William C. Friday Award

The William C. Friday Award, established in 2000 and named for the former president of the University of North Carolina System, is an annual honor presented by the senior class of Park Scholars on behalf of the entire Park Scholarships program. This award honors Friday’s dedication and excellence in scholarship, leadership, service, and character, and recognizes individuals who emulate Friday’s dedication to those principles. Each year’s award recipient is invited to speak at a campus-wide event.  


  • 2021: Bree Newsome Bass, Artist, Filmmaker, and Activist
  • 2020: Maggie Kane, Founder and Executive Director, A Place at the Table
  • 2019: Noran Sanford, Founder of GrowingChange
  • 2018: Amy Gage Wright, Founder and CEO, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee
  • 2017: Thomas W. Ross, UNC President Emeritus
  • 2016: Joy Currey, Founder and President, CORRAL Riding Academy
  • 2015: Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics, Duke University
  • 2014: Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO, Red Hat, Inc.
  • 2013: Michell Hicks, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation
  • 2012: James A. Joseph, Former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa
  • 2011: Ping Fu, President and CEO, Geomagic, Inc.
  • 2010: Keith Fishburne, President and CEO, Special Olympics of North Carolina
  • 2009: John Hope Franklin, Historian and Author
    Historian Dr. John Hope Franklin authored several books on African-American history in the Southern United States, including From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans, first published in 1947 and now in its seventh edition. Dr. Franklin received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1941 and was a faculty member at the University of Chicago for eighteen years before joining the faculty at Duke University. In addition to receiving honorary degrees from over one hundred institutions of higher education, he served on the editorial board of the Journal of Negro History and was president of The American Studies Association (1967), the Southern Historical Association (1970), the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa (1973-76), the Organization of American Historians (1975), and the American Historical Association (1979).
  • 2008: Jim and Ann Goodnight, Community Leaders and Philanthropists
    Dr. Jim Goodnight is the founder and CEO of SAS Institute, a world leader in business analytics software and a fixture on “Best Places to Work” lists. Ann Goodnight is a member of the UNC Board of Governors and a recipient of the 2008 North Carolina Award for Public Service. Both are NC State University alumni, and Dr. Goodnight served on the faculty from 1972-1976. The Goodnights have focused much of their philanthropy on education, helping to engineer the construction of SAS Hall, NC State’s mathematics and statistics building; co-founding Cary Academy in 1996 ; and funding NC State’s Goodnight Scholarship program for students majoring in STEM disciplines.
  • 2007: Tammi Sutton, Executive Director, KIPP Gaston College Preparatory
    Tammi Sutton is a former Teach for America corps member recipient of several Teacher of the Year awards. As a part of the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) network of charter schools, Ms. Sutton co-founded Gaston College Preparatory in 2001 and Pride High School, the first KIPP high school in North Carolina, in 2004. These schools are comprised primarily of minority and low-income students that consistently outperform their national grade-level peers. Ms. Sutton’s work was featured in One Day, All Children…, a book by Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp.
  • 2006: Jill Staton Bullard, Executive Director, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle
    Jill Staton Bullard is the Executive Director of Inter-Faith Food Shuttle (IFFS), a non-profit organization devoted to pioneering innovative, transformative solutions designed to end hunger in the community. Based in Raleigh, IFFS is a member of Feeding America, a national network of food banks and food rescue organizations. As a founding director of IFFS, Ms. Bullard played a significant role in the passage of the North Carolina Good Samaritan Act, which allows businesses to donate unsellable food items without fear of legal action.
  • 2005: Arlinda Faye Locklear, Advocate for American Indian Rights
    Arlinda Faye Locklear is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and a 1976 Duke Law graduate. The first American Indian woman to appear before the Supreme Court, Locklear is considered a pioneer in American Indian law and has handled a wide range of claims relating to water and land, reservation boundaries and sovereignty, and federal recognition of tribes.
  • 2004: Lee Smith, Novelist
    Lee Smith is an American fiction author who has published 12 novels and four collections of short stories. Her novel The Last Girls reached the New York Times bestseller list in 2002. She is a recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the North Carolina Award for Literature, and a Southern Book Critics Circle Award. Smith served on the NC State faculty from 1989 to 1998.
  • 2003: Phyllis Crain, Executive Director, Crossnore School
    Dr. Phyllis Crain was an education advocate and the Executive Director of the Crossnore School, a century-old residential education campus for abused and neglected children. Crain received her doctorate in education from the University of South Carolina and was a teacher and administrator for many years. She served as the first female superintendent of schools in Avery County, North Carolina before joining the Crossnore School in 1999. During her time at the school, she helped renovate the campus, gain accreditation, and raise the endowment from $1 million to over $20 million.
  • 2002: General H. Hugh Shelton, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
    Gen. Henry Hugh Shelton served as the 14th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997 to 2001. He was born and raised in North Carolina and completed a degree in textile engineering from NC State. During his 38 years in the United States Army, Gen. Shelton completed two tours in Vietnam, commanded the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, and made significant improvements to the military retirement and healthcare programs. He is the Chairman of the Board of Red Hat, Inc., and serves as the Executive Director of NC State’s General Hugh Shelton Leadership Center.
  • 2000: Larry Monteith, North Carolina State University Chancellor Emeritus
    Dr. Larry King Monteith served as the eleventh chancellor of the University from 1989 to 1998. After receiving an undergraduate degree from NC State and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Duke University, he joined the NC State Department of Electrical Engineering in 1968, where he served as Department Head and Dean of Engineering. As Chancellor, he presided over the development of Centennial Campus, established the NC State chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and played a critical role in the creation of the Park Scholarships program.
  • 2000: William C. Friday, UNC System President Emeritus
    William C. Friday served as President of the University of North Carolina System from 1956 to 1986. He helped to revolutionize higher education in North Carolina, with significant roles in the creation of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the formation of the Research Triangle Park, and the consolidation of the 16-campus UNC System. He was the founding co-chairman of the Knight Foundation Commission of Intercollegiate Athletics, an organization that works to ensure that athletics programs operate within the educational mission of their colleges and universities. After retiring in 1986, he hosted the public television talk show North Carolina People that ran for more than 40 years.