Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Congratulations, Peter Larlham, Recipient of Phi Kappa Phi's First Distinguished Service Award!

Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Congratulations, Peter Larlham, Recipient of Phi Kappa Phi's First Distinguished Service Award!

Article excerpt

Peter Larlham, professor emeritus of theater at San Diego State University, received the inaugural Ray Sylvester Distinguished Service Award from the Society earlier this year for outreach that extends beyond the realm of academia.

The commendation reflects Larlham's abiding endeavors to assist the Mnyakongo Primary School in the village of Kongwa, Tanzania. He was a boarding student there when the site, then called the Kongwa School, served European children while the region was under colonial rule. Larlham returned for the school's 60' anniversary reunion in fall 2008 and was so distressed by the poor condition of the library that he committed to transforming the facility, the well-being of the 800-plus students, and the village through service-learning opportunities.

The multiyear initiative to date has included building a school library, stocking it with more than 8,500 volumes in English and Swahili, helping secure electricity and running water for the campus, refurbishing buildings, and buying goats to provide milk for the school lunch program. The Mnyakongo Primary School Project continues to expand each year.

"As the first recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, Dr. Larlham exhibits fully that spirit of selfless giving for the betterment of others that Phi Kappa Phi seeks to honor," said Paul Ferlazzo, selection committee chair and former Society president. "Generous with his time, energy, and expertise, he has created programs that have profoundly impacted the lives of young students in Tanzania and provided as well valuable lessons to the students of SDSU. …

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