Biographies from the 2009 Induction Ceremony Program.
For more than 50 years, Victor E. Bell, Jr.’s unselfish service touched the lives of people throughout Raleigh and across North Carolina. An effective community servant, Vic Bell, Jr. was also a business leader, banker, real estate investor, gentleman farmer and family man. When community challenges emerged, people turned to Vic Bell for help.
Vic Bell was born in Raleigh in 1927, where he attended Wiley School, Needham Broughton High School and NC State University. After service in the U.S. Army, he graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill.
He provided leadership in the Raleigh’s business community through his 23-year career as a banker with First Citizens Bank, where he became a senior vice president. He founded Bell’s Carpets, Bell’s Linen Closet, the Bell Family Foundation and Marjan, Ltd.
In 1962, Governor Sanford recruited Vic Bell for a role that would change education in North Carolina forever. The Governor asked Bell to assist in founding the College Foundation, Inc., working with banks and businesses across the state to help finance college educations for North Carolina students. The book entitled The Will and the Way by T. Harry Gatton recalls that Bell’s “supersalesman” efforts helped establish the College Foundation as a unique program in the nation. Bell served as the College Foundation’s first President, and as Chairman of its Board for 30 years. Under Bell’s leadership, the College Foundation serviced over 1.9 million college loans totaling approximately $8l2 billion. Thousands of North Carolinians remember Vic Bell as the person who signed the check that helped pay for their college education.
Bell’s work with the College Foundation was only one aspect of his advocacy for education. He also served in leadership roles at Meredith College, Peace College, St. Andrews College, Ravenscroft School, and NC State University.
Bell worked tirelessly on behalf of countless charitable, political, cultural and faith-based causes. Examples include his service as President of the YMCA of theTriangle, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, and the Raleigh Little Theatre. White Memorial Presbyterian Church was also proud to count him among its congregational leaders.
During the 1960’s, city leaders tapped Bell to chair Raleigh’s Bi-Racial Committee. Bell worked tirelessly behind the scenes, visiting many restaurant owners in the city, and making statements to ease tensions and open minds.
In recognition of his service to the City of Raleigh and the State of North Carolina, Vic Bell was named Tar Heel of the Week in 1966. Other accolades included the 2003 YMCA Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Raleigh Jaycees 1960 Young Man of the Year Award. Fittingly, the College Foundation honored him with the creation of the Victor E. Bell, Jr. Scholarship to encourage deserving students with limited resources.
Former UNC President Bill Friday spoke for all in calling Vic Bell “a fine public servant.” Bell, however, explained his accomplishments by saying: “To make a community better, a person must be willing to do something about it. It’s just that simple.”
Those who say that one person cannot do it all have not met Mabel J. Dorsey. A pioneer and role model for women, she provided leadership in politics, civic and community service in a time when women were seldom involved in public life. A young widow, she worked full time and raised a family of two while providing inimitable service to the City of Raleigh.
Raised in Chatham County, family participation in community and political events instilled a sense of civic responsibility in the young Mabel Dorsey. After graduation from Peace College in 1937, she made Raleigh her home.
Dorsey began her professional life as Chief Engrossing Clerk in the NC Senate. In 1958, she took a second job as an administrative legal secretary. She was the first paid secretary to First Lady Mrs. Kerr Scott. She went on to become executive director of the Raleigh Sales and Marketing Association, and to establish MJ Dorsey Communications.
In the 1940s and ’50s, Dorsey became active in the Raleigh Junior Woman’s Club and later the Raleigh Woman’s Club, where she has been a member for over 60 years. As chair of the Public Affairs Department, she spearheaded the drive to raise funds for a new juvenile detention center. She was a PTA officer, President of the Pine Needles Garden Club, and a volunteer for White Memorial Presbyterian Church, the Heart Fund and March of Dimes.
Dorsey provided distinguished leadership as Chair of the Raleigh Human Resources and Human Relations Advisory Committee during challenging times in the 1980s. A dedicated Peace College alumna, she served as Wake County Alumnae Chair and on its Board of Visitors. She was an effective fundraiser for Peace College, the American Cancer Society, and countless community organizations.
A skillful political organizer, Dorsey is a founding member and past chair of Wake Democratic Women’s Organization. She served as precinct chair and as a fundraiser for the Democratic Party. She ran for seat in NC General Assembly, and has been a valued volunteer in many political campaigns.
Dorsey’s most profound contributions, however, grew from her passion for historic preservation. A past president and longstanding member of the Wake County Historical Society, her visionary leadership in the establishment of the Yates Mill Historical Park and Educational Center, as well as the preservation and restoration of the Leonidas L. Polk House, will enhance the quality of life for Raleigh citizens for generations to come.
Dorsey has been honored for her achievements with Distinguished Service Awards from Peace College and the Wake County Historical Society, the Wake County Volunteer of the Year Award, and through induction into the YWCA Academy of Women. She received the Henry Marshall Award from Yates Mill Associates, life membership in the Association of Executives of North Carolina, and numerous awards from the Woman’s Club of Raleigh.
For over seventy years, the City of Raleigh has benefited from Mabel Dorsey’s energy, enthusiasm, and intellect. Her influence will live on in her extraordinary legacy to Raleigh’s cultural, political, charitable, and historic institutions.
Dr. Powell Graham “P.G.” Fox, Jr. once said he never considered being anything other than a physician. He began his life-long vocation as a boy making rounds at Mary Elizabeth Hospital with his father, Dr. P. G. Fox, Sr. Over seventy years later, he has made an indelible mark on health care across the greater Raleigh community.
A Raleigh native, P.G. Fox’s childhood interest in medicine came to fruition in 1952, when he received his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia. After service in the US Army Medical Corps, he completed his urology residency at the Medical College of Virginia, where he participated in the first kidney transplant in the Southeast. In 1960, Fox returned to Raleigh and entered practice with his father at Central Carolina Urology and Mary Elizabeth Hospital.
As Mary Elizabeth Hospital grew, Fox took a primary role in the development of what is now Duke Health Raleigh Hospital (DHRH). In 1977, he became founding chair of the DHRH Advisory Board. Fox served for over two decades on the board, providing leadership in the creation of their first diagnostic catheterization lab and the building of the Duke Raleigh Cancer Center. Upon retirement from practice in 1988, he became Chief Medical Officer at Duke Raleigh.
Dr. Fox has served the medical community at the local, state, and national levels. He founded Raleigh Urological Associates. He was a Clinical Professor of Urology at UNC Chapel Hill, and chair of the Urology Departments at Rex Hospital and Wake Medical Center. He served as president of the Carolinas Urological Associates, Raleigh Academy of Medicine and Urological Section of the North Carolina Medical Society, and on the executive committee of the Southeastern Urological Associates. From 1965 through 1988, he volunteered as team physician of the NC State Wolfpack.
Fox excelled as a community volunteer. He volunteered for the Special Olympics and Walk for Hope, and served as Physician Chair of United Way. He served on the boards of the Red Cross, State Bank of Raleigh, Branch Banking and Trust, and as board chairman for United Carolina Bank. He was president of the Carolina Country Club, Sphinx Club, and Terpsichorean Club. A member of Christ Episcopal Church and the Order of St. Luke, Fox was a delegate to the Diocesan Convention, and served on the vestry as senior warden. He chaired the board of St. Saviour’s Center, and founded a medical outreach program for residents of Glenwood Towers.
In recognition of Fox’s contributions, DHRH named its charitable fund the P. G. Fox Society in his honor. A member of Ravenscroft’s first graduating class, he received their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003. Fox received the NC Hospital Association’s Trustee Service Award and the Triangle Business Journal’s Health Care Heroes Lifetime Achievement Award.
Through a lifetime of professional achievement and service, Dr. P.G. Fox Jr. has been a driving force in providing quality health care to the Raleigh community. The Duke Health Raleigh Hospital remains only one monument to his vision and leadership.
November 15, 1919 – June 2, 2006
Whether offering excellent merchandise at competitive prices, hosting dinners in the Capital Room, or greeting customers at Hudson Belk Department Store, Karl Hudson, Jr. distinguished himself as a man of high integrity, deep faith, and strong civic pride.
A native of Raleigh, Hudson was an alumnus of Davidson College and Harvard Business School. He began work in the family business at fifteen, selling menswear in the downtown Raleigh store that his father, Karl Hudson, Sr., started in 1915. He left the store during World War II to serve in the US Army.
After the war, he returned to the company and rose through the ranks to become Executive Vice President. One of the Triangle’s leading merchants, he was a champion of downtown Raleigh business even during its decline through the 1970s and 1980s.
Hudson served the greater business community as a director of Carolina Power & Light Company, Wachovia Corporation, Durham Life Insurance Company, Raleigh First Federal, NC Citizens of Business and Industry, and as chair of the NC Merchant’s Association. He was president of PMC, Inc., a hotel and property development company.
Hudson was always willing to serve his city. A trustee of Rex Hospital for a decade, he was instrumental in the campaign to build the new Rex on Blue Ridge Road. He served as chair of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, United Way, United Arts Council, the Merchants Bureau, and the Downtown Development Commission. He was a trustee of Union Theological Seminary, NC Community Foundation, Presbyterian Homes, Inc., Glenaire Retirement Community, the Symphony, Davidson, St. Andrews and Peace Colleges. Hudson was a charter member and volunteer leader at White Memorial Presbyterian Church, and served on the district’s Presbytery.
Karl Hudson, Jr. was a major contributor and fundraiser for these and many other community institutions and causes, including Saint Augustine and Shaw Universities, Meredith College, and the Yates Mill Development. He established the Presbytery’s White Fund in honor of his grandfather to provide educational opportunities for Presbyterian pastors.
A man of high principles, he did what was right even when it was not universally popular. In the face of threatened boycotts in the 1960s, he included African American mannequins in store windows, and African American girls on the store’s Christmas Parade float. When the lessee of the store’s restaurant refused to serve African Americans, Hudson refused to renew the lease and opened his own restaurant, welcoming all.
Hudson’s contributions were recognized with honors from Davidson College and the Boy Scouts, with Peace College’s prestigious William Peace Medallion, and by the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce with the AE Finley Award. He was named Young Man of the Year and Boss of the Year by the Jaycees, Kiwanian of the Year in 1963, and Tar Heel of the Week by the News & Observer.
Today, we remember Karl Hudson, Jr. as an enlightened business and civic leader, generous philanthropist, champion for all people, and a key architect in the creation of the vibrant, progressive City of Raleigh we enjoy today.
Thomas Paine wrote these words at the dawn of our democracy. Today, Cyrus “Cy” Baldwin King and Carolyn Spicer King’s belief in equality, justice and peace, their capacity to care, and their ability to translate their convictions into action exemplify our nation’s highest ideals.
Cy King, a Raleigh native, met his future bride while at the University of Kentucky. The Kings settled in Raleigh in 1949, where Cy King came to be known for his work in building NC State University Library collections. Together, the couple embarked on a lifetime of service that has impacted scores of individuals and organizations throughout our city, state and nation.
Much of the King’s racial justice work has been through the Community United Church of Christ. Carolyn was a leader of the Panel of American Women, an interracial group of Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant women founded to build acceptance and understanding of all people. Carolyn taught in an African-American kindergarten, and played a leading role in establishing the city’s first integrated day care center. Both served on the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Organizing Committee and participated in civil rights marches.
The Kings have also promoted social justice through their leadership in the NC Stop Torture Movement and People of Faith Against the Death Penalty. They have served the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, the Human Rights Coalition of NC, and the Wake Chapter of the ACLU.
Effective political activists, the Kings have worked for campaign finance reform, and as members of Common Cause, Democracy NC, and the League of Women Voters. They are leaders in the United Nations Association.
The Kings are perhaps best known for their continuing work for peace. Cy King has been instrumental in the leadership of NC Peace Action. Both were leaders in the movement to freeze the use of nuclear weapons, which took Carolyn to Russia twice. Carolyn and Cy are 25 year veterans of the Fayetteville St. 1st Wednesday Peace Vigil.
Carolyn is recognized as founder of the Total Life Center, Raleigh’s first adult day care. Both have worked with North Carolinians Against Gun Violence and other progressive organizations.
The Kings have been honored for their work with the Wake County Chapter of the ACLU’s WW Finlator Civil Liberties Award, the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee’s WW Finlator Meritorious Service Award, and the NC Council of Churches’ Distinguished Service Award. Cy King received NC Peace Action’s first Peacemaker Award, and at NC State University, an endowment to build library collections in Peace Studies bears his name. Carolyn King was named Member of the Year by the UN Association.
Today, their work on behalf of the marginal and oppressed, their commitment to peace and non-violence, their respect for human rights and yearning for freedom for all people continues to change our city and our world, and inspire countless others to join the cause of peace and justice.
Raleigh’s first and only African American mayor, Clarence Everett Lightner lived by these words, and worked tirelessly to promote this philosophy through a lifetime of public service.
A Raleigh native, Lightner was the youngest in a family with a commitment to entrepreneurship, civic involvement, social justice and human welfare. After graduation from NC Central University and Echols College of Mortuary Science, he served in World War II. He returned to Raleigh to manage the family funeral home business, and quickly established himself as a community leader.
In 1966, Lightner ran for a seat on the Raleigh City Council, where he served as one of the first African Americans elected to public office after the passage of the Voting Rights Act. In 1973, he gained national recognition as the first African American mayor of a Southern metropolitan city. During his tenure, Raleigh was recognized for the first time as an “All-American City.” In 1977, Lightner was appointed by Governor Jim Hunt to serve in the North Carolina Senate to fulfill the term of John Winters.
Lightner extended his influence as a founding member of the Southern Conference of Black Mayors, and through leadership roles in organizations including the Steering Committee for Public Safety of the National League of Cities, NAACP, Southern Growth Policies Board, NC Voter Education Project, Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association, Raleigh Human Relations Committee, and NC Black Leadership Caucus. He was a delegate to the 2000 Democratic National Convention, and counselor and mentor to many aspiring public servants.
In the professional arena, Lightner served as president of the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, and as a member of the National Business League. He advanced business development as chair of the Southeast Raleigh Improvement Commission, creating an incubation program for new businesses and laying the groundwork for a long term economic strategy for southeast Raleigh.
Lightner served as chair of the St. Augustine’s Board of Trustees, and trustee for NC Central and NC State Universities. He chaired the Raleigh Civic Center Authority, was a national officer of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and served on the boards of Rex Hospital and the Raleigh Boys and Girls Club. He was a trustee of Davie Street Presbyterian Church of USA, and a 33rd Degree Mason.
Lightner was recognized for his contributions with the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Service Award, Omega Psi Phi Man of the Year Award, and honorary doctoral degrees from Shaw University, Saint Augustine’s College, and NC Central University. He is memorialized at the Martin Luther King Jr. Water Monument, and Raleigh’s future Public Safety Center will bear his name.
In 2003, the state legislature passed a resolution honoring Lightner’s achievements, and a group of Raleigh leaders established the Clarence E. Lightner Leadership Endowment Fund to stimulate an active multiracial cadre of young people to help address social problems in communities. His legacy lives on.
“My daughter and our family are reaping the benefits…of the vision and hard work of Betty and Durham Moore.”
“Durham and Betty gave of their time, their resources and their passion to make this center a reality for literally thousands of families.”
These are the words of three of the thousands of parents whose children have been served by the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities, which offers educational, residential, and family support services to children and adults with special needs.
Durham and Betty Moore moved to Raleigh in the 1950’s. In 1959, their newborn son James “Jimmy” Auten Moore was diagnosed with severe mental retardation. The Moores realized that they needed assistance in raising their child and providing for his needs. They launched an exhaustive search for services that would enable them to nurture their son in their home, but found no such services existed. In response, the Moores joined forces with Billy and Ruth Pierce – the parents of Tammy Lynn Pierce – and Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Tucker to rectify that void.
Then, the O’Berry Center in Goldsboro was the only option for children with issues as complex as Jimmy’s. The three families sought more frequent and spontaneous interaction with their children than the distant facility allowed. They began a sustained effort to educate the community, local and state government, and media on the needs of individuals and families involved with developmental disabilities. Their passion and persistence tore down barriers, created recognition of the intrinsic worth of each citizen, and led the community to accept responsibility for promoting a better quality of life for everyone in Raleigh.
Through their persistence, a vision emerged to establish the Tammy Lynn Center. The center began operation in the early 1970s, but continued advocacy, community education, fundraising, and planning were required to ensure its future. The Moores dedicated themselves to convincing policy makers, funders, and the community that the Tammy Lynn Center must become a permanently supported resource to the Raleigh community.
Over the next 40 years, the Moores provided leadership on the board, in program planning, and through consultation with other families. They spoke to countless groups about the challenges facing individuals with developmental disabilities and the needs of the families who care for them. Through their willingness to share insight into their family’s experiences, the Moores cultivated support to sustain the center.
Today, the Tammy Lynn Center serves approximately 400 individuals and families annually, and is widely recognized as a pacesetter for innovation in the field of developmental disabilities. It provides an environment where skilled, compassionate professionals develop and deliver models of care that assure people with disabilities the opportunity to achieve their potential in a safe, positive, and loving environment.
Thanks to the vision, leadership, and tireless commitment of Durham and Betty Moore, the Tammy Lynn Center will serve those with special needs for generations to come.
Murray began her own education in the Baltimore City Schools. She went on to study education at Baltimore’s Morgan State College, and earned an associate degree from Knox Business Institute in 1955. In 1982, she completed the early childhood education certificate program at NC State University, and received a master’s degree in African-American studies from Virginia Theological University in 1997. Coming full circle, she completed an associate’s degree in early childhood education at Wake Technical Community College in 2000.
In 1958, Murray and her husband, Imam Kenneth Murray Mohammed, came to Raleigh to raise their family in a smaller city, and to help establish the religion of Islam in the South. Murray worked as a substitute teacher, but found the Raleigh school system lacking in preschool education for African-American children, and in the teaching of African-American history.
In response, the couple co-founded the Vital Link Private School. Today, she provides leadership for two Raleigh campuses of Vital Link, where generations of children have learned what they need to succeed academically, as well as the history of African-American achievement. Murray has also served education as a fundraiser for United Negro College Fund, the O.A. Dupree Scholarship Fund, St. Augustine’s College, Shaw University and the Garner Road YMCA.
In 1974, Murray started the Womanhood Development program at NC Correctional Institution for Women to encourage inmates to finish school, study a trade, and change their lives for the better. For over thirty years, she has worked as a volunteer at the prison to nurture the spiritual, emotional, and mental growth and life skills of young women.
A champion for entrepreneurship, Murray was instrumental in creating the Business Building Society of Wake County, a non-profit organization promoting development and patronage of African-American owned businesses. She has facilitated small business start-up and management seminars at St. Augustine’s College.
An articulate and persistent voice for the African-American community, Murray has appeared many times before the Raleigh City Council. In 1987, she testified before the House of Representatives Committee on Small Business. Her WSHA talk show, Traces of Places and Places, continues to inform, educate, and inspire countless listeners weekly.
In recognition of her ongoing leadership, Murray has been honored as NC Women’s Correctional Center Volunteer of the Year, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Woman of the Year, Tar Heel of the Week, and recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award, the UNCF Fundraising Award, and the Raleigh Women’s Center Rosa Parks Tradition Award.
Margaret Rose Murray once said, “I look at a situation and I know it should not be, so I do what it takes to change it.”
Today, she persists in her work as mentor, educator, and agent for change, and the City of Raleigh continues to benefit from her commitment, persistence, vision and leadership.
September 18, 1914 – December 30, 1997
Not only a trailblazing lawyer, Poyner was also a prominent business leader. As General Chairman of the Triangle Area Executives Tour, he brought national business executives to the Triangle in early efforts to promote Research Triangle Park. Poyner assisted in the development of many Raleigh landmarks, including Cameron Village, the original North Hills Mall and residential area, the North Ridge area and Mini-City. He founded Eastern Standard Insurance Company, and was co-founder of Business Development Corporation and Cameron Brown Company, which later became First Union Mortgage Company.
A skillful statesman and civic servant, Poyner represented Wake County in the NC State Senate. He managed B. Everett Jordan’s successful campaign for the US Senate, and chaired the Inaugural Committee for Governor Luther Hodges.
Poyner was a tireless volunteer, skillful fundraiser, and generous contributor, and played a critical role in the development of the region’s cultural and civic assets. He provided key leadership to the Raleigh Little Theatre, and The Opera Company of North Carolina, and led the committee that founded the Raleigh Arts Council. As chairman of the NC Symphony Society, he was instrumental in making Raleigh the Symphony’s home, and established two endowed “chairs.” A renowned band leader in his own right, he founded the 86.8 Club, which brought national bands such as Les Brown, Kay Kyser and Benny Goodman to Raleigh. As president of the YMCA, he led the capital drive to build new facilities. He served as chair of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, trustee for St. Mary’s College, and on the board of directors of the A. J. Fletcher Foundation. He served his profession as president of the NC Bar Association.
An avid golfer, Poyner helped establish the Rex Classic, and supported the Raleigh LPGA Golf Tournament. He helped develop several of the area’s finest country clubs, and was a member of the board of directors of the Country Club of North Carolina for 25 years. He served as chair of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Poyner was known as mentor to a generation of Raleigh business leaders, and as a visionary for what Raleigh would someday become. In Executive Forum, his column in the Triangle Business Journal, he wrote of the need for a more specific direction for the future of the area, which might ultimately include a great athletic facility…a great convention center, and mass transportation, among other things.
His vision for Raleigh – and his powerful impact on its cultural and civic organizations – continue to unfold in the vibrant city we enjoy today.
A champion of Raleigh for almost five decades, Sherwood H. Smith, Jr. has shared outstanding leadership as executive of the only Fortune 500 Company headquartered in Raleigh, and as a civic servant who helped make Raleigh what it is today.
Smith came to North Carolina to attend UNC Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar. He graduated in 1960 from the UNC School of Law.
After private practice, he joined Carolina Power and Light (CP&L) in 1965, and became a member of the board in 1971. He was named president of CP&L in 1973, CEO in 1979, and served as chairman of the board from 1980 – 1999. For 34 years, he provided exceptional leadership to deliver safe, reliable, and reasonably priced energy during a time of rapid growth and increase in demand.
Smith provided leadership to the business community at the local, state, and national levels. A supporter of downtown Raleigh, he maintained the CP&L headquarters downtown. As member and past president of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, he worked tirelessly on behalf of Raleigh’s business community. At the state level, he chaired NC Citizens for Business and Industry. Nationally, he served as chair of the American Nuclear Energy Council and director of the Edison Electric Institute, SE Electric Exchange, and SE Electric Reliability Council.
His leadership as a civic leader is no less exemplary. As a board member of Rex Hospital and the NC Institute of Medicine, he worked to ensure citizens access to quality health care. As a founding board member of the Boys Club of Raleigh, member of the national board, and volunteer for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wake County, he helped countless young people achieve their potential.
A champion for education, he led the Bicentennial Campaign for Carolina, raising more than $442 million for UNC-Chapel Hill, and served as chairman of the Commission on the Future of the Community College System from 1988 to 1990. He currently serves as vice chairman of the Morehead Scholars selection committee, and as vice chairman of the Research Triangle Foundation and the Center for Creative Leadership boards. He chairs the boards of the Triangle Universities Center for Advanced Studies and the Institute for Arts and Humanities.
He is vice chairman of the NC Community Foundation, and has served as a vestry member and senior warden at Christ Episcopal Church.
In recognition of his many contributions, Smith received the Distinguished Alumni Award from UNC and the UNC Law School, and the William R. Davie Award from the University. The Raleigh Chamber honored him with the A. E. Finley Distinguished Service Award, and the Wake County Education Foundation named him a Friend of Education. He received the NC Citizens of Business and Industry’s Distinguished Citizenship Award, and was inducted into the NC Business Hall of Fame.
For over 45 years, Sherwood Smith Jr. has called Raleigh home. More importantly, he has shared exceptional leadership as a business executive and an outstanding supporter of youth, education, health care, and economic development, improving the quality of life for all citizens of the City of Raleigh.
Born in 1918 in Woodville, NC, Dick Urquhart left the family farm for UNC Chapel Hill, where he became the third generation in his family to attend “The University.” He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1939 with a degree in commerce. After graduation, he worked briefly in shipbuilding, then with an accounting firm in Raleigh. The day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, he enlisted in naval officers school. Within two years he was captain of a munitions ship in the Pacific.
After the war, Urquhart returned to Raleigh to help found the accounting firm of Williams, Urquhart and Ficklin. In 1965, the company merged with Peat Marwick Mitchell & Company to become Eastern North Carolina’s first international accounting firm. Urquhart served as a managing partner until his retirement. Throughout his tenure, he was known for vision, tenacity, and high principles, as well as his role as one of the firm’s most successful business developers.
These qualities were evident in Urquhart’s leadership of the group that founded The Country Club of North Carolina. He served as president for thirty-one years, and was honored by the world golfing community when Scotland’s renowned Royal Dornoch Golf Club flew its flag at half-mast upon this death.
Urquhart was also an energetic leader in the civic arena. In over a half century of service, he chaired the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the Tar Heel 100, and served as president of the Co-Founders Club of the UNC School of Medicine. A formidable fundraiser, he helped establish the Raleigh Chapter of United Cerebral Palsy of North Carolina and UNC’s Lineberger Cancer Center, and served as campaign chair for United Way and the Salvation Army. He served on the boards of the UNC-CH Business Foundation, the Medical Foundation of North Carolina, and as first senior warden of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.
Perhaps his most significant contribution, however, was his leadership in the transformation of Rex Hospital. Urquhart served on the Rex Hospital Board of Trustees for twenty-four years, and as its chair from 1973 to 1988. His visionary leadership and fundraising acumen were key in securing the current site of Rex Healthcare, and in the development of today’s Rex Healthcare, Wellness Center, Cancer Center, and Same Day Surgery Center.
In celebration of his contributions, Urquhart was named Raleigh’s Man of the Year and the Raleigh News and Observer Tar Heel of the Week. The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce honored him with the A. E. Finley Distinguished Service Award, and former Governor James B. Hunt Jr. appointed him chair of the 1980 Southeast U.S./Japan Association. Fittingly, Rex Healthcare dedicated its Wellness Center in his honor.
It is said that Dick Urquhart, Jr. never met a stranger. It is known that he inspired those around him with clear vision, contagious enthusiasm, quick wit and generous encouragement. His impact on Raleigh’s business and civic institutions, the golfing community, and on Rex Healthcare serve as lasting tributes to his leadership.
Service Above Self – He Profits Most Who Serves Best. – Rotary Motto
On April 29, 1914, Raleigh photographer Manly W. Tyree convened a group of ten Raleigh business and professional men to discuss organizing what was to become North Carolina’s first civic club: The Rotary Club of Raleigh. Over lunch at the Yarbrough Hotel on May 4 of the same year, those ten men and five additional recruits elected Tyree president and closed charter membership. The Raleigh Rotary Club received its charter on August 1, 1914, joining an international organization of Rotarians committed to providing humanitarian service, encouraging high ethical standards in all vocations, and helping to build goodwill and peace in the world.
The Rotary Club of Raleigh’s founders were among Raleigh’s leading citizens of the day. Likewise throughout its history, the club’s roles have been graced by members of influence and accomplishment who served the City and State with distinction. Membership has included a State Treasurer, a Secretary of Administration, Chancellors of NC State University, Presidents of Shaw University and Peace College, judges, city and state government leaders, and countless giants of industry and leaders of nonprofit organizations. One former Rotary Club of Raleigh President, Jesse Helms, went on to serve in the United States Senate.
For almost a century, The Rotary Club of Raleigh has met in downtown Raleigh, focusing their formidable efforts on addressing community problems. Through volunteer service and financial contributions, the club has enhanced the community in myriad ways.
In health and human welfare, the club has had a broad impact through support of the Poe Health Center, Wake Teen Medical Services, Alliance Medical Ministry, SafeChild, Raleigh Rescue Mission, Wake Friends of the Homeless, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, Salvation Army, Red Cross and other worthy organizations.
In education, they have supported numerous organizations and initiatives, including Communities in Schools, the Four Way Test essay contest promoting writing and speaking abilities in middle school students, and collection and distribution of school supplies.
As advocates for youth, they developed the Families in Crisis Program to support needy families and provide Christmas gifts to children, and sponsor the Rotary against Drugs Speech Contest at Broughton High School.
In community development, they are ongoing participants in Trees Across Raleigh, planting thousands of trees across the city. The club adopted a section of Crabtree Creek, committing to regular stream cleaning projects.
In international relations, the club hosts visitors through international exchange, sponsors foreign exchange students, and hosted a visiting artist through an exchange program with the city of Manly, Australia
And in leadership development, they have sponsored several “Unsung Hero Awards” to recognize and thank local citizens for their contributions, and provided support for high school students’ participation in the Rotary Youth Leadership Assembly in Greensboro.
Today, this inspiring commitment to service lives on in the work of the diverse and talented men and women comprising the club’s current membership. As The Rotary Club of Raleigh anticipates its centennial anniversary, Raleigh looks forward to a second century of leadership from North Carolina’s founding community service club.
In 2007, the YMCA of the Triangle Area celebrated its 150th anniversary. For over fifteen decades, in countless but unheralded ways, the YMCA has made life better for citizens of Raleigh and the entire region. From a handful of founders to more than 76,000 members and participants today, the YMCA touches and changes lives for the better.
In 1857, W. J. Young and Raleigh church leaders worked to establish a Young Men’s Christian Association “to visit the sick and administer to the poor.” Through the decades, the facilities and organization have evolved to keep pace with the growing community, but the mission has remained the same: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
It would be simple to tell the story of the YMCA of the Triangle through its impressive numbers. Last year alone, the YMCA:
Yet the YMCA’s greatest accomplishments are witnessed in its outreach – touching and changing the lives of thousands of families, children, single parents, and others who are often left behind or neglected. Their testimonies tell the story best:
“My boys had a fun, safe summer thanks to the YMCA.” – A single mother, new to the community and tied to the bedside of a daughter undergoing a bone marrow transplant, whose four boys were welcomed cost-free into YMCA Summer Day Camp
“My son pushes away French fries. The Energize program made a lasting, healthy impression on him.” – Mother of an eleven year old who lost weight and lowered his blood sugar levels
“The Y-Learning Program has given him the support he needs to be successful.” – Teacher of a student whose parents lacked the English language skills to help him with homework
And so, for 150 years, the YMCA of the Triangle has quietly but tirelessly helped those who call the Raleigh area home. As a result, the YMCA of the Triangle is recognized across the nation and around the world for its legacy of service to families, children, and the community. It now ranks as the 14th largest YMCA in the country, and is admired nationwide for its spirit, strength, impact, and commitment to its mission.
Since 1857, Raleigh citizens have counted on the YMCA of the Triangle to serve their needs and to welcome them into small, caring communities that connect them to a wider purpose. In the early years of a new century they are stronger than ever, well-poised to build healthy spirits, minds and bodies for many years to come.
November 13, 1867 – December 1, 1957
Jane Simpson was one of eight children born in Raleigh, NC to William and Anne Cannon Shanks Simpson. She graduated from Peace Institute when she was 16, married Charles McKimmon at 18, and went on to raise four children. Today, she is remembered as the driving force behind the development of North Carolina’s Home Demonstration Program and a champion of continuing education.
Jane S. McKimmon served as State Director of the women’s division of the Farmers Institutes from 1908 – 1911. In 1911 a neighbor, Dr. I.O. Schaub, encouraged Jane to accept the position as the state’s first home demonstration agent. In 1911, total enrollment in home demonstration work was 416 farm girls in 14 counties. Thirty years later, the program served 75,000 people in 100 counties.
Under McKimmon, Tomato Club Girls grew and canned a commercial product of excellent quality, making North Carolina clubs the first in the country to put standard packs on the market. This helped open the eyes – and pocketbooks – of county commissioners who had refused to see the necessity for such “frills” as home demonstration work. She retired from home demonstration work in 1937, but continued to serve as assistant director of the NC Agricultural Extension Service from 1924 – 1946.
As a champion of continuing education, McKimmon led by example. After the age of 50, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from State College. In 1934, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of North Carolina in recognition of her outstanding contribution to adult education for farm women.
McKimmon insisted on continued training for extension agents, and implemented short courses for agents. She helped organize the State Home Economics Association serving high school and college students, Extension agents, and business leaders.
Several North Carolina governors recognized McKimmon’s outstanding leadership and organizational skills. In 1917, Governor Bickett named her Director of Home Economics to help direct the WWI food program. Governor Ehringhaus appointed her to the board of the first State Rural Electrification Authority in 1935. In 1937, Governor Hoey made her vice-chairman of the board. Governor Broughton appointed her to the board of directors of the State Farmers Exchange in 1941. She also served as a member of the State Council of National Defense during WWII.
McKimmon’s legacy is immortalized at her almae matres. In 1966, $100,000 in “butter and egg money” was presented to State College from over 40,000 Extension Homemaker Club members to initiate funding for what would become the Jane S. McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education. Today, the Center serves over 160,000 participants per year, and provides continuing education to over 19,000 participants on an annual basis. At Peace College, McKimmon’s family established the Jane Simpson McKimmon Professorship in Leadership Studies. Through these programs, and through the countless families touched by her lifetime of service, the influences of Jane S. McKimmon continue to educate and inspire.
Adapted from a biography by Helen Eure, www.cals.ncsu.edu/agexed/aee501/mckimmon.html