Spreading Joy

Sam Kimberg Sam’s 90th Birthday Party

Today would be Sam Kimberg’s 98th birthday! Sam was Dan Kimberg’s grandfather and the man that inspired the values and joy that are at the center of Student U. He is remembered and honored each year in our Sam Kimberg Award. This award is given to one Student U community member who has brought the most Joy to our community. The winner is then asked to write a chapter in the book “Sam’s School” about how he or she has learned to spread Joy to the World. Check out a small excerpt of their thoughts below and honor Sam on his birthday in your own way by going out and spreading joy!

“To spread joy to the world, we must be fearless. We must be authentically ourselves. We must be brave. We must fail. We must lean into community. And last but not least, we must love.”
– Bettina Umstead: 2015 “Student U has been a family filled with people who accept me for who I am, flaws and all. They have also helped to mold me into the person I am today. A wise person once told me, “Life is too short, so have fun and make sure to pass along the fun to everyone you meet.” Three years later, I still live by that principle and I hope that I have brought happiness to at least one person every day.”
– Ti-Vianna Webster: 2014 “Bringing joy to the world required me to not only voice my ideas but follow with action.”
– Michelle Bridgers: 2013 “Having joy at one’s surroundings and having people and places with which to share that joy are key to spreading joy in the world.”
– Ian McDiarmid: 2012 “Our students are a great example of this need for acceptance. They are all incredible young people, but like all young people many are still searching to find themselves. I believe that the greatest gift we can give to them is a positive and encouraging love of all their unique and even awkward eccentricities. In fact, bringing joy to our world is as easy as giving love.”
– Emily Jenkins: 2011 “This award was given to me for bringing JOY to our community. This award confirmed a lesson I have been learning for years— remaining true to who I am is how I will change the world.”
– Muriel Smith: 2010


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