The Watauga Medal

The Watauga Medal was established in 1975 by the Board of Trustees to honor people who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the university.

The name derives from the Watauga Club, a group founded in 1884 by young men under the age of 30. “Watauga” is a Native American word meaning “the land beyond.”

The three winners of NC State's Watauga Medal in 2019 walk down the red carpet.
The 2019 winners of the Watauga Medal: S. Frank Culberson, Charles A. Flink II and James A. Stewart.

This progressive group promoted the educational, agricultural and industrial development of the state.

In 1885, the club encouraged the North Carolina General Assembly to establish an industrial school. Walter Hines Page recommended that agriculture be included in the school’s curriculum, thus joining the Wataugans’ efforts with the land-grant movement led by Colonel Leonidas Polk, founder and editor of the Progressive Farmer.

The resulting legislation founded the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts on March 7, 1887.

The selection process is a rigorous one conducted by the Watauga Medal Selection Committee, with recommendations going to the Chancellor, who reviews them, and finally to the Board of Trustees. Since 1975, the Watauga Medal has been awarded to 120 men and women distinguished by their dedication and devotion to the advancement of North Carolina State University.

Past Recipients by Year

2019

S. Frank Culberson
Charles A. Flink II
James A. Stewart

2018

William K. Collins Sr.
Benjamin P. Jenkins III

2017

Barbara Goodmon
Gayle Lanier
Steve Warren
Steve Zelnak

2016

Barbara Mulkey
George Worsley

2015

Lynn Eury
Judi Grainger

2014

Burley Mitchell
Peaches Blank

2013

Thomas E. Cabaniss
Thomas S. Kenan III
Robert P. Kennel

2012

General Henry Hugh Shelton
C. Edwin Vick, Jr. (posthumously)
Cassius S. Williams

2011

T. Carlton Blalock
Derick Close
Susan P. Ward

2010

Kenneth M. “Charlie” Bryant
Hou-Min Chang
H. Frank Grainger

2009

J. Lawrence Apple
E. Norris Tolson
C. Richard Vaughn

2008

Robert A. Barnhardt
Lonnie C. Poole Jr.
Virginia B. Sall

2007

Elizabeth J. Aycock
Robert W. Scott
Randall B. Terry, Jr.

2006

Edward P. Fitts, Jr.
James W. Owens
G. Smedes York

2005

Robert E. Black, Jr.
Lois G. Britt
Dorothy D. Park

2004

Edward E. Hood, Jr.
Claud E. McKinney
Bryce R. Younts

2003

John L. Atkins III
Walter W. “Dub” Dickson
A. Tab Williams, Jr.

2002

James H. Goodnight
James A. Graham
G. Woodrow Jones

2001

S. Scott Ferebee, Jr.
Darrell V. Menscer
Edgar S. Woolard, Jr.

2000

Terrence M. Curtin
Jack P. Jordan
Blanton J. Whitmire

1999

William L. Burns, Jr.
Merlin A. “Patches” Meares
Wendell H. Murphy

1998

Burton F. Beers
W.B. Jenkins
Randall L. Ward

1997

Leslie N. Boney, Jr.
Daniel C. Gunter, Jr.
James A. Hackney III

1996

Worley H. Clark
S. Lawrence Davenport
Alan T. Dickson

1995

Ralph W. Cummings
Robert B. Jordan III
W. Duke Kimbrell

1994

Grover A. Gore
E. Carroll Joyner
Edward I. Weisiger, Sr.

1993

Bess Ballentine
H.D. Cornelius
James A. “Ott” Jones

1992

Marcus B. Crotts
Charles A. Hayes
Norfleet L. Sugg

1991

Charles E. Branscomb
Earle L. Edwards
Ned E. Huffman

1990

James W. “Willie” York

1989

George M. Wood

1988

Joseph D. Moore

1987

William C. Friday

1986

John T. Caldwell
Hubert V. Park

1985

A.M. Fountain
John N. Gregg
James B. Hunt, Jr.

1984

M. Edmund Aycock
Frank A. Daniels, Sr.
James D. Kilgore

1983

Clifton L. Benson, Sr.
Lexie L. Ray
Walter L. Smith

1982

T. Clyde Auman
W.C. Calton
Mary Elizabeth Poole

1981

George E. Norman, Jr.
Ralph H. Scott

1980

Wally Ausley
Charles H. Reynolds

1979

Henry A. Foscue
Claude S. Ramsey
Ellen Winston

1978

L.R. Harrill
H.W. “Pop” Taylor

1977

Raymond A. Bryan, Sr.
Gertrude M. Cox
C. Horace Hamilton

1976

A.E. Finley
Mose Kiser
R. Walker Martin

1975

Carey H. Bostian
Roy H. Park
Richard J. Reynolds, Jr.