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Achievers & Accolades

UNCW Professors Awarded Governor’s Highest Honor

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted May 15, 2018
Larry Usilton

Three professors at the University of North Carolina Wilmington have been presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award.

Departmental professors Larry Usilton, Walter Conser and Chris Fonvielle were presented with award in recognition of their contributions to their field, students, peers and communities during the May 4 history department graduation ceremony, according to a news release.

The awards come as a final tribute to three professors; as Fonvielle and Conser (right) are retiring this year and Usilton is beginning phased retirement, university officials said in the release.

“We are terrifically honored that we have had these three extraordinary teachers who have made such an impact on UNCW, our department, our students, and the State of North Carolina,” History Department Chair Lynn Mollenauer said in the release. “They will be missed terribly.”

Since 1963, North Carolina’s governors have reserved their highest honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine award, for those who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments. 

Each recipient is considered an honorary ambassador to the state. To be considered, individuals must be nominated and have three references attesting to their commitment and dedication to their communities.

UNC System Director of Media Relations Jason Tyson was at the ceremony to present the awards and pay homage to a few of the professors who helped shape his life.

“It is a privilege to be able to present this award to Drs. Conser, Fonvielle (left) and Usilton,” Tyson said in the release. “To receive this award, one has to be outstanding in the matter of service to the state, and these three men embody all that the Order of the Long Leaf Pine represents.”

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