from The Bridge: Fall 2012/Winter 2013 issue
The family and numerous friends of Joseph R. Martin '72 (1950-2004) created the Joseph R. Martin Prize to honor his memory. Joseph, whom nearly everyone, including his family, knew affectionately as "JoJo," co-captained the 1971 W&L football team. An honors graduate with a B.A. in history, he was a lifelong devotee of the fine arts.
"Joe was very interested in sports and art," says his brother, Arch Martin. "I thought it was a strange combination, but it has worked out well for the prize."
Martin's siblings have made significant contributions toward the prize. "We were shocked when he died so early. He was the youngest of us," says his sister, Suzanne C. Martin. "It was terribly upsetting. We were so honored by his teammates and fraternity brothers who came forward and wanted to recognize him and his contribution to the school."
"JoJo was the baby of the family. We all benefit from his trust. This is our way to remember and honor him," agrees Arch.
The prize rewards the unusual combination of athletic participation and distinction in the fine arts that JoJo embodied. Initially several recipients shared the award, but Suzanne and Arch decided on their one condition: only one awardee. "Joe was a great athlete and knew what it meant to compete, what it meant to win and to lose. We wanted there to be one winner who would receive an amount they could really do something special with," says Arch. "Suzanne and I feel strongly and deeply this award will continue to grow in size. We'd like to see the prize double in size or even rival a MacArthur award."
"Joe would love this," Suzanne agrees. "The recipients just get better and better."