Professor Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

   Campus News | Posted on May 30, 2024

Harvey J. Burnett Jr., PhD, chair of Andrews University's School of Social & Behavioral Sciences, police chief for the city of Buchanan and president of the Buchanan Area School Board, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Buchanan Chamber of Commerce. The award, presented during the Buchanan Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Ceremony Dinner at Fernwood Botanical Gardens & Nature Preserve, recognizes individuals who have made significant and sustained contributions to the community.

The award came as a surprise to Burnett, who humbly expressed, "I was nominated along with several other well-deserving candidates from the Buchanan area that have put a lifetime of investment into making the community of Buchanan better." The nomination process, overseen by the Buchanan Chamber of Commerce, highlighted Burnett's remarkable academic journey and his profound impact on the community.

A Detroit native, Burnett's commitment to education and community service has been evident throughout his career. He first earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and later completed both a Master of Divinity and a doctorate in counseling psychology at Andrews University. Burnett's academic accomplishments are complemented by his extensive experience in law enforcement, spanning more than 25 years, including his current role as the police chief of the Buchanan City Police Department.

Beyond his professional roles, Burnett's contributions to the community are multifaceted. As the president of the Buchanan Community Schools Board of Education, where he has also been a member for over 26 years, he prioritizes the needs of students and families while navigating governance with integrity. Patricia Robinson, superintendent of Buchanan Area Schools, expressed gratitude for Burnett's service, stating, "Our school district and community feel privileged to have Dr. Burnett here in the community serving in so many ways. He is well deserving of this award."

Michigan's 37th District State Representative Brad Paquette presented Burnett with a special tribute and expressed thankfulness for Burnett's service. “Harvey Burnett brings out goodness in those around him. This exemplary trait stands out, even among his own extensive list of personal accomplishments,” Paquette said. “Who is it that is so established upon a genuine foundation to recognize the utmost importance of exalting others that are worthy? This is a very special public virtue which is essential in strong communities, and it greatly compliments his lifelong commitment to service. Thank you, doctor, president, chief.”

Burnett also serves as an elder in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and is actively involved in various community outreach programs. Reflecting on his achievements, Burnett attributes his success to God's grace and the support of his community. “It's just humbling,” he said, “And I know that some of the other nominees, they deserve it just as much or even more than me.”

Burnett's legacy of kindness, compassion and excellence continues to inspire future generations in Buchanan and beyond.

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