several books, including his three-volume "Readings in Church History" and "Worship and Work," the Rev. Barry began his teaching career at Saint John's in 1952. He died in 1994.
The Rev. Barry played a role in the establishment of the Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research at Saint John's, and was responsible for the creation of the Jay Phillips Chair in Jewish Studies, the first such chair at an American Catholic college.
His creative leadership set the roots on the SJU campus for Minnesota Public Radio, which has grown to become one of the top public radio networks in the nation. For more information about the Colman Barry Award, call 320-363-2595 or 1-800-635-7303.