Brooks accepted the Bradley Leadership Award for Excellence in Higher Education Policy during the TICUA Annual Meeting. The award is named for former Tennessee state Rep. Harold Bradley, who was instrumental in developing state financial aid programs for college students.
According to a TICUA press release, its board of directors voted unanimously during the fall 2012 board meeting to honor Brooks for his work supporting TICUA member institutions on a wide range of issues. TICUA President Dr. Claude O. Pressnell, Jr. stated he is pleased with Brooks’ role in forming the state’s education policy.
“Rep. Brooks has proven his dedication to college students, especially private college students, and ensuring that the financial resources are available to allow them to concentrate on their studies,” he said in the press statement. “Brooks has worked at the state house to ensure that student aid programs such as the lottery scholarship and the Tennessee Student Assistance Award are available to make college affordable for all Tennesseans.”
Brooks said the award is truly meaningful to him, “especially coming from the leaders of Tennessee's independent colleges and universities. I am a product of your works, and from my alma mater Lee College, now Lee University. As I have said many times on Capitol Hill, I count all the successes of today as a result of my Christ-centered experience at Lee. I also give credit to my wife Kim, and I am so thankful she is with me to receive this award today. Finally, I'd like to thank Dr. Conn for believing in me as a student, for giving me my first real job, in the president's office and for putting me on the path toward today. I am truly humbled by this award, and accept it with a grateful heart."
Lee President Dr. Paul Conn said, “Rep. Brooks has keen insight into private college administration through his former role as assistant to the president at Lee University. We are proud to have such a distinguished state leader call himself an alumnus of our institution.”
Tennessee private nonprofit colleges enroll nearly 78,000 students and award over 18,000 degrees a year.
TICUA Board Chair and Baptist College of Health Sciences President Dr. Betty Sue McGarvey also spoke highly of Brooks’ work on higher education policy.
“Rep. Brooks understands that Tennessee’s private, nonprofit colleges are an important state resource and offer Tennesseans a vast variety of options. TICUA is pleased to honor him and his leadership on independent college issues with this award.”
Brooks has supported independent colleges and universities in the legislature since he was first elected in 2007. He has provided key legislative leadership on such issues as student aid, teacher education, and university governance. The Cleveland resident has served on the House Education Committee and supported TICUA member institutions on various issues.
“This is a terrific recognition of Kevin's talent and hard work as a Tennessee state legislator. We think it's pretty easy to understand why Lee University is proud to have Kevin an alumnus,” Vice President for University Relations Dr. Jerome Hammond said.
Brooks is an alumnus and a previous employee of Lee University. His wife, Kim, is a Lee alumna and employee. Their son Zack is a student there and daughter Elizabeth attends Cleveland High School.