Distinguished Service Award Recipients RecognizedApproximately 260 Distinguished Service Award (D.S.A.) Recipients and guests gathered for a special evening on Monday. The purpose? To celebrate and recognize the achievements of the 37 recipients of the DSA in the 1998 year.
The special evening began with an elegant dinner followed by an address by Billy Walley, Vice Chairman of Recognition for the National Order of the Arrow Committee. Mr. Walley was proceeded by special guest Rees Falkner. Mr. Falkner, a DSA recipient and Scout Executive in Portland, Maine, gave a moving speech in which he spoke of his personal experiences in scouting and the Order and of the uncompromising quality of character which typifies the Distinguished Service Award Recipient. Mr. Falkner was followed by the author of the History of the Order of the Arrow and noted historian, Dr. Kenneth Davis. In light of this year's NOAC theme (Memories of the Past - A Vision for the Future), Dr. Davis presented a short history of the DSA including a review of the minutes of the thirteenth meeting (25th year) of the National Lodge of the Order of the Arrow which included a resolution by then National Chief, Joseph A. Brunton Jr., whereby a new by-law was announced and adopted which created a "Distinguished Service Award" for the National Grand Lodge. Mr. Davis concluded his speech by sharing excerpts from a speech given by Dr. Goodman at the same national meeting wherein Dr. Goodman discussed the progress of the Order since it's founding (25 years prior) and his hope for the next 25 years. Following his speech Dr. Goodman was awarded the first Distinguished Service Award.
Mr. Davis was proceeded by Clyde Mayer, National Director of the Order of the Arrow, himself a 1998 DSA recipient, who expressed in a short yet heartfelt closing, his personal joy and elation at having the opportunity to have served with and befriended several of the 1998 recipients during his tenure as National Director. Following Mr. Mayer's comments, the group made their way to the Hilton Coliseum for Monday night's history show, "A Life of Service".
A Life of ServiceA more befitting end could not be chosen for "A Life of Cheerful Service", a retrospective of the life Dr. E. Urner Goodman, than the presentation of the Distinguished Service Awards to the 1998 Recipients. National Chief Mat Milleson and National Vice Chief Dave Petrush were joined by Billy Walley and Dr. Carl Marchetti, former chairman of the National Order of the Arrow Committee and current Vice Chairman of Finance, along with several presenters, as they bestowed the cherished and respected awards to those recipients present. Strong emotions of joy and respect, joined by the intense charge of the 7000+ arrowmen made the awards ceremony a truly unparalleled memory for the recipients and their families.
After the conclusion of the ceremony, a congratulatory reception was held on the South Walkway of the Scheman building, where all present at the conference were able to personally congratulate the night's recipients. Each recipient found himself surrounded by several friends and acquaintances wishing them all the best. The occasional tear of joy or expression of pride was not uncommon on the faces of the nearby family members and close friends of the participants. By an extension of their great service and their personal epitomization of the meanings of our Order, each recipient served as an example and an inspiration to each and every arrowman at the conference.
"Although I had known since the last national meeting, the moments before I came out on the stage were really powerful to me. Later it seemed as though the moment flew by in a matter of seconds. As I sat down I was almost overcome with the emotion of everything. A few minutes later I saw my good friend receive his DSA and I found it difficult to keep my composure. It was amazing, deeply personal, and very touching."
-An anonymous DSA recipient
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