The Jules Lennard Elimination of Prejudice Award is an annual award to be given to the Chapter or individual who has done the most during the previous year to promote human relations.
Lennard was a trail blazer a staunch advocate for people dealing with discrimination. Lennard’s story began many years earlier with his Olympic dreams. After joining Pi Lambda Phi’s University of Wisconsin chapter in 1934, Lennard was selected for the 1936 US Olympic Soccer team. Lennard was excitedly on his way to the Olympic games when the United States Olympic Committee informed him they could not guarantee his safety due to his Jewish heritage. Lennard would, therefore, not be permitted to leave the ship. At that time, Germany was ruled by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party and their intentions were to showcase Aryan ideals and prowess. Lennard’s lifelong dreams of representing the United States in the Olympics were ultimately prevented by Anti-Semitism.
Despite this set back, Lennard closely followed fellow Olympian Jesse Owens’ experience. Owens was an African-American track and field athlete representing the United States. He achieved international fame by winning four gold medals during the Berlin Olympics. In fact, Owens was the most successful athlete at the 1936 Summer Olympics, a poignant rebuke to Adolf Hitler. Lennard’s Olympic experience had a lasting impact. He returned home committed to advocate a better understanding between people and determined to confront discrimination and segregation head on.
Lennard became one of the all-time most decorated members of Pi Lambda Phi. He served as International Executive Council President and Educational Foundation President. Lennard was awarded the fraternity’s lifetime achievement award and practically every designation for upholding the high ideals of the fraternity. Lennard devoted his life ending discrimination. In his honor, the fraternity created the Jules Lennard Human Relations Award to recognize organizations and individuals who make a difference towards building bridges and connecting people through their similarities. Jules Lennard served as a role model for how we should encourage people to talk about sensitive societal issues. To this day, the benchmark for exemplary leadership within Pi Lambda Phi is Jules Lennard.
Lennard launched the Elimination of Prejudice six years before his death in 2002. The original program was an essay contest for non-members to think deeply about prejudice and challenge themselves by responding to one statement, “What eliminating prejudice means to me.” The annual contest started at the University of Wisconsin (1996) and spread to other campuses; including the University of Michigan and North Carolina State University. Lennard believed that by setting the conditions for people to talk about sensitive issues, we advocate a better understanding between people. By being a fierce advocate for equality, Lennard paved the way for an international movement; officially called “The Elimination of Prejudice.”
|1995-96||WI Omega at University of Wisconsin|
|1996-97||WA Epsilon Alpha at Eastern Washington University|
|1997-98||WI Omega at University of Wisconsin|
|1998-99||WI Omega at University of Wisconsin|
|1999-00||WA Epsilon Alpha at Eastern Washington University|
|2000-01||WI Omega at University of Wisconsin|
|2001-02||PA Gamma Sigma at University of Pittsburgh|
|2002-03||VA Omega Rho at Virginia Commonwealth University|
|2003-04||NC Omega Beta at University of North Carolina|
|2004-05||PA Phi Sigma at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia|
|2006-07||MN Kappa Chi at Winona State University|
|2009-10||OH Beta Tau at Baldwin-Wallace College|
|2010-11||NY Phi Lambda at Adelphi University|
|2011-12||WI Chi Upsilon at Carroll University|
|2012-13||WI Chi Upsilon at Carroll University|
|2013-14||MI Alpha Omega at Siena Heights University|
|2014-15||WI Alpha Nu at University of Wisconsin Stout|
|2015-16||IN Alpha Theta at Indiana University Bloomington|
|2016-17||IN Alpha Theta at Indiana University Bloomington|
|2017-18||CA Alpha Upsilon at the University of California, Merced|