PR: WNC author Ron Rash of Cullowhee is one of six receiving the North Carolina Award, the state’s highest civilian honor
Written by Kathleen O. Davis
RALEIGH – A group of distinguished North Carolinians will receive the North Carolina Award, the highest civilian honor the state bestows, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the N. C. Museum of History. Honorees this year are Charles E. Hamner, Jr., of Chapel Hill and H. Martin Lancaster, of Raleigh, both for Public Service; Trudy F.C. Mackay, of Raleigh, for Science; Ron Rash, of Cullowhee, for Literature; and Vollis Simpson, of Lucama, and Branford Marsalis, of Durham, both for Fine Arts. The Awards are administered by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
“Each year, the North Carolina Awards are a chance for us to honor men and women who reflect the very best in imagination, exploration, creativity, and humanitarian service,” said Cultural Resources Secretary Linda A. Carlisle.
Public Service: Charles E. Hamner, Jr.
Dr. Charles Hamner is credited with helping to propel North Carolina to preeminence within the biosciences industry. His success at the University of Virginia in converting research into viable commercial applications attracted the attention of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, and in 1988 he took the helm of the organization. After retiring in 2002, he was shortly thereafter appointed Chairman of the Board of the Chemical Institute for Industrial Toxicology, renamed the Hamner Institutes for Health Services in his honor. The Hamner, as it is known, guides innovative chemical and pharmaceutical development with an emphasis on product safety.
Public Service: H. Martin Lancaster
A lawyer by trade, Martin Lancaster has served in the North Carolina Legislature, in the U.S. Congress, and as president of the state’s Community College System. Lancaster’s imprint on education extends beyond the state and nation, as he advised on skills training in Thailand and in Northern Ireland, where the University of Ulster presented him with an honorary doctorate in 2005. Earlier this year Prince Charles acknowledged Lancaster’s work by making him an honorary Officer of the British Empire. A past chair of the North Carolina Arts Council, he is known for his commitment and service to the arts community in North Carolina.
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