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Harold W. Colvin Award for Leadership by an Undergraduate

Kev Murphy, 2023-24 Recipient

About the Honoree

Harold Colvin joined the staff of the University YMCA on February 1, 1919. He immediately developed an extensive outreach service for Champaign-Urbana youth, which provided both valuable character development for participants and excellent leadership training for the University of Illinois students who guided these programs. Mr. Colvin moved to the national staff of the College and University YMCA in 1927 where he became known for his great organizational abilities and his warmth of character. From 1961 to 1976 - after "retirement" - Mr. Colvin was the director of the newly established Fred S. Bailey Scholarship Program that has since given millions of dollars to qualified students with demonstrated leadership potential.

About the Award

Given to a University of Illinois undergraduate student who has demonstrated superior leadership ability and devotion to the objectives of the University YMCA. In harmony with Mr. Colvin's commitment to the objectives of the YMCA in higher education, the Colvin Award will be given to a student who has stimulated spiritual and ethical growth, fostered good interpersonal and inter group relationships, promoted social, political and economic justice, while maintaining the integrity of the natural world at the local, state and national levels.

Kev Murphy, 2023-24 Recipient

Kev Murphy is a Junior at the University of Illinois, majoring in History and Political Science, with a minor in Secondary Education. Kev discovered the University YMCA through their involvement with Amnesty International UIUC, a Y affiliated Student Organization. From the start, they immersed themselves in understanding the YMCA's mission, engaging with the Y community, and making an effort to advance the Y’s various pieces of work. Elected as the Student Board President of the Y in May 2023, Kev has played a pivotal role in energizing their fellow students and fostering a dynamic and cohesive Student Board. In the past year they have prioritized collaborative efforts and cross-organizational engagement among the diverse student groups within the Y. Additionally, Kev played a key role in the planning process for the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Y, participating in numerous committees. They brought fresh ideas and an honest student perspective to the table, and represented the student body during several events at the main celebration on September 30.

Beyond their role within the YMCA, Kev remains an active participant in the broader campus community. They are the current Vice President of the UIUC chapter of Amnesty International, a national organization dedicated to fighting abuses of human rights worldwide through research and campaigning. Additionally, they are involved in Illini 4000, a student-driven non-profit dedicated to raising funds for cancer research and patient support services, as well as spreading awareness for the fight against cancer through annual cross-country bike rides. Furthermore, Kev passionately champions advocacy and human rights causes, dedicating time to volunteer work, protest organization, and education aimed at informing others about human rights issues around the world.

Kev Murphy’s dedication to nurturing community involvement, advocating for social justice, and advancing human rights embodies the principles epitomized by the Harold W. Colvin Award for Undergraduate Leadership. Their efforts and multifaceted contributions exemplify superior leadership and an unyielding devotion to the values cherished by the University YMCA.

Past Award Recipients

2024: Kev Murphy

2023: Sydney Curts

2022: Stuart Seputro

2021: Tyler Courson, Rebecca Riekki

2020: Abigale Pstrzoch

2019: Griselda Escobedo

2018: Michelle Awad

2017: Monica Saavedra

2016: Jacob Ferruzzi and Sana Singh

2015: Amanda Hwu

2014: Tyler Rotche

2013: Matt Rundquist

2012: Kenneth Long and Shikhank Sharma

2011: Jesse Hoyt

2010: Virginia Byrne and Amy Allen

2009: Jackie Wincek and Rose Yaguchi

2008: Ellen Dahlke and Becky Robinson

2007: Abbey Delgadillo and Rachel White-Domain

2006: Paul Heiberger

2005: Ashley Peterson

2004: Nick Fleege and Danielle Schumacher

2003: Danielle Marino and Jennifer Walling

2002: Ellie Kron and Jennifer Walling

2001: Erin Krejci

2000: Frank Hassler and Jon Dolle

1998: Rosemarie Stremlau

1997: Joanne Vokoun and Kate Douglas

1996: Ebrahim Patel and Yvette J. Gatilao

1995: Monique Norington

1994: Doug Chien

1993: Abbigail Illenberger and Chirag Mehta

1992: Edith Buhs

1991: Joseph Chamley