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Jun. 16, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

THUMBS UP: Kitan Akinosho

Sanford’s Kitan Akinosho turned down the prestigious Morehead Scholarship four years ago, preferring instead to pursue her collegiate studies at Princeton University.

It appears Princeton was a good fit after all.

Two weeks ago, Akinosho — the daughter of Lee County Board of Education member Mark Akinosho and his wife, Caroline — was presented the Allen Macy Dulles Award during Princeton’s Class Day events, honoring the leadership and achievements of the senior class, the day before the school’s commencement ceremonies. The award is given to the senior whose activities while at Princeton best represent or exemplify the University’s informal motto, “Princeton in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations.”

An operations research and financial engineering major, Akinosho was recognized for her commitment to service while at the school and her work outside Princeton — including creating an internship supported by the University’s Center for Health and Wellbeing to better identify the disparities of health care in Ghana. Akinosho conducted independent research, volunteered at a hospital in a remote area of the country and worked with nonprofit organizations on local health issues.

Congratulations to Kitan and her family for the honor and a successful graduation from one of the nation’s most prestigious universities.

THUMBS UP: The life of Cliff Peake

Cliff Peake and his wife, Jo, moved to Carolina Trace almost 30 years ago. When Cliff passed away earlier this week in Williamsburg, Va., he had distinguished himself on two fronts: first, in his profession as a chamber of commerce executive, and secondly, in his civic career as a Rotarian.

And to anyone who knew him, Peake also made his mark as one of the most friendly and optimistic people you’d ever meet.

Peake’s enthusiasm for Rotary and the programs of Rotary International earned him recognition as “Mr. Rotary” in and around Lee County. By the time he’d joined the Jonesboro Rotary Club in 1985, he’d already served as governor of Rotary District #7510 in New Jersey and had decades of perfect Rotary attendance to boot. At the Jonesboro Rotary Club, Cliff served a term as president and in other leadership positions, plus working on the district level in North Carolina to promote The Rotary Foundation’s efforts to eradicate polio.

Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self.” Cliff Peake was a man whose life embodied that ideal.