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Jake's Golden Heart Award


Former Dean of Alumni Judson "Jake" Ward had a heart of gold.

Established in 2010, the Judson C. Ward Golden Heart Award goes to alumni who possess some of Ward's attributes:

  • A generous spirit and willingness to serve others
  • Unsurpassed loyalty to Emory
  • Exceptional yet humble contributions of time and service to Emory and the community—either behind the scenes or front and center

Jake’s Golden Heart Award recipient, 2022 Carol D. Penn

Carol D. Penn’s ties to Emory run deep. In the 1950s, her family moved from Massachusetts to Atlanta, where her mother established and directed the first kindergarten at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church and Penn became part of the first class of women to graduate from Emory. Widowed at a young age and with two small children, Penn launched an eclectic career at Oxford College—working in the infirmary, dean’s office, language lab, library, and even providing night security for the girls’ dorm.

In 1973, Penn took on a new role at Oxford and lent her typing skills to the dissertation of Oxford College history professor Neil Shaw Penn. Long hours of typing and editing birthed more than a dissertation. “Neil and I decided if we could edit a dissertation together for 15 hours a day, marriage would be a breeze,” she said.

Carol and Neil Penn, along with their children, Jennifer Hough Weston 82Ox 84C and Evan Hough 83Ox 85C, became synonymous with Oxford College. The couple attended scores of theater productions, choral concerts, campus celebrations, and commencement ceremonies and were regulars at Oxford’s Town Council meetings and their beloved Allen Memorial United Methodist Church.

Carol is justifiably proud of her involvement with “Emory’s oldest continuous organization, the Emory University Woman’s Club,” she said. “I’ve driven back and forth from Oxford every fourth Tuesday for 50 years, and I’ve brought carloads of ladies with me.”

Apart from these efforts, Carol is credited with “making a real and positive difference in the lives of thousands of Oxford faculty, staff, and students, not to mention what she’s done for the broader Oxford community,” said Joseph Moon, dean for Campus Life.

According to Carol, “The community is the fabric of life, and I share this honor with generations of friends, colleagues, students, and family who have made the first 85 years of my life so joyful. Thank you.”

Past Recipients


Nominate the next recipient

Nominees must be an inducted, living member of Corpus Cordis Aureum (graduated 50+ years ago from any of Emory's schools) or a non-inducted alumnus/a who is eligible to be inducted into Corpus Cordis Aureum and have the ability to attend or send a representative to attend the award ceremony.

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