By Sidney Nimmons

CLEMSON — In honor of their service to the community, Gabriel Paul Fair of Easley and Byron Harder received the 2011 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Excellence in Service Award from Clemson University.

A senior computer science major, Fair was honored for his work with and dedication to environmental sustainability.

He is a member of the President’s Commission on Sustainability, has worked with the implementation of the Earth Day observance and helped organize the annual Farm Aid Festival for the student organic farm and Picture Green, an art show and forum celebrating sustainability. He led the coordination of this week's Clemson University Environmental Teach-In.

Harder is one of the founding members of the Clemson Free Clinic board of directors and has served as its medical director since the clinic began. He is dedicated to making sure all clients at the clinic receive first-rate care. In his spare time, Harder tends to the gardens at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

“Aside from the feelings of pleasure and satisfaction that I get, setting an example for others is a great benefit and any publicity may prompt others to serve also,” Harder said. “I feel that my time on Earth would be much poorer in life experiences and memories if I had not been involved in so many ways with those different from me.”

This year’s recipients are the ninth pair to receive this honor. The university seeks nominations of individuals who exemplify serving the university or surrounding communities and promote social and environmental justice advocacy and advancement of the community.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Excellence in Service Award is presented by the Office of the President, and the award selection process is coordinated by Chief Diversity Officer Leon Wiles.