June 17, 2024

Randy Hall: Dedicated Advocate for the Underserved

Click above to view photos of the event.

On Friday, March 8, 2013 ACU recognized Emerson ‘Randy’ Hall for his dedicated service as an advocate for the underserved.

Randy served as an ACU board member from 2008 – 2012. He has made significant contributions to health care for the underserved in the areas of HIV/AIDs, depression and mental health services, diabetes, smoking and access to care, to new only a few. He  has been involved in patient advocacy and worked with more than 70 national societies and consumer groups.

The following tribute was delivered by Caroline ‘CC’ Clauss-Ehlers, PhD, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology & School Counseling/Program Clinical Coordinator, Rutgers University.  Click this link to see  photos of the event.


Winston Churchill once said, “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, and hope.”

It is a privilege to recognize Emerson Randy Hall today as ACU’s National Advocate for the Underserved, a man who embodies all the qualities Churchill espoused.

I have known Randy since I was completing my doctorate some 15 years ago—through this time, I have seen the work and tireless efforts of an individual committed to change, committed to transformation, and committed to the courage it takes to make this happen.

What Churchill’s quote doesn’t mention is the particular style and essence with which Randy moves change forward.  In a recent conversation with Freda, we agreed that Randy is definitely a behind-the-scenes kind of guy—working to make things happen, without expecting anything in return.  He gives of himself, because that’s who he is.

So this afternoon, I thought it would be fun for us to go on an adventure together—to follow Randy’s path and discover his many behind the scenes contributions.  I invite you to join me.

  • When you go to your doctor, and get a depression screening—Randy is there.
  • When you need a scholarship—just to pay those student fees so you can graduate and get on with your life as a college grad—Randy is there.
  • When you are diagnosed with an illness, you don’t have information, and you need a connection to treatment—Randy helps you get there.
  • When you want to stop smoking but don’t know how—Randy is there.
  • When you need a strategic plan to help you help more people—Randy is there.
  • When you need mental health services, but are afraid to reach out because of rampant stigma—Randy helps you get there.
  • When you know you just don’t feel right, but can’t identify what’s wrong—and suddenly you get information about treatment that is in the language you speak and reflects your community—Randy is there.
  • Whether student, starting out in a career, or seasoned professional—Randy is a mentor who encourages people to advance their professional aspirations.
  • When you want to support the arts and their expression—Randy is there.
  • When you want to know about ways to manage diabetes and get treatment—Randy is there.
  • When you need advice about how to grow your business so you can reach more people—Randy is there to provide it. And we should listen!

Randy and Freda have shared their lives—had their own journey, and grown up together.

The stops along Randy’s path are marked by a steadfast humanity.  Randy cares deeply about people.  He is passionate that people care about each other.

Today’s conference focuses on how we think about change. This theme reminds me of the Spanish saying, Del dicho al hecho hay gran trecho, which translates to,  Said and done are worlds apart. In other words, We can talk the talk—but can we walk the talk?

Randy’s example challenges us to change—because he models what it means to put our values into action.  He shows us the contribution that can result when one has the courage to stand up for what one believes in, to fight for justice, and to provide access for others.  This framework for transformation is reflected in those great and simple things Churchill talked about:  freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, and hope.

Randy has provided hope for many and opportunities for people when there were none. At last, credit where credit is due, from behind-the-scenes Randy, you have always been supporting people in their successes, helping them take risks, and scaffolding when they’re struggling. Today is a day to celebrate your impact on the world.

A loving husband, father of 3, grandfather of 2, devoted son, son-in-law, godfather, and friend to many, Randy, it honors us to honor you.

Randy served as an ACU board member from 2008 – 2012.