Mr. Fritz and the Fritz Institute, which he founded, are excellent examples of the qualities that the California Prize seek to celebrate. Specifically, he has worked to:
Improve the delivery of services to the under-served.
The Fritz Institute is dedicated to find innovative systems and structures that will improve the delivery of essential, life saving services to victims of natural disasters. The goal is to develop a set of best practices for speedy, efficient disaster relief.
Expanding assistance to under-served segments of the population.
When natural disasters strike, the most vulnerable victims are those of the most modest means.(For example, nearly three out of ten of the people who did not evacuate in the advance of Hurricane Katrina reported they did not have the resources to enable them to leave.) Mr. Fritz and his institute recognize that improving the delivery of relief services will be of the greatest benefit to those people who have the least.
Advocating on behalf of under-served populations.
Perhaps most important, the Fritz institute is not about telling organizations and governments what it thinks should be done. Instead, it seeks input from those it serves, and then advocates for change on their behalf. Reports of the Fritz institute include, for example, include perceptions of the effectiveness of relief services from the victims of the 2004 tsunami that hit Asia, survivors of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, and gulf coast residents in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Mr. Fritz's commitment to humanitarian relief clearly embodies the core values of the University of San Francisco. His work in the area of humanitarian assistance has emphasized excellence and accountability while pursuing a common good that transcends the interests of particular individuals or groups. His institute promotes a culture of service that respects and promotes the dignity of every person. The University is very pleased to honor him as the first recipient of the California Prize for Service and the Common Good.