Kim Receives Lee’s Zeno C. Tharp Award

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - by Brannon Roberts, Lee University

Lee University named graduate “Hollie” Heerak Kim as the 2013 recipient of the Zeno C. Tharp Award.  Lee President Dr. Paul Conn recognized her for this honor during the May commissioning service. 

Established in 1955, this annual award is given to a Lee senior who shows the greatest potential for making a significant contribution to Christian ministry. It is named in honor of the sixth president of Lee who served from 1935-44.  Each department may nominate one student for the award, and of these nominees a winner is selected by a faculty vote.

Ms. Kim was born in Gwang-Ju, South Korea and shortly after moved to Seoul, Korea. At age 12, her parents became missionaries and moved their family to England.  Ms. Kim learned English and adjusted to life in England just prior to the next move to Albania where her parents expanded their ministry.  Ms. Kim and her sister were sent to an international boarding school for missionary children in Kandern, Germany.

“My heart was filled with gratitude and thankfulness as I got older, and I began to think about how I could help others using all my talents and gifts God has given me,” said Ms. Kim.

While in Germany, Ms. Kim played violin for seniors in nursing homes and worked with elementary students at AWANA.  

She later took her own mission trip to Romania to teach English to high school students and minister to children who lived away from their parents. She also spent time with children in orphanages in Shkodra, Albania, where her parents were living. 

Continuing her studies, Ms. Kim moved to the United States to major in French and minor in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Lee where she maintained a 3.99 GPA.

While at Lee, Ms. Kim was the head café host for French Language cafés, taught English classes for Wacker employees, tutored in the English Language Center, and tutored at the Unity Center, an afterschool program run by Broad Street Methodist Church.

“Just when I think I’ve seen every kind of student there is to see, along comes a Hollie Kim,” said Professor of French Dr. James Wilkins. “She is a highly-motivated learner, a passionate servant, and a lover of life and God’s world. I have been blessed by knowing her and working with her in this enterprise we call higher education.” 

Ms. Kim also served as a peer leader, a travel guide for global perspectives seminars, a volunteer for Lee University Developmental Inclusion Classroom, and a volunteer for Crossover, a food distribution program for the underprivileged.

Ms. Kim was a member of Pi Delta Phi French Honor Society, Kappa Delta Phi Education Honor Society, and Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honor Society. She also played violin for Lee’s Chamber Orchestra and Campus Choir.

“I hope to be an international lawyer/missionary to fight injustice in this world, whether it is sex trafficking, child labor, or maltreatment of those with physical/mental needs,” said Ms. Kim. “I want to serve God in any way that I can.”

Following her graduation from Lee, Ms. Kim will travel to Colombia, South America to teach English and participate in several missions opportunities. Upon her return, she plans to study international law.


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