Betsy Buford, Fred Chappell will receive UNCG’s highest honors

Posted on May 14, 2015

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Betsy Buford has worked to preserve and promote North Carolina’s history and arts. Fred Chappell has spread literary wealth to an international audience.

They will receive UNCG’s top honors.

Betsy Buford will receive the the Adelaide F. Holderness / H. Michael Weaver Award, which honors North Carolinians who have rendered distinguished public service to their community or state. It is named in honor of Adelaide F. Holderness ’34 and H. Michael Weaver of Greensboro.

Fred Chappell will receive the Charles Duncan McIver Award, which recognizes individuals who have rendered distinguished public service to the state or nation. The bronze medal bears the likeness of Charles Duncan McIver, the founding president of the institution that is now UNCG.

The honors will be presented during a ceremony on May 14 at the university.

About each recipient:

Betsy Farrior Buford ‘68 has worked with individuals, legislators and grassroots organizations from Murphy to Manteo with the goal of preserving North Carolina’s history and arts – and promoting social equity. She served as deputy secretary of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources for nine years, 1993 to 2002. She served as director of the North Carolina Museum of History and director of the Division of State History Museums from 2002 to 2007. A history major at UNCG, she had begun her career as a legislative intern on the staff of Congressman L. Richardson Preyer and joined the state’s Division of Archives and History in 1975.

Her many awards include N.C. Federation of Women’s Clubs’ Woman of the Century, the Ruth Coltrane Cannon Award from Preservation North Carolina, Special Recognition for Speaking Out from N.C. Equity/Carpathian Awards, Indies Arts Award from Independent Weekly and the Alumni Distinguished Service Award from UNCG. She was the second recipient of the Bowers Medal of Arts from Friends of the Arts N.C. State University. (Henry Bowers, the award’s namesake, was the first recipient.)

She has served on nearly 50 boards. She has chaired the Advancement Council of The University of North Carolina Press and has served as president of the NC Literary and Historical Association and as president of the Women’s Forum of North Carolina. She has served UNCG in many ways and is currently serving as a director of the UNCG Excellence Foundation for the second time.

A career highlight was her 1996 participation in North Carolina’s first trade mission to Israel. Since 1977, she has been a supporter and volunteer for the American Dance Festival.

Fred Chappell has established a body of acclaimed literary work that few in North Carolina have ever matched. He is the author of a nineteen volumes of verse, four story collections and eight novels.

He has received, among other awards, the Bollingen Prize in Poetry, Aiken Taylor Award in Poetry, T. S. Eliot Prize, Prix de Meilleur des Livres Etrangers from the Academie Francaise, Thomas Wolfe Prize, John Tyler Caldwell Award and Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Prize eight times. He was the Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 1997 to 2002.

His impact on the world of letters is seen not only in his books but in the many students who have gone on to successful writing and teaching careers.

A native of Canton in the mountains of North Carolina, he taught at UNCG for more than 40 years and helped create the MFA in Writing program. A recipient of the UNC system’s highest faculty honor, the O. Max Gardner Award, Chappell held the Burlington Industries Professorship from 1987 to his retirement in 2004.

By Mike Harris


Reposted from Campus Weekly

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