“Each day I live, I want to be a day to give the best of me.”
These are song lyrics from “Give Me One Moment in Time” by Whitney Houston; a song that carries the theme of the Kennett High School presentation of the Kennett Alumni Legend Awards to Leon Spencer and Bob Morse on Friday night, September 20, 2019.
It certainly was “one moment in time” when family and community gathered to hear the long list of accomplishments for these 1968 graduates of Kennett High School. The key note that continued to repeat itself throughout the evening was that these two men have been “giving the best of themselves” since day one.
One might echo the expression, “Legends aren’t made overnight ” and these legendary men are prefect examples, receiving their “moment in time” 51 years after they graduated Kennett High.
Both men spoke about seizing the many opportunities that came their way. Leon citing one example of being warmly invited by Dr. Larry Bosley to become a school board member to fill a vacancy and then being voted in. After that experience, he was mayor of Kennett Square for 12 years.
And, Bob Morse relaying the story of being told by his Kennett coach, Nate Kendig, that he had an advantage shooting from the outside as a 6’ 8” basketball player, which led him to scoring 1,300 points. And this was before the 3-point rule was instituted.
The plaque for Leon Spencer reads: A True Civic Leader---In honor of his decades of service to our students and community and for advancing Kennett’s mission by promoting its ideals of excellence and achievement.
The plaque for Bob Morse reads: The Quintessential Scholar Athlete---In recognition of his exceptional high school, college and professional basketball career, first-ever member of KHS 1,000-point club, UPenn Hall of Fame, and one of FIBA’s 50 Greatest Players.
Behind these words are many years of challenges, hardships and successes. Behind these words are physical, emotional and intellectual limitations. At the same time, one heard how they each overcame them. Leon Spencer spoke openly about his dependence on God and his faith and how this has carried him through. Bob Morse spoke about the strong foundational values that has led him throughout his life, with even today being expressed through his care for our common home---the earth.
Before the ceremony, family and friends enjoyed a dinner, prepared by the excellent chef and cooks at the KHS cafeteria, while outside, the excitement was carried on with the Homecoming floats being organized, cheerleaders in their dress and many students and families arriving for an anticipated football game win. At half-time, Leon Spencer and Bob Morse were formally presented their awards.
(The plaques will be placed at the practice fields at the corner of South Walnut Street and Birch Street for all Kennett residents to view.)
The evening had the “feel” of living in a time capsule and returning Back to the Future, where today’s students are applying their talents and seizing their opportunities and learning how to “give the best of themselves, just as Leon Spencer and Bob Morse did back in the 1960’s.
However, the last line in Whitney Houston’s’ song even better sums up the experience of the evening, “Then, in that one moment of time I will feel eternity.”
Addedum: KCSD Board Policy on nominations for a “Kennett Legend”
Recommendations for the recognition of an individual as a Kennett Legend shall be submitted in writing to the Superintendent. The following criteria must be satisfied for the individual to be considered.
• The nomination shall be on an official nomination form (Board Policy 920 Nomination Form.)
• The nomination form will be accepted annually for a three (3) month period commencing February 1 and closing April 30.
• The nomination must be signed by at least fifteen (15) individuals, five (5) of whom must be current or former District employees or current or former School Board members.
• The nomination must include justification for the acknowledgement and emphasis must be placed on the uniqueness of the contribution made in comparison to other nominees.
• A minimum of two (2) letters of recommendation must accompany the nomination form.
• The nominee cannot be an active School Board member or employee; posthumous nominations will be accepted.
• The nominator must be available to the Kennett Legends Committee to provide additional information if necessary.