"You can do a lot of good in the world if you don't care who gets the credit."
So stated John Seiberling as he received the 32nd Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award. It is indeed rare for anyone to bring such a spirit of humility to such a record of accomplishment. But that is John Seiberling. And his contributions to the Akron community, this region and our nation are legion.
His most visible legacy is one that generations of Ohioans have and will continue to share in: our precious Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area, which was the result of legislation Seiberling authored while serving as our congressman in the United States House of Representatives. But Cuyahoga Valley is just part of his legacy as a conservationist.
During his 16 years in Congress, John Seiberling spearheaded the preservation of an estimated 69 million acres of wilderness in 27 states, nearly 80 percent of the total acreage of public lands in America. He has also been active with Akron Metro Parks, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, and the Stan Hywet Hall Foundation and Trust for Public Land.
In addition to his love of nature, John Seiberling dedicated much of his own personal and professional time to helping create a more peaceful world. In 1960, that dedication resulted in the Akron Bar Association's Peace Through Law Committee. From 1991 to 1996, he was director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Akron. In recognition of his leadership, the university established the John F. Seiberling Scholarship for Conflict Resolution Studies.
His contributions to the Akron community are almost too numerous to list. With the Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award, he has been given the recognition he so richly deserves.