Dunavant Awards Coming in April

By Bill Dries

The nominations are in and the committee selecting the recipients of the 11th annual Dunavant Public Servant Awards is weighing its choices.

The awards, to be given at an April 21 luncheon of the Rotary Club of Memphis East at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis, honor one elected official and one non-elected official each year who meet the standards of public service identified with the late Probate Court Clerk Bobby Dunavant.

The awards, cosponsored by The Daily News and the University of Memphis, are also about promoting those standards in leaders to come as well as fostering discussion about what the standards mean on a day-to-day basis in government service.

So far, presales of tables for the event indicate a crowd larger than last year’s crowd.

The keynote speaker of the luncheon will be U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who is also a former governor of Tennessee, U.S. secretary of education and president of the University of Tennessee.

For more information on the event, go to www.rotaryclubofmemphiseast.org.

The University of Memphis is organizing a symposium on public service the same day as the luncheon. It is the second annual symposium and is also cosponsored by The Daily News.

The awards take place against the political backdrop of an election year statewide and in Shelby County.

Alexander is seeking re-election to another six-year term in the Senate.

Meanwhile, the courthouse clerks’ offices and judges positions are on the ballot this year in the once-every-eight-year election cycle that politicos refer to as the “big ballot.”