MLK 2008


Dr. Pearl Tang receives 2007 MLK Servant Leadership award from ASU

Pearl Tang

Dr. Pearl Tang, whose service to public health helped improve the survival rate for infants in low-income Arizona families, received the 2007 Servant Leadership Award from Arizona State University at a Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast celebration.

President Michael Crow hosted the annual event at the Tempe campus Memorial Union, inviting about 600 campus and community leaders and more than 30 schoolchildren who won ASU’s annual MLK poster-essay contest.

As one of the first female physicians in Arizona in the 1950s, Dr. Tang developed an immunization program for all children in Maricopa County schools and started prenatal care clinics in rural areas. After she became chief of the Maricopa County Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, it was largely through her leadership that the infant mortality rate in the county decreased by over 67 percent from 1960 to 1984.

She also developed a screening program for breast and cervical cancer in county clinics, worked with the Phoenix Union High School to develop health care and education for pregnant adolescents, and helped establish medical and dental services for preschool children in Head Start centers.

Alix Hornyan, an ASU junior who sets an example for other students with her optimism, determination and passion for service, will receive the Student Servant Leadership Award. She is co-chair of the student Community Service Coalition and has organized and recruited students for many service events.

ASU instituted an annual tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. 22 years ago, before the state recognized an MLK holiday to commemorate the slain civil rights leader. In 1995 the university made a breakfast celebration part of the tradition and four years later began giving an annual Servant Leadership Award to outstanding community members and students who demonstrate leadership through service.