Thomas W Briggs Foundation Community Service Award

The Thomas W. Briggs Community Service Award

In 1985, the Board of Directors established the Thomas W. Briggs Community Service Award to be given annually as a memorial to Mr. Briggs. The award benefits the work of a local Memphis organization in the field of community service. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding leadership provided by an individual in an organization whose creativity, effort, commitment, professionalism and exceptional initiative have enabled the organization to excel in its special mission. Recipients are nominated and chosen by the Board of Directors. It is the hope of the Directors that the recognition from the award will inspire others to reach higher and achieve more than they thought they could.

2019 Community Service Award

Steve Nash – Advance

After graduating from the University of Memphis, Steve Nash began a career in sales. During the next 10 years, Steve held various positions throughout the United States gaining business experience while longing to combine his heart for his neighbors in urban Memphis with his knowledge of the business world.  In 1999, Steve formed Advance Memphis to bring resources for economic stability to the population in and around the Cleaborn/Foote Public Housing Developments. The same year, 38126 was listed as the 3rd poorest urban zip code in the nation. For decades, the community has been plagued by generational poverty. Conversely, the neighborhood is blessed with residents who unquestioningly share with their neighbors and who take care of one another, even at great cost to themselves.

Steve Nash started the work at Advance Memphis by helping friends from the neighborhood connect with job opportunities. As he continued serving and dreaming, staff and programs were added. From the beginning, the vision at Advance Memphis has been to see the neighborhood transformed into a revitalized community through the empowerment of local adults. Advance Memphis offers holistic programs that rely heavily on instilling knowledge and skills in an environment of relational support while helping South Memphis neighbors see their value in the workforce

In 2015 the Work Life curriculum was published, growing out of a multi-year collaboration with Advance Memphis, Chalmers Center for Economic Development and Jobs for Life. Today, under Nash’s direction, other “stepping stone” programs at Advance Memphis include a matched savings programs, financial literacy program, entrepreneurial class, HSE/GED preparation, an addiction recovery program, and more. Steve’s vision to bring jobs to the community and reduce transportation issues, led to the purchase of 2 warehouses which house outsourcing work.  Today, Advance Memphis is a team of 14 FT and 6 PT staff members, over 100 regular volunteers, and a neighborhood full of program alumni who are still working toward the vision that was formed over 20 years ago: an empowered and revitalized neighborhood.

Steve, along with Advance Memphis, has been featured in countless articles and numerous books including When Helping Hurts.  He shares with others often what he has gleaned in hopes of encouraging others.

Steve is married to Donna.  They have 4 children.

Past Recipients

  • 2018 Cordell Walker, Alpha Omega Veterans Services
  • 2017 Todd Richardson and McLean Wilson with Chris Miner of Crosstown Arts for the Crosstown Concourse Development
  • 2016 Ken Steorts, Visible Music College
  • 2015 David Montague, Memphis Teacher Residency
  • 2014 Nancy Coffee, New Memphis Institute
  • 2013 Dorothy Gunther Pugh, Ballet Memphis
  • 2012 Jackie Nichols, Playhouse on the Square & 
Circuit Playhouse
  • 2011 Jim Duncan, Memphis Botanic Garden
  • 2010 Richard Nathaniel Donlon, M.D., Christ Community
 Health Services
  • 2009 25th Anniversary Celebration, Honoring All Previous Recipients
  • 2008 Beverly Robertson, National Civil Rights Museum
  • 2007 David Loebel, Memphis Symphony Orchestra
  • 2006 Margaret Craddock, MIFA
  • 2005 Kaywin Feldman, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
  • 2004 James R. Boyd, BRIDGES
  • 2003 Kenneth R. Bennett, Streets Ministries
  • 2002 Colenzo J. Hubbard, Emmanuel Episcopal Center
  • 2001 Larry B. Lloyd, D. Min., Hope Christian Community Foundation
  • 2000 Douglas R. Noble, D.P.A., The Pink Palace Family of Museums
  • 1999 Brad F. Baker, Young Life
  • 1998 Jeffrey D. Nesin, Memphis College of Art
  • 1997 Patrick W. Lawler, Youth Villages
  • 1996 Josephine H. Walt, The Neighborhood School
  • 1995 Michael J. Labonia, WKNO-TV/FM
  • 1994 Eleanor Prest, Thomas W. Briggs Foundation
  • 1993 Roger T. Knox, Memphis Zoological Society
  • 1992 Gid H. Smith, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis
  • 1991 JoeAnn Ballard, Neighborhood Christian Center
  • 1990 John E. Buchanan, Jr., The Dixon Gallery and Gardens
  • 1989 G. Scott Morris, M.D., Church Health Center Memphis
  • 1988 Patricia C. Howard, Girls Incorporated of Memphis
  • 1987 James C. Carlile, Boys Club of Memphis
  • 1986 Virginia L. Dunaway, Memphis Food Bank
  • 1985 Father Donald Mowery, Youth Service USA

University of Memphis Awards

Scholarships

For over forty years the Thomas W Briggs Foundation Inc. has supported the University of Memphis in various ways.  The Foundation began this relationship by establishing The Eleanor O’Neill Scholarship to assist deserving students with their educational goals.  The scholarship is named in memory of Ms. O’Neill who was a long standing Welcome Wagon employee and University of Memphis Foundation Trustee.

Based on academic merit, each year a student in the University of Memphis journalism program concentrating in public relations and a marketing student in the Fogelman College of Business and Economics are selected.

Teaching Awards

In 1995 the foundation established the Thomas W. Briggs Foundation Excellence in Teaching Awards to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching, and the first awards were given in 1997. The Awards were given through 2018 with the final award being given to Phillip Babin, Accounting.

Past Recipients

1997

Mr. Kevin Hagopian                English

Dr. Phillip Kolbe                      Finance, Insurance & Real Estate

1998

Dr. Ruthbeth Finerman,          Anthropology

Dr. Thomas R. Caplinger         Mathematical Sciences

1999

Dr. Jack Grubaugh                   Biology

Dr. Mark Timmons                  Philosophy

2000

Dr. Julia Heath                        Economics

Dr. David Mason                     Political Science

2001

Ms. Candace Justice               Journalism

Dr. Robert Marcini                  Physics

2002

Dr. Melvin Beck                       Biology

Dr. Charles Camp                    Civil Engineering

2003

Dr. Kantaylieniere Hill-Clark   Education

Dr. Nele Hemple                     Foreign Languages/German

2004

Stephen W. Hancock              Theatre and Dance

Dr. Charles J. Biggers              Biology

2005

Dr. John Hanneken                  Physics

Dr. William Jerman                Electrical and Computer engineering

2006

Dr. Robert Frankle                  History

Dr. Lawrette Axley                  Nursing

2007

Dr. Dennis Laumann               History

Ms. Margaret Quinn               Family and Consumer Sciences

2008

Dr. Joe Hayden                        Journalism

Dr. Nancy Mardis                    Accountancy

2009

Dr. Anna Bess Sorin                Biology

Dr. Fred Albertson                  Art

2010

Dr. Phillip Franceschetti         Physics

Dr. Irvin Tankersley                 Accounting

2011

Ms. Charlotte Spiceland         Accounting

Dr. John Haddock                    Mathematics

2012

Dr. Mark Freilich                     Chemistry

Mr. Kriangsiri Milasri              Computer Science

 2013

Dr. Angela Grant                     Mathematics

Leonard Jackson                      Hospitality and Resort Management

2014

Ms. Nataliya Doroshenko       Mathematics

Jacob Allen                                Communication & Fine Arts

2015

Dr. Douglas Campbell              Economics

Dr. Shirleatha Lee                     Nursing

2016

Denis Grele                                 French

JoAnne Rhodes                          Physics

2017

Dr. Scott Marler                          History

2018

Phillip Babin                                Accounting