William Prentiss Baker, III

Ever mindful of the Raleigh community, Prentiss became involved with the Salvation Army over forty years ago.  He has had many roles from serving in the soup line to Chairman of the Advisory Board.  He has also been an active supporter of the local Boys and Girls Clubs for over thirty-nine years in various capacities, including President of the local board and Chairman of the North Carolina Area Council of Boys & Girls Clubs.

Dr. Robert E. Bridges

Dr. Bob Bridges’ service to the City of Raleigh and its children began in 1961 after graduating from St. Augustine’s College.  Upon earning a degree in elementary education, he was hired by Raleigh City Schools to teach fourth grade at Hunter Elementary School.  In 1984 he became the school system’s first African-American superintendent.   During his twenty-eight year career, he helped integrate the school system, participated in the merger of the Raleigh School System and Wake County School System into one, and oversaw unprecedented growth.

Micou Farrah Browne

Cou Browne promoted the City of Raleigh as both a business and civic leader for nearly sixty years.  Cou is best remembered for saving Peace College in the 1950s from closure and as a Trustee member for over thirty years. He also contributed to his alma mater, NC State University, through his support of the Alumni Association, Wolfpack Club and the Friends of the Library which he helped launch in 1963.  He also made lasting contributions to the city through his involvement with the Jaycees, Kiwanis Club, United Way, Rex Hospital, First Presbyterian Church and several state-level organizations including two Blue Ribbon Panels under two governors.

Alice K. Burrows

In 1969, Raleigh City Schools offered Alice Burrows the opportunity to create a first-of-its-kind program for pre-school children with mental health problems.  A firm believer that the pre-school years are the most important in a child’s development, she accepted.  With an initial three-year grant of $300,000 she developed and shaped Project Enlightenment into a top notch resource for children from birth to age six as well as their parents and educators.  Under Alice’s guidance, Project Enlightenment has provided services to thousands of area children, parents and teachers.

Rev. Arthur James Calloway

For thirty-nine years, Rev. Arthur Calloway served the citizens of Southeast Raleigh as rector of St. Ambrose Episcopal Church.  Under his leadership the church established after-school programs, provided meeting space for Alcoholic Anonymous, and provided grants for senior citizen programing all to the benefit of Southeast Raleigh.  During this time he also took on the role of community organizer, civil rights activist and college instructor at St. Augustine’s College.  During the 1960s he helped organize efforts to integrate Raleigh City Schools and supported the election of African-Americans to political office.  Rev. Calloway was elected to the Raleigh City Council representing Southeast Raleigh for three terms from 1979-1985.

Dr. John H. Gilbert

Dr. John H. Gilbert devoted over twenty years to the citizens and children of Raleigh as an advocate for the public school system.  He moved to Raleigh in 1963 to teach at NC State University.  In the seventies he became involved in improving the local school system by supporting the merger of the city and county systems in 1976.  After the merger, Dr. Gilbert joined a board task force that outlined the need to prevent inner city schools from becoming neglected. Facilities were old and school population was declining while new suburban schools were thriving with newer facilities and the schools were full of students.  This task force set the stage for a later board to implement the magnet school program still in place today.

Charles C. Meeker

Charles Meeker’s vision and determination helped make Raleigh a better place for its citizens and businesses.  For eighteen years as an elected official, first as a city council member then ten years as Raleigh’s mayor, Charles propelled the city into a vibrant, prosperous and healthy community which continually lands on “best of lists.”  During his tenure as mayor, he returned Fayetteville Street to vehicle traffic oversaw the construction of a new $221 million convention center and increased the city’s parks and greenway system by fifty percent.  He was instrumental in bringing Campbell Law School to the city and encouraging development beyond downtown in Southeast Raleigh and North Raleigh including Brier Creek.  While promoting development, he also focused on Raleigh becoming a green economy by expanding the use of LED lighting throughout the city and in city-owned buildings.  Charles, a champion of the arts, has also devoted his time and talents to the Contemporary Art Museum, the Burning Coal Theatre Company and Artspace among others.

Robert Rankin

An artist, teacher, community volunteer and mentor, Bob has enriched the City of Raleigh through art.  During his teaching career at area high schools, he was a favorite among his students.  As a result of his love of teaching and art, he received the North Carolina Secondary Art Educator of the Year, and in 1994 he was named Teacher of the Year at Sanderson High School.  Beyond the classroom, he shared his love of art with the greater community.  In the 1970s he launched “Art in the Village” in Cameron Village.  This event would evolve into Artsplosure, the city’s premier arts festival which attracts over 130,000 people to the festival held annually in downtown Raleigh.

Artsplosure – The Raleigh Arts Festival, Inc.

Many organizations and individuals have contributed to the revitalization and vibrancy of downtown Raleigh, but Artsplosure is at the top of the list.  For the past thirty-five years, Artsplosure has brought the gift of art to the citizens of Raleigh.  Beginning in the spring of 1980, it launched its signature Artsplosure event, introducing the community to artists and performers.  Since then, it has become Raleigh’s premier spring event attracting over 130,000 people to downtown to enjoy and experience the arts.  Artsplosure is also responsible for launching and organizing First Night® Raleigh since New Year’s Eve 1991.

Raleigh Rescue Mission

Over fifty years ago, two men on their way to a meeting at a downtown church recognized the need to provide shelter to homeless men in downtown Raleigh.  These men, along with five others, would eventually form the Raleigh Rescue Mission (Mission) in 1961.  Originally the Mission provided meals and shelter only to homeless men.  Today, it provides short-term and long-term services for men, women and children with the intent to break the cycle of homelessness.  Since its inception, over 750,000 people have received help.


Bishop Henry Beard Delany

Henry B. Delany was born an enslaved person on February 5, 1858 and died April 14, 1928 as a Bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. Delany, a Georgia native, arrived in Raleigh in 1881 to enroll as a student at St. Augustine’s Normal School to study theology and music. After graduating in 1885, Delany immediately joined the school’s staff. He designed and helped build two buildings that are still seen on the campus of St. Augustine’s University: St. Agnes Hospital and the currently used Chapel that was built in 1895.

Henry Martin Tupper, Doctor of Divinity

Dr. Henry Tupper was the Founder, builder and creator of Shaw University in 1865. Shaw was the first university established for African-Americans following the end of the Civil War and the oldest historically Black college in the south.