Gloria Kirkland Holmes

Gloria Kirkland Holmes

Gloria Kirkland Holmes, a University of Northern Iowa associate professor of early childhood education, will receive Wartburg College’s annual Graven Award on Tuesday, March 13.

She will accept the award and deliver her address, “Keep Your Dream Alive Through Prayer and Positive Guidance,” during the 11:30 a.m. ceremony in Wartburg Chapel. The public is invited. The ceremony will include music by Reatha Phillips, gospel singer and minister of music at Waterloo’s Antioch Baptist Church, and the Wartburg Castle Singers under the direction of Nikki Toliver.

The Graven Award, now in its 30th year, honors one “whose life is nurtured and guided by a strong sense of Christian calling and who is making a significant contribution to community, church and society.” It is named for Judge Henry N. and Helen T. Graven of Greene, whose lives reflected those same commitments.

“Dr. Gloria Kirkland Holmes’ professional and personal life and her lifetime of community and church engagement have all been directed and supported by her sense of Christian calling and her commitment to serve the world,” wrote her nominator.

Holmes is the founder of the University of Northern Iowa’s Conference on African-American Children and Families, now in its seventh year. The event, which is designed for educators, social workers, business leaders and students, features culturally relevant speakers, workshops and open conversations in an effort to promote a better understanding of culture, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status and the needs of African-American families.

“We feel honored that Dr. Kirkland Holmes has agreed to receive the 2018 Graven Award. Not only does she have an impressive record of service in her field of early childhood education, but her daily life exemplifies an unrelenting commitment to the work of helping children and their families thrive and grow stronger. Her expertise and energy are inspiring,” said the Rev. Ramona Bouzard, dean of the Wartburg Chapel and Moehlmann Chaplaincy Chair.