An image with a portrait of a man and text that reads, "Albert Schweitzer Honors Scholars"

Albert Schweitzer Honors Scholars

The Honors Scholars College and Randall Library at UNCW are soliciting nominations from the Cape Fear Region for the annual Albert Schweitzer Honors Scholar. We will recognize this year’s Albert Schweitzer Honors Scholar for his or her contributions to the Cape Fear region and/or community or communities within the region and invite the individual to deliver the 2017 Schweitzer lecture to the assembled Honors Scholars Freshman class in November. The purpose of this award is to recognize someone in the Cape Fear area who exemplifies the attributes and ideals of Albert Schweitzer. These are individuals who have made a difference to the residents of the Cape Fear area in the areas of medicine, music, or humanitarian efforts, and exemplify the ideals of Schweitzer’s philosophy of “reverence for life”:

Reverence for life affords me my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting and enhancing life, and that to destroy, to harm or to hinder life is evil.  Affirmation of the world--that is, affirmation of the will-to-live which appears in phenomenal form all around me--is only possible for me in that I give myself out for other life. Without understanding the meaning of the world, I act from an inner necessity of my being so as to create values and to live ethically. For in life-affirmation and in ethics, I fulfill the will of the universal will-to-live which reveal itself to me.” (attributed to Albert Schweitzer, September 1965, a week before his death)

If you know of someone you would like to nominate for this year’s award, please send us that name, along with a brief description of the contributions that nominee has made to the Cape Fear Region consistent with the legacy of Albert Schweitzer. UNCW faculty, staff and current students are not eligible for nomination. Please send us your nomination by September 1, 2017 to

First awarded in 1975, the Albert Schweitzer International Prizes were presented at UNC Wilmington to individuals who reflected Dr. Schweitzer's philosophy of "reverence for life" and who excelled in his areas of expertise, namely medicine, the humanities, and music. Prizes were awarded from 1975 to 1993.

Although the prizes were discontinued, the Albert Schweitzer International Prizes Board of Directors wanted to create a legacy for these awards. In 2002, Randall Library and the UNCW Honors Scholars Program proposed the Albert Schweitzer Honors Scholars Awards to continue the spirit of the Albert Schweitzer International Prizes.

Recipients of the Albert Schweitzer Honors Scholar Award

2016 Lorraine Perry Founder and Coordinator, Healing Arts Program, a service of Lower Cape Fear Hospice
2015 Katrina Knight Executive Director of Good Shepherd Center of Wilmington, a non-profit organization dedicated to feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and fostering transition to housing.

2014 Camilla Herlevich (Speech)

Founder and Executive Director of North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the coastal communities of North Carolina, through conservation, education and land stewardship.
2013 R.T. Sinclair, Jr., MD Co-founder of the Cape Fear Memorial Hospital, Cape Fear Memorial Foundation, and the Cornelia Nixon Davis Healthcare Center, all organizations that impact health care services in southeastern North Carolina.

2012 J. Richard Corbett, MD


Wilmington physician and board certified radiologist, member of the Board of the Cape Fear Memorial Foundation that serves health and medical needs of the people of southeastern North Carolina.
2011 Scott Whisnant Founder of Cape Fear HealthNet, offering affordable health care to low income area residents.

2010 Jimmy Pierce

Founder and Executive Director of Kids Making it, a work and skills development program for at-risk youth in the Cape Fear region.

2009 Don Skinner

Founder and Executive Director of the Phoenix Employment Ministry. Dedicated to finding work for the homeless and near homeless.

2008 Jean Beasley

Founder and Executive Director of the Karen Beasley Memorial Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Hospital.

2007 Jock Brandis

Author, film technician, and inventor of the Malin Peanut Sheller, Brandis is also the Founder of the Full Belly Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to designing and distributing unique appropriate technologies to improve the lives of people in developing countries.

2006 Mary Isaac Koenig, S.U.

Humanitarian and committed social activist with St. Mary Social Outreach Program serving the needy of the Wilmington area.

2005 Susan Dankel


General Manager, WHQR Public Radio, dedicated to enhancing the experience of music for the residents of southeastern North Carolina.

2004 Margaret Weller-Stargell

President and chief executive officer of Coastal Horizons Center, Inc., dedicated to providing crisis intervention and substance abuse prevention outreach services in the Wilmington area.

2003 Kenneth White, M.D.

Wilmington physician and board certified plastic surgeon, leader of numerous medical mission trips to the Dominican Republic.

2002 Gerald Shinn, Ph.D.

Professor emeritus of philosophy and religion, University of North Carolina Wilmington, founder of the Albert Schweitzer International Prizes.

Albert Schweitzer

Physician, lover of animals, minister, scholarly theologian, environmentalist, accomplished organist and musical scholar, anti-nuclear activist, philosopher, husband, father, friend -- these are the many facets of Dr. Albert Schweitzer. Born in Germany in 1875, Albert Schweitzer based his personal philosophy on the ideal of "reverence for life." As a medical missionary, he spent years of his life in French Equatorial Africa, establishing a remarkable hospital in Lambarene, Gabon. Albert Schweitzer received numerous awards for his humanitarian efforts-including the Nobel Prize in 1952 and Britain's highest civilian honor, the Order of Merit, in 1955.

Gerald Shinn

While at UNCW, Dr. Shinn won numerous teaching awards: Outstanding Teacher of the Year, UNCW Board of Trustees Teaching Excellence Award, Professor of the Year Award (Silver Medal) from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in Washington, D.C., the UNCW Student Government Association Teaching Award, and the UNCW Distinguished Teaching Professorship. Dr. Shinn also received the O. Max Gardner Award in 1994. It is the University of North Carolina's highest honor for faculty who have "made the greatest contributions to the welfare of the human race." To date, Dr. Shinn is the only UNCW faculty member to be so honored.

Dr. Shinn has been recognized for his service to the local, national, and international communities. In addition to establishing the Albert Schweitzer International Prizes, he created the UNCW Museum of World Cultures, the North Carolina Living Treasure Program, the National Living Treasure Program, and the North Carolina Educational, Historical, and Scientific Foundation.