Ray L. Hart Service Award
The Ray L. Hart Service Award, established by the Board of Directors in 1992, is given to persons whose dedication and service made significant contributions to the AAR's mission of fostering excellence in the field of religion.
Recipients to Date
In the words of AAR Board members at the time of Ray L. Hart's retirement from the Board in 1993:
Ray Hart has served on this board continuously since 1968. He has contributed so much of his time, talent, and labor to the enterprise that one is tempted – in this era of gender fluidity – to speak of his contributions in maternal images. His involvements are as the sands of the sea or the hairs of the head: Who can count them?
As we, the members of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion, seek to envision its future, we are certainly aware that we would not be able to do that were it not for those whose insight, dedication, and continuing efforts have brought us to the present. Of those who have preceded us, Ray L. Hart's service is exemplary. Serving on the Board for twenty-five years, he has significantly contributed to the present strength of the Academy. He has carried numerous duties ranging from service in most of the offices of the Board, editor of JAAR, and director of a major study of the field and its future, to his recent notable efforts to help provide endowments to assure the Academy's financial future.
In view of these contributions and by this resolution, the Board of Directors, meeting on November 19, 1993 in Washington DC, expresses our genuine appreciation and gratitude to Ray L. Hart for his dedicated and exemplary service to the Academy.
When the Hart Award was established, the Board appointed a sub-committee of its members, chaired by the elected associate director (or director at-large) to nominate recipients for board confirmation. For the first few years, we elicited nominations from the membership in RSN for consideration by the sub-committee. Subsequently, the position of elected associate director was discontinued. After a hiatus of several years, the Executive Committee assumed responsibility for selecting the awardee in 2001. Nominations may be sent to them through the executive office.