Raleigh, NC - Governor Pat McCrory congratulated recipients of the state's highest civilian honor tonight at the North Carolina Awards Program in Durham. Secretary Susan Kluttz of the Department of Cultural Resources joined the governor in acknowledging the exemplary North Carolinians.
"The talent and determination seen here tonight is a reminder of the great minds and strong leaders who come out of North Carolina," said Governor McCrory. "The advances these award winners have made in science, literature, education and more prove not only a love for North Carolina but a love for all of mankind."
The six recipients:
Myron S. Cohen, a UNC-Chapel Hill professor whose multinational research team demonstrated that treatment of HIV infection with antiretroviral drugs stopped HIV transmission.
John E. Cram, an art collector and entrepreneur who founded the Village Art and Craft Fair, attracting thousands to the Asheville area and helping to transform Asheville into the cultural destination it is today.
John M. H. Hart Jr., a New York Times bestselling author whose novels, inspired by the Tar Heel state, have been translated into more than 30 different languages.
Phillip J. Kirk Jr., a former state senator, chief of staff to two governors, secretary of the Department of Human Resources, director of the North Carolina Council for Business and Industry, and chairman of the State Board of Education.
John Harding Lucas, an education administrator who engineered the merger of the white North Carolina Education Association and the black North Carolina Teachers Association, making a new organization. He also led other educational organizations.
Walt Wolfram, an internationally acclaimed linguist who founded the North Carolina Language and Life Project, a national model for sociolinguistic engagement. He has written and created more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and eight documentaries.
"It is an honor to pay tribute to these remarkable individuals who have made North Carolina better by their extraordinary involvement in this state," said Secretary Susan Kluttz. "Each has enriched the lives of our citizens and propelled North Carolina onto the national and world stages."