Paul Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award
Paul Ray Wilkinson attended West Virginia University, where he earned a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry. He retired as a Colonel after serving 32 years in the Army, The National Guard and Reserves. Paul spent many years working with E.I. DuPont as well as a consultant to the World Environmental Center, leading workshops in Eastern Europe.
After his retirement, Paul became a full-time volunteer, serving his local community and communities abroad. He worked with Boy Scout Troop 398, and later the Wilmington District, where he earned the Silver Beaver Award. He was treasurer of the Lower Brandywine Presbyterian Church, and volunteered with the Local Planning Committee dedicating his time to environmental issues. As a member of DelEASI, a volunteer organization of retired environmental professionals, Paul served as Chair of the Governor's Recycling Public Advisory Council and acted as an EASI ambassador.
In 2003, Paul received the Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Environmental Award. Paul was one of the first community volunteers to assist with the important work of two initiatives protecting Delaware’s environment; the Local Emergency Planning Committee and the Recycling Public Advisory Committee. He was responsible for bringing key organizations together to establish recycling priorities and goals. He was successful with promoting recycling education statewide by engaging volunteers from The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, all without using state recycling funds. His vast scientific knowledge and dedication resulted in a safer and cleaner Delaware.
Paul was a member of the Delaware Governor’s Council on Volunteerism starting in 2000 until 2004, when legislation transformed the Council into a Commission; and continued serving until 2008. Paul passed away on Saturday, January 17, 2009. His legacy and dedication to serving others remains with us today through the Paul Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award; honoring volunteers dedicated to lifelong volunteer service.
Photo Credit: Dan Trader Photography
In the late 1970s, Marie-Anne Aghazadian was the parent of an individual with specials needs. Forty years later, she is a leader among a passionate group of parent advocates and a driving force behind the creation of the Delaware Autism Program, which is now a statewide, public program for students with autism spectrum disorder. Marie-Anne helped found Autism Delaware in 1998 to serve as an advocate group and resource for the autism community. Marie-Anne has also served on multiple councils devoted to those with special needs in our state, including the Developmental Disabilities Council and the Governor’s Council for Exceptional Citizens. In addition, Marie-Anne is developing a new service program (“Share the Care”) and serving as an Educational Surrogate Parent.
For over 40 years, John Hollis has helped to build a better Delaware for our children. John has been a coach, a mentor, a community service volunteer, a member and chair of various community boards and committees, a volunteer advocate for outdoor activity, and the chair of the Blue-Gold All-Star Football Game. He founded the M.E.R.I.T. (Minority Engineering Regional Incentive Training) Program in 1974. Every other Saturday, John and the M.E.R.I.T students, their parents and other adults gather at the Western Boys and Girls Club in Seaford for academic enrichment field trips, engineering competitions, volunteer activities, and other skill-building and team exercises.
Emeritus Professor Thomas J. Reed
As a valued member of the Delaware Law School family and a United States Marine Corps veteran, Professor Thomas J. Reed has devoted countless hours to using his legal knowledge and skills to benefit nonprofit organizations and U.S. veterans. For over 20 years, Tom has contributed free legal services to 14 different Delaware nonprofit organizations during which time he also helped to create and establish the Veterans Assistance Program, which assists veterans with disabilities and their dependents. Since retiring from teaching, he has logged over 900 hours in free legal service to veterans with disability claims.