Award for Distinguished Citizenship
2023 Willie A. Deese, Former President of Merck & Co., Inc.
2022 J. Bradley Wilson, Former President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
2021 Drs. Eunice and Joe Dudley, Sr., Founders, Dudley Beauty Corp.
2020 George H.V. Cecil, Chairman, Biltmore Farms
2019 David Congdon, Executive Chairman and former CEO, Old Dominion Freight Line
2018 Allen E. Gant, Jr., Chairman of the Board, Glen Raven, Inc.
2017 Thomas E. Skains, former CEO, President and Chair, Piedmont Natural Gas
2016 Susan Cameron, President and CEO, Reynolds American Inc.
2015 Stan Kelly, Retired Wells Fargo Executive; President and CEO, Piedmont Triad Partnership
2014 O. Temple Sloan Jr., Founder and Chair, CARQUEST/General Parts International
2013 The Honorable Wendell H. Murphy, Previous Chairman and CEO, Murphy Farms
2012 James Maynard, Chairman and CEO, Investors Management Company; Chairman, Golden Corral Corporation
2011 Stephen P. Zelnak, Jr., Chairman and Former CEO, Martin Marietta Materials
2010 Robert A. Ingram, General Partner, Hatteras Venture Partners
2009 John A. Allison, IV; Chairman and former CEO of BB&T
2008 James B. Hyler Jr., Former Vice Chaiman and COO of First Citizens Bank
2007 Thomas W. Bradshaw Managing Director and Co-Head of theTransportation Group for Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.
2006 Smedes York, President, York Properties
2005 Edward Smith Jr., Chairman and CEO, Grady-White Boats Inc.
2004 Bert Collins, Chairman and CEO, N.C. Mutual Life Insurance Co.
2003 John F. McNair III, Retired President, Wachovia Bank
2002 Russell J. Robinson II, Founding Partner in Russell, Bradshaw & Hinson
2001 Paul J. Rizzo, Former Dean of the Kenan Flagler Business School
2000 Hugh L. McColl Jr., Chairman and CEO, Bank of America
1999 Louie Woodbury Jr., President, Woodbury & Co.
1998 John Medlin, Chairman, Wachovia
1997 Sherwood H. Smith Jr., Chairman, CP&L
1996 John A. Forlines Jr., Chairman & CEO, Bank of Granite
1995 William S. Lee, Former NCCBI Chairman
1994 C. Felix Harvey, Former NCCBI Chairman
1993 W. Roger Soles, Former NCCBI Chairman
1992 Ralph W. Ketner, Chairman Emeritus, Food Lion
1991 Thomas J. Hackney Jr., Former NCCBI Chairman
1990 W. David Stedman, Chairman, W. David Stedman Associates
1989 George R. Herbert, President, Research Triangle Institute
1988 John M. Belk, Chairman of the Board, Belk Stores Services Inc.
1987 Bland W. Worley, Retired Chairman of the Board, Barclays American Corporation
1986 Frank H. Kenan, Chairman, William R. Kenan Jr. Fund
1985 C. C. Cameron, Chairman of Executive Committee, First Union Corporation
1984 Thomas H. Davis, Chairman of the Board, Piedmont Airlines
1983 Carl Horn Jr., Former Chairman of the Board, Duke Power Company
1982 J. Paul Sticht, Chairman of the Board & CEO, R.J. Reynolds Industries Inc.
1981 Edwin A. Morris, Former Chairman of the Board, Blue Bell Inc.
1980 Shearon Harris, Chairman of the Board, Carolina Power & Light Co.
1979 Joseph M. Bryan, Insurance and Radio-Television Executive, Jefferson-Pilot Corporation
1978 John F. Watlington Jr., Retired Chairman & CEO, The Wachovia Corporation and Wachovia Bank & Trust Company
1977 Holt McPherson, Editor Emeritus, The High Point Enterprise
1976 Allen H. Sims, Former Chairman of the Board, Citizens National Bank
1975 Raymond A. Bryan, Chairman of the Board, T. A. Loving Company
1974 Addison H. Reese, Chairman of the Board, North Carolina National Bank
1973 Alex. H. Galloway, Chairman of the Board, R. J. Reynolds Industries Inc.
1972 Archie K. Davis, Chairman of the Board, Wachovia Bank & Trust Company, N.A
1971 J. E. Broyhill, Chairman of the Board, Broyhill Industries
1970 Howard Holderness, Chairman of the Board, Jefferson-Pilot Corporation
1969 R. O. Huffman, Chairman of the Board, Drexel Enterprises
1968 Lloyd E. Griffin, Former Executive VP/ Secretary, North Carolina Citizens Association
1967 Edwin Pate, President, Z.V. Pate Inc.
1966 Emery Byrd Denny, Chief Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court
1965 B. Everett Jordan, United States Senator
1964 R. Grady Rankin, President, Superior Yarn Mills
1963 Sam J. Ervin Jr., United States Senator
Award for Distinguished Public Service
2023 Michael A. Sprayberry, Former Director of North Carolina’s Division of Emergency Management
2022 Senator Kay Hagan
2022 Karen Cochrane-Brown, Former Division Director, North Carolina General Assembly
2021 The Honorable Dennis Wicker, Former North Carolina Lt. Governor
2020 Brigadier General (Retired) James R. Gorham
2019 Stephen Scott, Former President of Wake Technical Community College
2018 Dr. June Atkinson, Former State Superintendent of the Public Schools of North Carolina
2017 Richard Y. Stevens, former North Carolina State Senator
2016 Thomas W. Ross, Former President of the University of North Carolina System
Scott Ralls, Former President of the North Carolina Community College System
2015 The Honorable Sarah Parker, Former Chief Justice, N.C. Supreme Court
2014 The Honorable Jim Crawford, Former N.C. House Representative
2013 The Honorable David Hoyle, Former Secretary of Revenue
2012 Congressman Howard Coble, NC-6th U.S. Congress
2011 Erskine B. Bowles, Co-Chairman National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility & Reform
2010 The Honorable Howard N. Lee, Executive Director, The North Carolina Education Cabinet
2009 Michael F. Easley, Governor, North Carolina
2008 H. Martin Lancaster, President of the North Carolina Community College System
2007 Justice I. Beverly Lake, Jr., Former Chief Justice, N.C. Supreme Court
2006 Henry Frye, Former Chief Justice, N.C. Supreme Court
2005 Gen. Henry H. Shelton, Vice Chair of the Board of Advisors, M.I.C. Industries
2004 Burley Mitchell Jr., Former Chief Justice, N.C. Supreme Court
2003 The Rev. Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
2002 James G. Goodmon, CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Co.
2001 Sen. Jesse Helms, Veteran member of the U.S. Senate
2000 James B. Hunt Jr., Governor, State of North Carolina
1999 Elizabeth Aycock, Secretary, Research Triangle Park
1998 Dr. Dallas Herring, Former Chairman, State Board of Education
1997 C. D. Spangler, Former President UNC System
1996 Hugh McRae Morton, President and Owner, Grandfather Mountain
1995 James E. Holshouser Jr., Former Governor
1994 Dr. Jay M. Robinson, Educator
1993 James G. Martin, Former Governor
1992 C. C. Cameron, Former NCCBI Chairman, State Budget Director
1991 L. Richardson Preyer, Former Congressman
1990 Ivie L. Clayton, Former NCCBI President
1989 Kenneth C. Royall Jr., Member, North Carolina Senate
1988 Robert W. Scott, President, North Carolina Department of Community Colleges
1987 Harlan E. Boyles, Treasurer State of North Carolina
1986 Joseph Branch, Chief Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court
1985 James T. Broyhill, Member of U.S. House of Representatives, Tenth District of North Carolina
1984 Mary D.B.T. Semans, Chairman, The Duke Endowment
1983 Thad Eure, Secretary of State
1982 Dr. Juanita Kreps, Former U.S Secretary of Commerce
1981 Henry L. Bridges, Former State Auditor
1980 Susie Sharp, Former Chief Justice, N.C. Supreme Court
1979 Terry Sanford, President, Duke University
1978 Albert Coates, Professor Emeritus in the UNC Law School, Founder, Institute of Government
1977 James A. Graham, North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture
1976 William H. Bobbitt, Former Chief Justice, N.C. Supreme Court
1975 Sam J. Ervin Jr., Former United States Senator
1974 William C. Friday, President, University of North Carolina
1973 Henry E. Kendall, Former Chairman, Employment Security, Commission of North Carolina
1972 Charles R. Jonas, Member of US House of Representatives, Ninth District of North Carolina
1971 L. H. Fountain, Member of U.S. House of Representatives, Second District of North Carolina
1970 Edwin M. Gill, Treasurer, State of North Carolina
1969 Daniel Killian Moore, Former Governor of North Carolina