11/09/04 — Zealy Receives WCC President's Award

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Zealy Receives WCC President's Award

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 9, 2004 1:59 PM

Dr. James R. Zealy has been recognized for his work for his community, profession and the college with the Wayne Community College President's Award for Distinguished Service.

In a ceremony honoring the retired Goldsboro dentist, Zealy was lauded by representatives of the Wayne County Dental Society and the Foundation of Wayne Community College. He was also presented with a medallion by college President Edward H. Wilson Jr.

Calling the award a "small token of our appreciation," Wilson said "there are many WCC graduates standing with me in spirit tonight.

"From the time he hired the county's first dental hygienist, WCC graduate Linda Heekin, to his support of the renovations to our dental clinic, Dr. Zealy has touched the Wayne Community College dental program."

Dr. Richard T. Cooke, president of the Wayne County Dental Society, said, "Honorable, ethical, conscientious and knowledgeable are just a few words that have been said of Dr. Zealy throughout his distinguished career."

Dr. George Mayo recalled meeting Zealy. He said his purpose was to ask the dentist to write a letter of recommendation to facilitate Mayo's entrance to dental school. Mayo said the meeting he expected to take 15 to 20 minutes, lasted hours and wound up developing into a friendship.

"I feel like today I owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Zealy," Dr. Mayo said, thanking him not only for the letter, but all that Zealy had done over the years "that would make us better professionals."

Zealy was a charter member of the Wayne County Dental Society in 1946. He also helped bring dental surgery to Wayne Memorial Hospital. He worked for nearly 50 years in the profession, and even in his retirement, he has remained active in the county dental society.

He also served as president of the James E. and Mary Z. Bryan Foundation, established by his sister, Mary Zealy Bryan, as a memorial to her husband.

The Bryan Foundation established the Bryan Foundation Endowment at Wayne Community College. The endowment has provided more than a $250,000 for the dental hygiene, dental assisting, nursing, Tech Prep, High School Merit and teacher education scholarship programs, according to Hank Crawford Jr., chairman of the Foundation of Wayne Community College's board of directors.

Zealy also served on the college foundation's board for six years and continues to support the its arts and humanities program.

He is the third person to receive the President's Award. Previous recipients are Dillon Wooten and Elmer Crumpler.