Champlin, Countess, and Broersma Receive CWC Servant Leadership Award

Faculty, News, Student Achievement
Shown (l to r) are CWC Award recipients Seth Countess, Dr. David Broersma, and Molly Champlin.

During a recent chapel service, the Dr. Charles W. Conn Servant Leadership Award was presented to Lee students Molly Champlin and Seth Countess, and faculty Dr. David Broersma.  

The Dr. Charles W. Conn Servant Leadership Scholarship, established in 2003, honors President Emeritus Charles W. Conn. He served as Lee’s president from 1970 to 1982, and a spirit of servant leadership marked his tenure.  

As part of the university’s efforts to emphasize the importance of serving others, the award is given annually to rising seniors who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to service during their time at Lee. Students who receive this scholarship give a portion of the proceeds to a charity of their choice. 

Champlin is a senior youth ministry major from Nolensville, Tennessee. She is the co-president for Lee Students for Life, the pro-life service and activism club on campus. She was also the secretary and treasurer until being elected as co-president this semester and has been an active part of the club since her freshman year. Champlin also volunteers regularly with New Hope Pregnancy Care Center and Foundation House Ministries.  

“I am honored to receive this award because service is such an integral part of the Christian faith,” said Champlin. “When we love like Christ, we will be naturally inclined to serve; service is not a task, but a heart posture. I am grateful for this opportunity to raise awareness for the causes I volunteer for and am empowered to continue to serve.” 

Champlin has worked for the Leonard Center since her freshman year where she has consistently and enthusiastically promoted the mission of servant-leadership.  

“In addition to being passionate about serving others, Molly loves the Lord and is dedicated to the mission of Christ to serve others,” said Heather Duncan, assistant to the director of the Leonard Center. “She is always willing to lend a helping hand or a listening ear to those that need it most. She is a valuable part of the Leonard Center team and Lee community.” 

Countess is a senior finance major from Shelbyville, Tennessee. He has been involved in Backyard Ministries for almost three years. He is co-site leader for the JMac site which serves children whose second language is English in a tutoring/mentoring capacity. He also organizes and leads the food distribution portion that delivers food bags from the food bank to families weekly. 

“I am extremely honored to receive this award, as it represents both Christ’s and the university’s values of servant leadership,” said Countess. “When I first got involved with Backyard, I was challenged to be a consistent role model in these kids’ lives. That challenge has blessed me deeply as I’ve gotten to grow meaningful relationships with the kids and their families over the last three years. My experiences at JMac have been some of my favorite and formative experiences at Lee.”  

He is actively involved in many campus activities, including his Greek club Tau Kappa Omega and often arranges for his Greek club to join Backyard for events. 

“Seth is a gentle and kind leader with a heart of gold,” said Rachael Pitts, assistant director of teacher education. “He makes sure every kid feels seen and cared for, often making sure the whole family’s needs are met. The students at JMac adore Seth and recognize his commitment to them by his faithfulness to show up every week and be present.” 

Broersma joined Lee’s Department of Language and Literature in 2014 as an associate professor of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and linguistics. He teaches courses such as English Language Structure and Theory, Second Language Acquisition, and Introduction to Linguistics 

“David represents the epitome of servant leadership and has done so throughout all the years I have known him,” said Dr. Donna Summerlin, chairperson for the department of Language and Literature. “He serves his colleagues, his students, his department, his church, and Lee University in countless acts of sacrifice and giving.” 

Broersma said about his accomplishment, “It was a great surprise and honor to be named as the recipient of the Charles W. Conn Servant Leadership Award because there are so many people at Lee who deserve this award. It is wonderful to work in a university where a quality like servant leadership is celebrated.” 

Champlin and Countess are the 20th group of students to receive this award, while Broersma is the 16th faculty member to be honored.  

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