Founded in 2000 under the leadership of Dr. Richard Harris, Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs (WRI) was organized to honor
Senator Rand’s legacy of public service to southern New Jersey and his hometown of Camden. Senator Rand and his wife Leah shared a passion for public service and supporting programs for youth. Together, they dedicated their time, talents and treasure toward helping South Jersey’s children and communities thrive. Each year, their work is lives on through the Walter & Leah Rand Awards and Scholarship Dinner, which provides support for the mission of WRI and gives students opportunities to engage in real-world public affairs while serving the region’s residents.
During the event, three extraordinary “South Jerseyans” are recognized. The “South Jerseyan” of the Year awards are given annually to recognize the contributions of outstanding individuals in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors working to improve lives and strengthen local communities. The full listing of past recipients can be found here.