Awards & recognition

S.R. Smith Servant-Leader Award (formerly the Barnabas Award) 

Initially established as the Barnabas Award, the S.R. Smith Servant-Leader Award is given annually by the Agapé Center to those who enrich our educational community by promoting the ideals of service that substantially benefit others. Phillip and Rebecca Smith have generously agreed to endow this annual award as it fits with a core tenet of Phillip's great-grandfather's (S.R. Smith) founding vision for Messiah University, i.e., equipping men and women for lives of commitment to Christ and service to others. Wheel-thrown basins are given out each year to recipients as a token of appreciation for their commitment to service and living lives as Jesus called us to. 

The awards are made available by the Agapé Center and are given to one current undergraduate student and one current employee at Messiah University, with a matching award given to an organization of each honoree's choice. 

2024 Student Recipient

Tammy Tay, Human Development and Family Science

Tammy is a Junior Human Development & Family Science major with minors in Business Administration and Pre-Counseling & Therapy. She is currently serving as the president of the International Student Association/MuKappa. Throughout the past few years, she had the chance to interact with many individuals from various backgrounds, allowing for a broadened worldview. She also enjoyed interacting with older adults because of the stories and wisdom that she is able to exchange with them. In 2018, Tammy had the chance to be in the Share-a- Pot initiative based in Singapore and also volunteered for the restoration initiative work in Cambodia with her High school. Tammy also had the chance to work alongside mentors who are very supportive and understanding in her growth as an individual. She has had the chance to work with By His Grace Food pantry, Greenlight operation and Wildheart Ministries

Tammy has chosen Greenlight Operation to receive a monetary gift



2024 Employee Recipient

Jay McClymont

Jay McClymont serves as director of alumni and parent relations in an office full of excitement, creativity, and energy. Jay graduated from Messiah College in 1992 with a B.A. in Communication and would later get his Masters in Strategic Leadership in 2016. Jay has worked at Messiah since 2008 and his favorite part of his role is connecting alumni with students, faculty, and other alumni for mutually beneficial relationships.

Jay and his wife Valerie were married in 1996 and have four children; Raegan, Mekaelah, Gillian, and Elijah. The McClymont family lives in Camp Hill, after spending almost a decade living in and renovating a turn of the century home in midtown Harrisburg. Jay enjoys running, hiking, and the great outdoors. This summer, Jay and his wife plan to hike 160 miles of the Camino de Santiago starting in Portugal.

Jay has chosen Second City Church to receive a monetary gift.

Each year, we ask for nominations of individuals who have demonstrated significant contributions in the areas of ministry, community service, and leadership. The community service that the S.R. Smith Servant-Leader Award seeks to reward is unpaid service that is done off-campus through community partners. The following factors will be given priority in selecting the recipient.

  • The level of spiritual maturity and commitment to ministry and community service.
  • The ability to integrate her/his ministry and community service with other aspects of her/his life and work including academic work, faith perspectives and sense of vocation.
  • The impact of the ministry and community service on the community in which she/he served and her/his ability to effectively work with and respect persons with whom she/he worked.

The finalists may be asked for additional information.

Nominations are currently closed.

Student Recipients: 

Emma Narber (2023)

Rachel Ference (2023)

Erin Haines (2022)

Leiby Soto (2021)

Tyler Pursell (2019)

Briel Slocum (2018)

Paula Holtzinger (2017)

Addison Hurst (2016)

Caroline Hurff (2015)

Tetyana Pyatovolenko (2014)

Logan Thompson (2013)

Employee Recipients: 

Mindy Smith (2023)

Wanda Thuma-McDermond (2022)

Julie Price (2021)

Amy Nicols (2019)

Betsey Miller (2018)

Danny Thompson (2017)

Angela Hare (2016)

Don Murk (2015)

Jean Corey (2014)

Norman "Skip" Benson (2013)