Nelson and Pace Receive Brown Award

Two Salem residents have received Roanoke College's eighth annual Charles R. Brown Award for contributions to the quality of life in Salem. The Brown Award is named after a former dean of Roanoke College and mayor of Salem.

The recipients, Missouri "Mo" Nelson and Gerald Pace, used their professional lives to benefit others in the community.

Nelson's nominator referred to her as "a prime example of what Salem is all about." After graduating from Roanoke College in 1944, she entered Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. After a 30-year distinguished career at the Veteran's Administration Hospital, she retired to spend countless hours in volunteer service to Salem and the surrounding area.

Nelson has 33 years of service with the American Red Cross Bloodmobile. She has worked with Meals on Wheels, the Bradley Free Clinic, Richfield Retirement Center and Brandon Oaks Retirement Community and has accumulated over 10,000 hours of service to the Lewis-Gale Medical Center. She is active in her neighborhood watch association as well as her church. She was married to the late James Nelson and has three children, six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Pace has been involved in making Salem a better place since he moved here in 1956 to work at General Electric. Although he had a demanding career, he allowed his professional life to influence his service to the community. Pace served for 15 years with the Salem School Board as a champion of vocational education and was a staunch supporter of the international baccalaureate program. Pace was a leader in career and technical education sharing the background he had in industry. He was a member of the school board during the demanding days when Salem first began its own school system. After retiring from the school board, Pace served on Salem City Council, promoting strong relationships between the city council and the local business community. He also worked tirelessly to promote good landlord and student/college relationships during recent years. His nominator described him as "never taking his eyes off of doing the right thing for Salem and its citizens, young and old."

Pace is married to Jean and is father to two sons and has two granddaughters.

Charles Brown graduated from Roanoke College in 1910 and later received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He joined the Roanoke College faculty in 1918 as a professor of history and economics, and later he taught political science. With Brown, teaching government was not just theory. As mayor of the Town of Salem and member of the Town Council, he had many opportunities to put the theories to practical use.

Previous recipients of the Brown Award are: Louise Braxton, Dr. Esther Brown, Clarence P. Caldwell Jr., Roy Henrickson, the late Norwood C. Middleton, Warren Moorman, the late William J. Paxton Jr., Ray Robinson and the late James E. Taliaferro.