Anna Murray

2013 In Service to Others


Anna Murray isn’t one to sit around and rest after a day of service to others. No, she’s apt to ask what’s next.

Take her participation in Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trip to Marysville, Tenn., for example. At the end of each day, she would ask if there was more the volunteers could do. Certainly, there had to be something, she’d say.

For Anna, service to others is a daily goal.

“My biggest life goal is to leave this place better than when I got here,” she said.

Throughout her time at University of Michigan-Dearborn, she’s done just that.

After Marysville, Anna participated in a second ASB trip to New Orleans. There, she worked with HandsOn and Habitat for Humanity to rebuild foundations of homes that were ruined by Hurricane Katrina and to create an irrigation system for an urban garden.

Closer to home, Anna has tutored at-risk elementary students and volunteered with Gleaners and Capuchin Soup Kitchen.

“Creative. Compassionate. Committed. That’s how I would describe Anna Murray,” said Amy Karaban, assistant director of civic engagement. “Those words encompass the way in which Anna has made a huge impact on not only UM-Dearborn, but also on the world. Anna sees herself as a citizen of the world, and believes she has the ability and responsibility to do her best for everyone in it.”

That belief only grew stronger when Anna participated in the university’s Blueprints Leadership program, where she explored the ideas of leadership and social change. She credits the program with helping her clarify her beliefs, values and ethics—and with encouraging her to pursue opportunities to implement positive social change.

As she prepares for the next chapter in her life, there’s no shortage of ideas of what to do next. Perhaps she’ll continue to grow her photography studio or become a magazine editor. She could see herself working for Habitat for Humanity or as an elementary school teacher.

One thing is certain, though: She’s ready to make a difference.

“I never imagined the immense joy and sense of fulfillment I would gain knowing I made a difference in someone’s life,” she said. “To make someone’s day just that much better is something I strive to do every day.”