Nine Receive North Carolina Award, State’s Highest Honor

2020-21 NC Award Winners

Nine distinguished North Carolinians were presented the North Carolina Award, the state’s highest honor, by Governor Roy Cooper at a Nov. 18 ceremony at the North Carolina Museum of Art. The award recognizes significant lifetime achievements in the areas of fine arts, literature, public service and science.

The 2020 honorees are Dr. Ralph S. Baric, Dr. Francis S. Collins and Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett. All received the North Carolina Award for Science in recognition of their work to develop treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. 

The 2021 honorees are Dr. Dudley E. Flood for Public Service, David Holt for Fine Arts, Maria F. Spaulding for Public Service, Dr. André Leon Talley for Literature, Dr. Timothy B. Tyson for Literature, and Dr. Blake S. Wilson for Science. 

Established by the General Assembly in 1961, the first medals for the North Carolina Award were given in 1964. Since then, more than 250 notable men and women have been honored by the state of North Carolina.
The North Carolina Award program is funded by sponsors that include the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, CBC/WRAL Community Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

As a safety precaution this year, all attendees were required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test completed within 72 hours prior to the event. 
For more information, please visit The awards are administered by the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. 

Photo: From left: Governor Roy Cooper, Blake Wilson, Maria Spaulding, Ralph Baric, David Holt, Dudley Flood, Kizzmekia Corbett, and DNCR Secretary Reid Wilson. Not pictured: Francis Collins, Tim Tyson and André Leon Talley.

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