North Carolina Awards

North Carolina Award Medal

Established by the General Assembly in 1961, the North Carolina Award is the highest civilian honor given by the state. Presented annually since 1964, the award recognizes significant contributions to the state and nation in the fields of fine art, literature, public service and science. Though given by the governor, the award is administered by our agency.

History of the Award

Since its inception, more than 250 notable men and women have been honored by the state of North Carolina. Past recipients include William Friday, Romare Bearden, James Taylor, Gertrude Elion, John Hope Franklin, David Brinkley, Maya Angelou, Billy Graham and Branford Marsalis.

Learn More About the Award's History and See a Complete List of Winners

Annual Awards Gala and Sponsorship Information

No state monies are used to produce the annual gala. We rely entirely on the generosity of individuals and organizations. This event is generously sponsored by Diamond Sponsors Bob Barker Company and Martin Marietta; Ruby Sponsors Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc., INC Research, Joseph M. Bryan Jr. and Thomas S. Kenan III; Sapphire Sponsor PepsiCo, and Silver Sponsor G. Smedes York.

Learn More About the Benefits of Sponsorship

The 2017 North Carolina Award Winners

Margaret Donovan Bauer for Literature

Philip G. Freelon for Fine Arts

R.K.M. Jayanty for Science

The Honorable Loretta E. Lynch for Public Service

Jane Smith Patterson for Public Service

James H. Woodward for Public Service

Submit a Nomination