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Alumnus Rev. Nathaniel Moody named 2020 GIANT Among Giants for career of service to community

Feb. 24, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Rev. Nathaniel Moody, a Grand Rapids Junior College alumnus who has devoted much of his time and energy to public service, was saluted as the 2020 GIANT Among Giants during a ceremony on Saturday.

Moody is pastor at Brown-Hutcherson Ministries, represents Grand Rapids’ Third Ward on the City Commission, and is one of 15 community leaders and students honored.

He is a former member of the GRCC Foundation board of directors and has served on the Grand Rapids Board of Education, the city’s Police Chief Advisory Committee. He serves on the Children’s Advocacy Council, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, the Grand Rapids Area Association of Pastors and many other boards and committees.

Rev. Moody is a Grand Rapids native who graduated from Grand Rapids’ Central High School and later earned an Associate of Arts Degree from what was then Grand Rapids Junior College. He went on to earn his Mortuary Science Degree from Worsham College in Chicago and a Master of Arts Degree from Cornerstone Theological Seminary.

“Rev. Moody has devoted his life to helping people in our city, especially those facing great challenges, through his work and volunteer efforts,” said Jennifer E. Smith, associate director of GRCC’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and chairwoman of the 2020 GIANT Awards Committee. “He is truly a giant in our community, and an inspiration to many people.”

GRCC since 1983 has presented the GIANT Awards, recognizing African-American individuals or organizations for their exceptional contributions shaping the history and quality of life of the Grand Rapids area. Each award is named after a local person who has demonstrated excellence and serves as a perpetual memorial to those notable contributions.

Honorees have made meaningful contributions to Grand Rapids in a variety of areas, including justice, education, religion, medicine, humanities, business and labor.

Others saluted with GIANT Awards Saturday are:

This year’s honorees are:

  • Floyd Skinner Justice Award: Michelle Smith-Lowe, Kent County assistant prosecutor.
  • Walter Coe Public Service Award: Ovell R. Barbee, Jr., Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Diversity Officer at Spectrum Health.
  • Eugene Browning Medical Service Award: Clarence Teddy Henderson, emergency room technician at Butterworth Hospital.
  • W.W. Plummer Humanitarian Award: Eddie T.L. Tadlock, assistant general manager of DeVos Place Performance Hall and Van Andel Arena.
  • Ethel Coe Humanities Award: Eddie L. Stephens, Jr., president and CEO of Actionable Solutions Consulting.
  • Milo Brown Business Award: Crystal T. Hardley, licensed funeral director of Crystal Funeral Services.
  • Phyllis Scott Activist Award: Misti L. Stanton, assistant vice president and diversity and inclusion officer of Mercantile Bank.
  • William Glenn Trailblazer Award: Judge Christina Elmore, 61st District Court.
  • Raymond Tardy Community Service Award: Angela D. Nelson, vice president of multicultural business development at Experience Grand Rapids.
  • H.C. Toliver Religious Life Award: James Lee Abney, Sr., choir director of Madison Christian Reformed Church.
  • Hattie Beverly Education Award: Jerry F. McComb, former administrator for Grand Rapids Public Schools.
  • Martha Reynolds Labor Award: Larry Donston, retired educator.

The Junior Giants Award, named in honor of GIANT founders Dr. Patricia Pulliam and Cedric Ward, were presented to students of African-American heritage who have demonstrated leadership, community involvement and impact. Alexandria Vaughn-Earvin, 17, a senior at Forest Hills Central High School, and Brandon J. Fuller, 22, a senior at Hope College, received the honors.

Proceeds from the event benefit the GRCC Foundation’s Milo M. Brown Memorial Scholarship and the Junior GIANT Scholarship.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.

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