Holshouser Receives State's Highest Honor
Former Gov. James E. Holshouser Jr. is among seven recipients of the North Carolina Award, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the state.
Gov. Mike Easley and first lady Mary Easley made the presentations at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center in Durham Wednesday night.
Holshouser, who now practices law in Moore County, was out of town Thursday and could not be reached for comment.
His award was made in the field of public service. Holshouser was the first Republican elected governor in North Carolina in the 20th Century. He served a four-year term beginning in 1972, before voters changed the state constitution to permit governors to serve more than one consecutive term.
During his term as governor, Holshouser successfully pushed funding for a state kindergarten program and initiated health clinics in rural areas unserved by physicians.
Since leaving the Governor's Mansion, Holshouser has practiced law in Pinehurst, including formation of the Sanford-Holshouser law firm that handles public service law through offices in Pinehurst and Raleigh. He served several years as Moore County attorney.
Holshouser has continued to be active in civic affairs and the Republican Party and most recently served as chairman of Joe Boylan's campaign for state House of Representatives, the district that covers most of Moore County.
His civic activities have included the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. He is also a former chairman of the St. Andrews Presbyterian College Board of Trustees.
"The North Carolina Awards recognize and celebrate creativity and innovation, two values which sustain our economy, our culture and our people," Easley said.
Two other public service recipients of the prestigious North Carolina Award were Thomas Hearn Jr., of Winston-Salem, who served 22 years as president of Wake Forest University, and Roy Parker Jr., who covered North Carolina news for 50 years as founding editor of The Fayetteville Times and as Washington correspondent for The News & Observer of Raleigh.
Other recipients this week include: Science -- Charles Sanders of Durham, first chair of the state lottery commission, a cardiologist and chair of Glaxo Inc. pharmaceutical firm; Fine Arts -- William T. Williams, a painter whose works are displayed in the Museum of Modern Art, Library of Congress and Whitney Museum and the first African-American contemporary artist to have work included in the reference book, "The History of Art" by J.W. Janson;
Literature -- Emily Herring Wilson of Winston-Salem, a writer who focuses on the importance of the lives of women through poetry, nonfiction and teaching, with collections including: "Balancing on Stones," "Solomon's Seal" and "To Fly Without Hurry"; Literature -- Michael F. Parker of Greensboro, a writer whose characters struggle with love, family and relationships, including the novels "Hello Down There," "Towns Without Rivers," and "Virginia Lovers."
In 2004, the late Voit Gilmore of Southern Pines received the North Carolina Award for public service.
Florence Gilkeson can be reached at 947-4962 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More like this story