Former Cabinet member George Romney cited for lifetime of service

George Romney, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and a champion of voluntarism for much of his life, was presented the Points of Light Foundation's first Lifetime Achievement Award by President George Bush.

The award came as a surprise to Brother Romney, a former governor of Michigan and former presidential candidate, who attended the awards ceremony as chairman of the board of the directors of the National Volunteer Center.The Points of Light Foundation's new Lifetime Achievement Award will spotlight men and women who throughout their lives have been committed to promoting community service as an essential way to solve problems, to mobilize others nationwide and to build a dynamic force for positive change in American life. The Points of Light Foundation is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to helping solve America's social problems through community service.

Brother Romney received a lamp, symbolizing the points of light, during an awards ceremony April 26 on the White House South Lawn. Awards honored the President's Volunteer Action Award winners and Points of Light Celebration of Service ambassadors.

In honoring Brother Romney, a prominent Church member and former regional representative and stake president, it was noted that he created one of the first state offices on voluntarism and was an advocate for expanded involvement in community service by college students.

"There is perhaps no other living American who so consistently, energetically and effectively throughout his or her life has sought to make the promotion and growth of community service a top priority," said Richard Schubert, president and chief executive officer of the Points of Light Foundation.

As secretary of HUD from 1969-1973, Brother Romney was chairman of the Cabinet committee that helped create the National Center for Voluntary Action, the first collaborative effort to promote community service.

Throughout his business career, which culminated in his term as chairman and chief executive officer of American Motors, Brother Romney was known for his community service efforts. He headed the cooperative automotive council that mobilized the auto industry to greater participation during World War II, helped create one of the early United Way organizations in Detroit, and sparked citizen movements that revitalized Detroit schools and brought constitutional reform for the state of Michigan.