Elise Mitchell (’83) and Dr. Kent (’03) and Amber (Carroll ’06) Brantly will return to Abilene during Sing Song weekend to receive the highest honor ACU gives annually – Outstanding Alumnus and Young Alumni of the Year awards.
“The criteria is timely recognition lifetime achievement that brings honor to the university through personal and professional excellence and service to the university, church or community,” said Jama Cadle, assistant director for alumni relations. “The only difference is that Young Alumni cannot be over 40 when they’re nominated.”
Nominations are solicited from faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the university. The nominees for each award go through an internal vetting process and then to the Alumni Advisory Board, made up of 32 alumni, for the final selection.
Kent and Amber are the recipients of the 2015 Young Alumni of the Year award. Their front-line battle against the Ebola virus is world-famous.
Kent was treating Ebola patients in Liberia with Samaritan’s Purse when he contracted the virus himself, and Amber never left his side.
The Brantly’s were chosen for the Young Alumni of the Year award because of their dedication and humility in their experience fighting the Ebola virus.
“They’re just incredible people and bring the Lord into everything,” said Aubree Selinger, alumni relations officer.
On Feb. 5, Dr. Kent Brantly spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast where President Barack Obama mentioned the Brantly’s in his speech.
“And he continues to advocate for a global response in West Africa, reminding us that, ‘our efforts needs to be on loving the people there,'” Obama said. “He reminds us of what it means to really ‘love they neighbor as thyself.'”
Elise Mitchell, Outstanding Alumnus of the Year recipient for 2015, is the CEO of Mitchell Communications Group and CEO of the international Dentsu Inc. public relations network. Some of her clients include Hilton Worldwide and Proctor & Gamble.
Mitchell is part of the namesake for Morris & Mitchell, ACU’s student-run Ad/PR agency. Students voted to name the agency in her honor after an initial contribution in 2010. Mitchell made a second gift in 2012 to endow the agency.
Mitchell was also awarded a Distinguished Alumni Citation in 2011.
“Elise has given her time, her talent and her treasure to ACU,” Cadle said. “We ask our alumni to give one of those, and she’s given all three.”
Mitchell said she is surprised and honored to receive the award.
“Receiving this award is a huge honor for me and quite an unexpected one as there are so many outstanding alumni,” Mitchell said. “ACU played a pivotal role in my life when I was a student, helping prepare me to live in a way that would honor God both personally and professionally.”
The honorees will receive their awards Sunday at the Alumni Luncheon in the Hunter Welcome Center.