The Burberry Award: Who is Kevin Burberry?

Kevin Burberry spent much of the first 20 years of his life in Berea, Kentucky. He pioneered a trail in the public school system as the first student with significant physical disabilities due to cerebral palsy to complete Berea Community High School, graduating with highest honors. He also attended Berea College and the University of Kentucky where he was majoring in philosophy. He was an exemplary student and would have graduated in May 2004 with honors.

Kevin was blessed with a bright mind and interminable curiosity and he quickly learned to utilize a variety of technology. Although normal speech was not possible for him he communicated very effectively by the written word using a computer which was adapted for him. Access to the Internet and electronic mail opened the world to him and allowed him to communicate more freely with his friends, colleagues and relatives. Kevin also utilized very sophisticated augmentative communication technology to talk with friends, give classroom presentations and speeches.

He was a member of the Board of the Bluegrass Technology Center, a founding member of the Kentucky Assistive Technology Loan Corporation, and worked for the University of Kentucky Human Development Institute where he served as a consultant for a medical curriculum regarding people with disabilities and presented seminars for students and staff. Kevin’s patience, intelligence, kindness and determination to succeed in his academic work were an inspiration to his fellow students and faculty. He lived fully and completely and his exemplary life touched many showing what can be accomplished with determination and courage to face the unknown. His deep and abiding faith in God was reflected in his poignant writings and gave him strength.

The Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky is proud to honor Kevin’s memory by presenting an award in his name each year. The Paul Kevin Burberry Award is given annually to a student who:

  • is associated with HDI via our Graduate Certificate, Research Assistantship, practicum student, or other significant Institute involvement;
  • has demonstrated a strong commitment to people with disabilities through university and community projects and experiences;
  • has demonstrated the leadership qualities exemplified by Kevin’s own life; and
  • has demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence in his or her chosen field of endeavor as indicated by course achievements, presentations or publications.

“Kevin was such a shining star and source of inspiration for all people,” Harold Kleinert, executive director of the Institute said. “We are very excited to be able to offer this award as a tribute to Kevin’s accomplishments not only in the classroom, but also in life.”