The Rev. Dr. Laverne Joseph is the recipient of the 2017 Alumni Award for Service to Humanity, presented by Ursinus College.

The Rev. Dr. Laverne Joseph, president and CEO of United Church of Christ-related Retirement Housing Foundation, is being honored for his outstanding service to humanity by Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa.

Joseph, who leads one of the nation’s largest faith-based providers of affordable housing, is the recipient of the 2017 Ursinus College Alumni Award for Service to Humanity.  Joseph is a United Church of Christ minister and a 1960 graduate of Ursinus.

“This prestigious award is bestowed upon an individual who has exhibited outstanding service to society,” said Brock Blomberg, president of Ursinas College.

The award pays tribute to someone who has greatly benefitted non-profit community institutions, Blomberg added.

RHF, based in Long Beach, Calif., has grown considerably under Joseph’s leadership.  Founded in 1961 by two UCC clergypersons and a layperson, it now serves nearly 21,000 people in 185 communities in 29 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

While most RHF communities are affordable communities for low or moderate income, RHF also manages multi-level retirement communities offering independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing.  RHF employs more than 2,800 people.

Joseph, a board member of the UCC’s Council for Health and Human Service Ministries, will be honored at an on-campus awards ceremony scheduled for April 22.

“We are delighted but not surprised that Dr. Joseph would be honored in this significant way,” said Michael J. Readinger, president and CEO of CHHSM. “Laverne is a minister who has dedicated his life to ensuring that every person, every family, has a place to call home, a calling that has led to his remarkable impact on the affordable housing movement in this country.  He is one of the United Church of Christ’s most passionate justice advocates, and we could not be more proud of him.”