RALEIGH — The state’s highest honor, the North Carolina Award, was awarded to six distinguished North Carolinians on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the N.C. Museum of History. Governor Bev Perdue presented the awards at the 8 p.m. ceremony. The 2012 honorees include Dr. B. Jayant Baliga, of Raleigh, for Science; Gary Carden, of Sylva, for Literature; Lou Donaldson, of Bronx, N.Y. and Thomas Sayre, of Raleigh, both for Fine Arts; Janice Faulkner, of Greenville, and Ambassador Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, of Greensboro, both for Public Service. N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Linda Carlisle hosted the evening. The N.C. Award program is administered by Cultural Resources.
Dr. B. Jayant Baliga is internationally recognized for groundbreaking work in electronics engineering. He invented and commercialized the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) used in consumer, medical, renewable, and other products. His work has saved consumers more than $15 trillion dollars.
Gary Cardin is an award winning playwright whose tales are informed by mountain life in North Carolina. Growing up in Jackson County he heard stories at family reunions, funerals and weddings. A literature and drama teacher turned storyteller, his works have become a PBS documentary and film.
Lou Donaldson is one of the most popular alto saxophonists to record for the famed Blue Note label. He played with Art Blakey, Milt Jackson and Clark Terry, and has toured in the U.S. and internationally. At 85 he still performs, and was declared a 2013 Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts.
(He could not attend the ceremony because of Hurricane Sandy).
Bonnie McElveen-Hunter founded Pace Communications in Greensboro, the nation’s largest custom publishing company. She served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Finland, is the first female chairman of the American Red Cross and a is charitable cause philanthropist.
Janice Faulkner was tapped by Gov. Jim Hunt to lead three state agencies. She rose to the challenge and transformed the workplaces at the Department of Revenue, as Secretary of State, and at the Division of Motor Vehicles. An eastern North Carolina native, she is a tireless advocates for ts economic growth.
Thomas Sayre creates art that makes original interpretations of place, often as monumental sculptures that emerge from the landscape. His public art is respectful of venue and engages the community, such as the Shimmer Wall, in downtown Raleigh. He is co-founder of Clearscapes, an art + architecture firm.
For information call (919) 807-7389. The North Carolina Awards are administered by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. For more information on North Carolina arts, history and culture, visit Cultural Resources online.