Auburn University to honor PBS and Alabama governor and first lady in award ceremony at United Nations

AUBURN – Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences will honor PBS, an American nonprofit broadcasting system with 356 member stations, as the recipient of the 2010 International Quality of Life Award in a ceremony at the United Nations on Monday, Dec. 6. President and CEO Paula Kerger will accept for PBS. The College of Human Sciences will also honor Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and First Lady Patsy Riley with its 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award.

This annual event, now in its 17th year, was launched in 1994 by Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences to recognize people and partnerships that have made significant and lasting contributions to individual, family and community well being locally and around the world.

For more than 40 years, PBS has played a pivotal role in American culture, maintaining the highest industry standards for programming excellence, innovation and fairness in broadcast content. Today that same high standard is being applied to a variety of digital formats including websites, video-on-demand, blogs, podcasts and streaming video.

Named as America’s most trusted public institution for seven consecutive years, award-winning PBS shows range from news and public affairs to the arts, culture, entertainment and children’s education. Included among the most widely viewed primetime and children’s broadcasts are PBS NewsHour; Washington Week; Frontline; Nova; Masterpiece; Antiques Roadshow; Austin City Limits; Sesame Street and Cat in the Hat.

June Henton, dean of the College of Human Sciences, said, “PBS offers Americans of all ages and circumstances the opportunity to explore challenging ideas and new worlds through state-of-the-art programming that entertains, educates and often calls us to action for the greater good. The organization’s technical and artistic achievements, coupled with its contributions to enhancing quality of life, reflect the IQLA’s true essence.”

January 2011 will mark the end of Governor Bob Riley’s eight-year tenure as Alabama’s chief executive. During his two terms in office, the state has made major advances in the areas of economic development, industrial recruitment and educational attainment. Among Riley’s most notable achievements are the expansion of the automobile industry to include North America’s only Hyundai plant, located in Montgomery; the recruitment of ThyssenKrupp, the largest corporate project in U.S. history, to the Mobile area; and the creation of the First Class Pre-Kindergarten program, an early childhood education initiative recognized as the nation’s best for overall quality.

As first lady, Patsy Riley has promoted initiatives and highlighted critical issues that affect the quality of life of Alabama’s citizens. She has been particularly committed to projects that enhance the well-being of children and families including the Alabama Healthy Marriage Initiative; the Parenting Assistance Line; Kid One Transport; Hannah Home of Shelby County; Blankets with a Blessing; and the Alabama Reading Initiative. In addition, the first lady has overseen major fundraising efforts to renovate and reopen the historic Governor’s Mansion and to beautify the landscape of the Capitol grounds.

Lifetime Achievement is a special award given by the College of Human Sciences for distinguished individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Auburn University, the state of Alabama and beyond.

“Bob and Patsy Riley have more than exceeded the qualifications for Lifetime Achievement,” said Henton. “We consider it a great privilege that this special occasion allows us the opportunity to pay tribute to their respective legacies as governor and first lady of Alabama and to thank them for their unwavering support of the College of Human Sciences and Auburn University.”

For more information about the International Quality of Life Awards, go to

Contact: Harriet Giles, (334) 844-3241 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (