Arguably the highest individual honor in the sport of college ice hockey, the Hockey Humanitarian Award bridges the
gender gap between the men's and women's game and any perceived talent gap between divisions. Annually presented to
the athlete that best demonstrates the highest qualities of humanity, the award has become a symbol for everything that
is right with college athletics, and it is an honor just to be nominated for the award, or to be selected as one of the five
annual finalists. First given to Boston University's J.P. McKersie in 1996, the prestigious award was claimed in back-to-back
seasons by Hockey East athletes in 2003-04 (Northeastern goaltender Chanda Gunn) and 2004-05 (Boston College defenseman
Sarah Carlson). Maine's Jim Leger was another Hockey East winner, receiving the award for the 1999-2000 season.
Northeastern's Missy Elumba became the fifth recipient in HEA history in April of 2009. Brooks Dyroff of Boston College was the league's most recent recipient of the award when he was honered at the 2011 Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minn..
In an era of ever-increasing ego display, when so many of today's athletes are sending the wrong message to our children and when success often seems measured solely by dollar signs and contract signings, it is time to call attention to individuals who embody all that is, and can be, right with sport. While the media often seem preoccupied with the antics of players after the whistle or outside the game - all the while decrying the absence of better role models for our youth - the Hockey Humanitarians want to put sports, and all of its participants, in the proper perspective. And, while team games, by definition, encompass both teamwork and the contributions of the individual to the success of the group as a whole, we want to acknowledge the accomplishments of personal character, scholarship, and the giving of oneself off the ice to the larger community as well. The Humanitarian Award is meant to be seen as a true measure of a person's worth, not just as an athlete, but as someone who embodies those values that merit our recognition.
It is our hope that in some small way such a display will have a positive influence on future generations of hockey players. We feel an obligation to help our children find the proper balance as they confront deciding who their role models are and what values they should embrace in this increasingly complex world. Our foundation believes there are Humanitarians to be found in programs everywhere and that it is time for many in the media to reconsider their focus on the frequently destructive and selfish behavior of those athletes who often receive too much of our attention. We feel that the great majority of us share the values represented by The Humanitarian Award and that the time has come for this message to be more widely disseminated.