BETHANY, W.Va. – The Rev. Dr. Arthur B. Keys Jr., a 1967 graduate of Bethany College and founder and president of International Relief and Development (IRD) in Arlington, Va., was honored by the Yale University Divinity School with its prestigious annual William Sloane Coffin Award for Peace and Justice.
The William Sloane Coffin Peace and Justice Award honors the long-time Yale chaplain and civil rights activist. Yale Divinity School Dean Harry Attridge and the Rev. Susan Klein, Rector of St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Westwood, Calif., presented the award to Keys.
Keys graduated from Washington High School in Washington, Pa., before receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science at Bethany. Keys also holds a Masters of Divinity from Yale University and a Doctor of Divinity from Emory University.
In 1997, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Bethany College. He is also a Bethany College Associate Sponsor of current Bethany student, Carole Wapa Weba.
"Arthur Keys is a man who walks the walk and talks the talk. He is a gifted builder of institutions that minister to the world's most vulnerable populations. He excels at theory and practice, with both his head and heart," said Klein.
"Whether he is working with mayors and ambassadors, testifying on Capitol Hill, being interviewed by the Voice of America or the Washington Post, helping feed refugees, developing complex economic programs or having lunch with top corporate executives, Art always seems right at home. Yale Divinity School is proud to honor him with the 2005 William Sloane Coffin Award for Peace and Justice."
Keys' International Relief and Development group is a $95 million a year organization whose purpose is to "reduce the suffering of the world's most vulnerable groups by providing them with the tools and resources to allow them to become self-sufficient."
IRD works with a wide range of organizations in the implementation of targeted, cost-effective relief and development programs. IRD implements programs in six primary areas: civil society, public health, food security, humanitarian assistance, economic development and infrastructure.
Most recently, IRD was present to relieve the human suffering in the wake of the tsunami in Indonesia last year and are currently providing relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.