Harry Kolendrianos, former business management professor at Danville Community College who has been a prolific community servant, received the Danville Kiwanis Club’s 2012 Citizenship Award on Thursday night.
John Daniel, president of Daniel Builders LLC who headed the club’s five-member committee that selected the winner, congratulated Kolendrianos on wining Kiwanis’ 80th Citizenship Award during the organization’s dinner at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.
“I have to admit, this is quite a shock,” Kolendrianos said before hundreds of attendees as he received his plaque.
Past award recipients include Sam Kushner, John Hamlin, Ben Davenport, Doyle J. Thomas and others. A.B. Carrington was the award’s first recipient in 1932.
It is “mind-shattering” to be “amongst these individuals,” Kolendrianos said, before referring to how far he had come as the son of an immigrant.
The selection committee, made up of area residents not in Kiwanis, included Daniel, Linda Hutson Green, E. Gregory Hairston, Bernice Moore and Laurie S. Moran.
Thursday night’s event included an invocation by Paul Johnson and entertainment from musician Bob Sutter and singer Carolyn Smith. Kiwanis President Melinda Dalton presided over the event.
Kolendrianos was born and raised in Danville, graduated from George Washington High School and completed his post-secondary education at Virginia Tech.
While introducing the winner of the award, Daniel described Kolendrianos’ achievements and long history of service before revealing the former professor’s identity.
He has participated in organizations including the YMCA, YWCA, United Way, Hughes Home, Danville Historical Society, Danville Sports Club, Danville Pittsylvania Chamber of Commerce, American Red Cross, Danville Development Council, American Heart Association, Danville Bicentennial Committee and Danville Public School committees.
“This recipient has never run for public office but has given countless hours to this community because of a deep love and commitment to Danville,” Daniel said.
Kolendrianos — affectionately known as Dr. K — is also a past president of the Kiwanis Club, was named the chamber of commerce’s 1998 Outstanding Educator for Danville and received the Governor’s Award for Volunteering Excellence in 1991.
In his 43 years at DCC, Kolendrianos taught more than 10,000 students before retiring. He and his wife, Carol, have two daughters, Elizabeth and Stacy, and five grandchildren: Nicholas, Anna, Christopher, Will and Michael.
“I’ve had a great, great run,” he said. “I love this club. Thank you again for this beautiful award.”
Crane reports for the Danville Register & Bee.