Sandra Miskelly Little, 1958
B.A., Denison University
M.Ed., Harvard University
Citation awarded June, 2003
Timothy and Sandra Miskelly Little have both overcome serious physical handicaps during their lifetimes in order to carry on their chosen careers. Tim has been legally blind with extremely limited vision throughout his life; he became totally blind in 1991. Sandy had polio as a child and was not expected to live.
Tim’s career has been focused largely in pastoral care and counseling for institutions. His early experiences included a number of social service roles, such as a summer position assisting blind factory workers, and a summer research position interviewing businesspeople about fair employment and race relations in North Carolina. While at Denison, he was an exchange student to Fisk University.
Tim regularly supervises the clinical training of clergy and lay people for service as hospital chaplains and has trained nearly 450 chaplains over a 30-year period. He holds numerous professional affiliations and roles: Chair, Presbytery of Georgia, 1978-82; Mission, Social Justice and Peacemaking Committee, Presbytery of Sacramento, 1995-present; Chair of the S.E. Region of the church’s Seminary & Denominational Relations Committee, 1979-81; and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, 1974-77. He has served as Chair of the Certification Commission of the Association of Mental Health Clergy (1988-92) and was the Association’s President, 1997-98. In 1991, he received the Boise Award of the Association of Mental Health Clergy, and in 1995, he was the recipient of the Professional Service Award of the College of Chaplains for his outstanding contributions to pastoral care.
Tim’s record of civic service in Atlanta and Sacramento includes a post on the Board of Directors of the Urban Training Center of Atlanta, 1982-88, and a term as Chair of the Greater Sacramento Interfaith Disability Awareness Project in the 1960s. He sits on the Bioethics Committee of the UC-Davis Medical Center.
After a career as a school counselor, Sandy has developed a private practice in family counseling. In addition to her degrees shown above, she also attended the Professional School of Psychology (1990). She has also served in leadership roles in her church.
In her nomination letter, Mary Helen Ayers Ray ’58 said, “Sandy has been a shining example of pluck to everyone who knows her.” Another classmate, Joan Parajon ‘58, wrote, “I can tell you that she deserves the award. She was one of the co-founders of the Paideia School in Atlanta and after she moved to California they invited her back for an award. [In] California she discovered that her Harvard Master’s degree would not be accepted there; it had to be earned in California. So she set out to study once again and received another Master’s Degree. It required her to make several trips a week to San Francisco, driving herself in her van and then getting around there in her motorized wheelchair. Her classmates selected her to give the address at her graduation. She has never let the obstacle of her polio handicap stop her.”
We honor Tim and Sandy Little ’58 for their unique partnership, for knowing that one’s inner needs are often best satisfied by looking outward, and for their unflagging support of each other’s goals.