Elmhurst College presented the Niebuhr Medal to Millard and Linda Fuller, co-founders of Habitat for Humanity International, at a Founders Day ceremony on February 12, 2002.
The Fullers launched the nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry in 1976, after pioneering low-cost housing programs in rural southwest Georgia and in the African nation of Zaire. Their leadership has helped forge Habitat into a worldwide Christian housing organization where volunteers have built homes together with more than 110,000 families.
The Fullers have received international recognition for their work in creating decent, affordable housing. Millard Fuller received the Medal of Freedom from President Clinton in September 1996, and received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award from both the State of Georgia and the King Center. Together, the Fullers were awarded the 1994 Harry S. Truman Public Service Award. They continue to receive many honorary doctorates and achievement awards for their outstanding leadership and contributions toward meeting the goal of eliminating poverty housing worldwide.
The couple left Habitat for Humanity in 2005 and established a new venture, The Fuller Center for Housing. Millard Fuller died in February 2009.