AUBURN – Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences will hold its 15th annual International Quality of Life Awards ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 31, at the United Nations in New York.
Teresa Heinz, chair of The Heinz Endowments and Heinz Family Philanthropies, will be honored as the 2008 International Quality of Life Awards laureate while music artist Emmylou Harris will receive the College of Human Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award.
Teresa Heinz was named one of the nation’s leading philanthropists by The New York Times and one of America’s top 100 visionaries by Utne Reader. Widely known as a strategic innovator, Heinz is recognized for her vision and achievement in the areas of public policy, human rights, the economy, the arts and environmental sustainability. The Heinz Endowments and Philanthropies constitute one of the largest private foundations in the United States.
Heinz assumed leadership of the organization in 1991 following the death of her husband, U.S. Senator John Heinz. Her recognitions include 10 honorary doctorates, the Women’s Leadership Award given by the Save the Children organization and the Albert Schweitzer Gold Medal for Humanitarianism awarded by Johns Hopkins University.
Emmylou Harris, a native of Birmingham, Ala., has been hailed by peers and fans alike as an iconic figure in several of America’s most important music movements. For more than three decades, she has spanned music genres that include country, folk, country-rock, bluegrass, pop and alternative and has displayed a vocal style and a gift for discovering the “heart of a song.”
Harris’ numerous achievements and professional recognitions include album sales in excess of 15 million, 12 Grammy Awards, Billboard magazine’s Century Award and induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In addition to having a successful career in music, Harris is a committed social activist whose focus is on cultural preservation, animal rights and the eradication of antipersonnel landmines.
The College of Human Sciences at Auburn University launched the International Quality of Life Awards in 1994 in conjunction with the United Nations’ International Year of the Family. The awards honor individuals who have achieved at the highest levels professionally and have demonstrated a strong commitment to empowerment through public policy and educational initiatives to enhance quality of life. International Quality of Life laureates represent a diverse array of fields including economics, business, non-profit, medicine, government and social justice. They are powerful role models who exemplify the basic philosophical tenets of the mission of the College of Human Sciences.