Adam Smetana, Social Media Manager and Ryan Tadych, Contributor
Lawrence Wiers, director of School Partnerships and assistant professor in the College of Education at Lewis University, was recently inducted into the Will County Hall of Pride.
The Joliet/Will County Hall of Pride currently holds 133 individuals, who have exhibited activities that have improved the lives of people in their communities. Nominations can include any citizen who has consistently acted on behalf of his or her community.
Nonetheless, Wiers was completely surprised by his nomination. “When I got the call, I actually had to check to see if they had the right person. Looking at the names in that list, there are 3 college presidents in that list,” said Wiers. “I have former students I have taught in the group.”
Joliet/Will County Project Pride formed in 1985 when Rev. James Allen became worried about Joliet being proclaimed a “murder capital” in newspapers. He believed that the citizens of Joliet deserved a better reputation as Joliet’s excellent institutions continued to function and grow.
John Zalanka, member of the Project Pride director’s board, explained the organizations role and founding principles. “Joliet/Will County Project Pride formed in 1985 on the principles in its missions statement: promote a positive image of the Joliet and Will County area and its people, engage residents and organizations to make their neighborhoods better and partner with anyone or any organization working towards the same end,” explained Zalanka.
Wiers believes in the organization and its overall goal to give back to the community, by honoring those who have made a difference with their achievements.
“It’s always been really important to me to understand that we are part of a community and that there are those in the community that need help and need assistance. [This organization] takes pride in our county, and to take pride in our county is to take care of our own, “ explained Wiers.
The induction ceremony took place on Tuesday, Nov. 12 with a total of five new members, including Wiers, being inducted. Wiers doesn’t take the award for granted as he is in good company with other Lewis University leaders.
“One of the people who has been inducted is our own President here at Lewis University, Brother James Gaffney, “ said Wiers. “When I see his name in there and think of mine being in there as well, I’m really humbled by the notion because of my tremendous respect for Brother James.