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Karl Peace Named Statesboro Herald Humanitarian of the Year

1 July 2017 31 views No Comment
Holli Deal, Statesboro Herald
    Karl Peace expresses his gratitude and recognizes others he has worked with after being named Humanitarian of the Year during the 2017 Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Awards banquet at the Nessmith-Lane Conference Center.

    Karl Peace expresses his gratitude and recognizes others he has worked with after being named Humanitarian of the Year during the 2017 Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Awards banquet at the Nessmith-Lane Conference Center.

      The 2017 Statesboro Herald Humanitarian of the Year “moved our community to new heights of caring,” said Billy Hickman during the 29th annual Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Awards gala held at Georgia Southern University’s Nessmith-Lane Continuing Education building.

      After sharing the biblical story of the Good Samaritan, Hickman praised Karl Peace as “a true public health hero” who not only influenced and helped the community, but also “the world.”

      Peace spoke briefly as he accepted the award. “This is quite a surprise,” he said. “I am very humbled and very appreciative.”

      Peace “has given over $8 million to Georgia Southern University (GSU) in various ways, helped develop numerous medications that have likely saved countless lives, and inspired and enabled hundreds to obtain degrees in various medicine-related fields,” Hickman said. “He began college at GSU in 1959 with a loan of $532 that paid for two quarters of tuition. For his third quarter, he secured a Georgia State Teacher’s scholarship, and, throughout the rest of his college career at GSU, he achieved a Bachelor of Science in chemistry while he worked seven part-time jobs to pay for his schooling. This was also how he contributed to the support of his siblings and mother, who suffered from cancer,” he said.

      Peace “obtained a master’s degree in mathematics at Clemson University, has taught at several colleges, and later obtained a PhD in biostatistics from the Medical College of Virginia,” Hickman said.

      In 1989, he started his own business—Biopharmaceutical Research Consultants—where he played a key role in development and approval of several medications that treat diseases and conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, arthritis, anxiety, depression, and gastric ulcers.

      “He is still an adjunct faculty member at several major universities and is active in public health education endeavors at Georgia Southern,” Hickman said.

      In 1998, Peace approached GSU with the idea of a biostatistics center, a graduate-level study program in biostatistics, and development of a school of public health. “He gave up a $1.5 million annual salary with his own company to return to his alma mater in 2000 when GSU offered a master’s degree in biostatistics, which he helped develop,” Hickman said. “He endowed the Jiann-Ping Hu College of Public Health at GSU, named for his late wife.”

      Peace has since then continuously recruited, promoted, and helped establish the college with his endowment. It was the first college of public health in the University System of Georgia.

      “We have done remarkably well … in the past 10 years,” Peace said. “We currently have just under 500 students, over 40 faculty, and, since 2007, we have awarded nearly 500 degrees” to students who have “sustained very rewarding careers in many fields.”

      The Board of Regents named the university’s biostatistics center the Karl E. Peace Center for Biostatistics, “honoring him for his endless contributions of time, finances, and support,” Hickman said. “He has established 21 endowments at five different institutions—14 of those at Georgia Southern University.”

      Peace also supports the Boys and Girls Club of Bulloch County, where he volunteers, tutors, mentors, and supports financially. He helped raise $265,000 after the club lost a critical grant, matching at least $90,000 in donations personally. He helps members with math and has helped six graduate assistants with their grant-writing applications. Peace also chaired the club’s capital campaign in 2009 and 2011. The Boys and Girls Club of Bulloch County named its academic achievement center for him.

      “Dr. Karl Peace has donated to, supported, and volunteered for several entities, including Goodwill Industries, the Salvation Army, American Cancer Society, Memorial Health University Medical, Mayo Clinic, the Alzheimer’s Association, United Way, Disabled Veterans, American Red Cross, and Easter Seals.” Hickman said. “He gave a donation to the local Hearts and Hands Clinic for $5,000 and has donated millions to education and health-related activities, enabling hundreds to obtain degrees. He also supports Komen for the Cure, the Georgia Cancer Coalition, and the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition,” Hickman continued.

      Peace has published 12 books and more than 150 articles about biostatistics and other medical issues. His accolades include being named the 1998 Distinguished Alumni of the Year and 2003 Alumni of the Year at Georgia Southern, receiving the first GSU President’s Medal in 2005, and winning the GSU Annual Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activity in 1999. He also was named the Georgia Cancer Coalition’s Cancer Scholar at GSU from 2002–2007 and was the first GSU grant recipient from the Georgia Research Alliance.

      Peace endowed the first Eminent Scholar Chair and the Karl E. Peace/JP Hsu Eminent Scholar Chair in Public Health at GSU. Additionally, he is a benefactor of the GSU library, Center for Disabled Students, and music and art departments.

      “The 2008 recipient of the Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Award received a standing ovation from the Georgia House of Representatives in 2009 for his biostatistics and public health contributions, passing a resolution in his honor. In 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives cited him for his contributions to drug research,” Hickman said.

      Peace has received numerous honors and recognition for his work, dedication, and generosity, including the 2008 Tito Mijaries Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philippine Statistics Association.

      “Dr. Karl Peace’s humanitarian efforts are endless and priceless not only to our community, but to the world,” Hickman said.

      “This is very special,” Peace said as he accepted the award. “Thank you very much.”

      Editor’s note: This article was reprinted with permission from the Statesboro Herald.

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