The Princeton Area Community Foundation has honored Fern and Larry Spruill with the 2019 Leslie “Bud” Vivian Award for Community Service.
The annual award was created in honor of the late Leslie “Bud” Vivian, longtime Director of Community and Regional Affairs at Princeton University, to recognize those who show a similar commitment to the Princeton community. Established in 1995 by members of the Princeton University’s Class of 1942 and 16 local organizations, the award is made possible through the Vivian Memorial Fund, an endowed fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation.
“We are thrilled to recognize Fern and Larry Spruills’ long history of service to the Princeton community,” said Jeffrey M. Vega, the President & CEO of the Princeton Area Community Foundation. “They helped create a youth mentoring program in Princeton, and they have volunteered with many local community organizations, including those that center on issues of social justice and civil rights.”
The Spruills, longtime Princeton residents, were among the founders of the Committed and Faithful Princetonians, a program that helped young people achieve academic and personal goals. Both are also Board Members of Not In Our Town Princeton (a nonprofit that promotes racial justice and inclusive communities), and they have previously served on the Minority Education Committee of the Princeton Board of Education.
Fern Spruill is a member of the Princeton Civil Rights Commission and former member of the Princeton Board of Education. Last year, she was honored with a Princeton YWCA Tribute to Women Award.
Larry Spruill, a longtime Princeton University employee, is a past recipient of the University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Journey Award for Lifetime Service, the Platinum Dad Award from UIH Family Partners, and a Centennial Award from the Princeton Family YMCA. He serves as Board Member of the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) and the Princeton Human Services Commission and has volunteered with other local organizations, including the YMCA Y-Scholars Program and the Trenton Chapter of the NAACP.
The Spruills have recommended the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice and Not In Our Town Princeton to receive the grants that come with the Vivian award. Not In Our Town will donate a portion of its grant to help fund a Washington D.C. field trip for Princeton High School students who recently completed a Racial Literacy and Justice class.
Previous Vivian Award recipients include Marvin and Ingrid Reed, Carol Golden, Bill Wakefield, the Rev. David McAlpin, Marcy Crimmins, A. C. Reeves Hicks, Hank Pannell, Jocelyn Helm, Harry Levine, Ted Vial, Harriet Bryan, Pat Van Ness, Claire Jacobus, Anne Reeves, William F. Johnson, Karl Light, Sarah Hirschman, Shirley Satterfield, James A. Floyd, Jack Roberts, Ray Wadsworth, Herb W. Hobler, Mark Freda and Nancy Beck.