04/25/07 — College president receives award and portrait

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College president receives award and portrait

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 25, 2007 1:46 PM

On the heels of having his replacement announced earlier in the day during a meeting of the State Board of Community Colleges on the Wayne Community College campus, retiring President Ed Wilson was honored as recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine and had a scholarship established in his name.

Wilson was guest of honor at a dinner attended by nearly 200 family members, friends and colleagues from the community college system. He was at times teased and lauded for his nearly 40 years of work in education, the last 15 of which included his tenure as Wayne Community's third president.

Former state Rep. Phil Baddour Jr. presented Wilson with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine on behalf of Gov. Mike Easley. It is the highest civilian award presented by the governor, reserved for outstanding North Carolinians with a proven service record in the state and confers on the recipient the rank of "Ambassador Extraordinary."

Hank Crawford, chairman of the board of directors of the college's Foundation, announ-ced the establishment of the Edward H. Wilson Jr. endowed scholarship.

"Thanks to the generosity of many people, we can do what we really came here to do. We can honor Ed Wilson in a way that is dearest to his heart -- by helping others," he said.

"Tonight, we ensure that his legacy in education continues by helping future students attend Wayne Community College, with a scholarship in his name."

A portrait of Wilson by local artist Zeno Spence was also unveiled, with plans for it to be on display at the college.

"After you have signed off on the last report at 3000 Wayne Memorial Drive and taken the last box out to your car, there will be a tangible reminder of your impact," Crawford told Wilson.

Wilson's retirement begins July 1. Dr. Kay Albertson, currently vice president for academic affairs, was named his successor on Friday when the state board convened.