Perspectives Online

Endowment signings, awards presentations are featured at joint meeting of Agricultural and Tobacco foundations

At the November foundations luncheon, Dr. Jon Ort and State Advisory Council Chairman Carroll McLawhorn (left and right, standing) joined Edward M. Gore and Dinah Gore as they signed seven new endowments.
Photo by Becky Kirkland

Former U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, state agriculture commissioner Steve Troxler and the presidents of the North Carolina Grange and the state Farm Bureau were luncheon guests of the North Carolina Agricultural and Tobacco foundations at their joint meeting in November, along with special guests, College benefactors Ed and Dinah Gore. The gathering is traditionally the setting for presentation of the Agricultural Foundation's Distinguished Service Awards, and this year those went to state Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight, state Sen. John Kerr and House Speaker James B. Black.

But the news-making events didn't stop there. As College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Johnny Wynne put it, "Today we are fortunate to celebrate several milestones in the life of the College and recognize some of the individuals who have made them possible."

The first of these milestones was the signing of the Sen. Jesse Helms Legislative Internship Endowment Agreement. Joining Helms for the signing were Ed Gore of Sunset Beach; Larry Wooten, president of the N.C. Farm Bureau; and Jimmy Gentry, president of the N.C. State Grange, each a donor of $50,000 to endow the Helms internship program.

In October, Dean Wynne presented Sen. John Kerr (left) the Distinguished Service Award, which Marc Basnight and James B. Black received in November.
Photo by Becky Kirkland
The Helms Endowment was the first of seven being created through the generosity of Ed and Dinah Gore. Mrs. Gore joined her husband for the signing of the other six, which included the Edward M. Gore Sr./Gen. Hugh Shelton Leadership Scholarship Endowment; the Edward M. Gore Sr. Landscapes of Opportunity Foundation Endowment; the Edward M. Gore Sr. Cooperative Education Service Foundation Endowment; the Edward M. Gore Sr. Environmental Education and Research Endowment; the Dinah Gore Foods, Nutrition and Fitness Endowment; and the Dinah Gore 4-H Foods, Nutrition, Fitness and Etiquette Endowment.

The creation of these endowments is, Wynne said, "how the College has utilized the largest cash gift it has received in history" from the sale of two tracts of land given by the Gores to the College. When the land was sold, the Gores' gift represented $3.6 million in cash.

Next Wynne turned to NCSU Chancellor James L. Oblinger to present the Distinguished Service Awards to Black and Basnight. (Kerr received his award at an earlier event in October.) Oblinger lauded the awardees as leaders who "continue to recognize the importance of N.C. State and support the way it fuels the economic engine of North Carolina."

He noted the lawmakers' support of salary equity for research and extension field faculty and said that they were among the visionaries who recognized the need for the Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC) to be developed on Centennial Campus.

- Terri Leith