In September, WCU honored Helen Hartshorn, longtime director of women’s intramurals, for her achievements in helping establish athletics for females at WCU by renaming the hospitality room in the Ramsey Regional Activity Center the Peele Westmoreland Suhre Hartshorn Hospitality Room.
The late Joe Thomas Hunt MAEd ’53 of Hendersonville has been selected as an inductee into the N.C. High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. A World War II veteran, Hunt embarked on a successful career in coaching first at Sylva-Webster High School and then at Hendersonville High School. He is a charter member of the Hendersonville High School Hall of Fame. The new hall of fame class is scheduled to be inducted at a spring banquet in Chapel Hill.
Paul Burton, who had an extensive career in cellular biology as a faculty member at the University of Kansas, was honored recently as a distinguished alumnus by the WCU College of Arts and Sciences. Now retired in Door County, Wis., Burton and his wife spend time outdoors and have authored natural history and general interest books about the region where they live. He also has been a benefactor for WCU’s biology department.
Henry W. “Woody” Needham of Spartanburg, S.C., ran as an independent write-in candidate for governor of South Carolina in the 2010 election.
In September, WCU honored Betty Westmoreland Suhre MAEd ’65, first intercollegiate women’s basketball coach, for her achievements in helping establish athletics for females at WCU by renaming the hospitality room in the Ramsey Regional Activity Center the Peele Westmoreland Suhre Hartshorn Hospitality Room.
James L. Breece, a founding partner in the Holston Fuel Co. in Waynesville, was honored recently as a distinguished alumnus by the WCU College of Arts and Sciences. Breece was employed by the Safety Kleen Corp. for 20 years and later founded JB Technologies. He currently lives in Elgin, Ill.
Richard R. “Dick” Kuszyk is vice president of the International Comanche Society, with a membership of 2,400 Piper Comanche airplane enthusiasts from around the world. Kuszyk, now retired, held positions in sales, marketing and management with IBM, Honeywell and Siemens, and founded Washington Systems Research, which contracted with the federal government. He lives on the Chesapeake Bay south of Annapolis, Md., with his black Lab, Duke, and enjoys flying his plane and playing golf.
Nick Taylor, the author of 10 nonfiction books, was honored recently as a distinguished alumnus by the WCU College of Arts and Sciences. Taylor’s memoir of caring for his aging parents, “A Necessary End,” was called “one of the key stories of our time” by the Washington Post. His also has published many articles in publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Esquire and The New Yorker. He lives in New York.
Jesse R. “Dick” Lankford Jr. MA ’73, state archives and records administrator for the N.C. State Archives, was honored recently as a distinguished alumnus by the WCU College of Arts and Sciences. Lankford, who has led efforts to increase accessibility to the state’s historical and governmental records, was recipient of the 2006 Thornton W. Mitchell Service Award, presented by the Society of North Carolina Archivists for outstanding service to the archival profession.
Carolyn Rogers of Hertford has been selected as an inductee into the N.C. High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame. Rogers coached at Perquimans High School from 1972 to 2009, coaching volleyball for 21 years as well as cheerleading, track and field, and basketball. Rogers is a charter member of the Perquimans County High School Hall of Fame. The new hall of fame class is scheduled to be inducted at a spring banquet in Chapel Hill.
The Greater Shelby Community Theatre recognized Ludy Wilkie as its 2010 volunteer of the year. Wilkie helped found the theater and serves as secretary to its board of directors. A writer, he is founder of Lost Playwrights, a group that seeks to expand exposure of the dramatic arts in Western North Carolina.
In November, John I. Wilson marked 10 years as executive director of the National Education Association, the largest teachers union, with 3.3 million members, 550 employees and a budget of $360 million. Also this year, Wilson, who splits his time between Washington and Raleigh, won $200,000 in the N.C. lottery. He split his winnings between contributions to pro-public school political candidates and “acts of kindness,” giving to foundations, homeless people, laid-off teachers, a food bank and an elementary school.
Leslie Anderson MPA ’85 was honored recently as a distinguished alumnus by the WCU College of Arts and Sciences. Anderson has worked more than 30 years in the nonprofit and public sectors, including nine years as Asheville’s director of downtown development, where she helped secure investments, establish the Asheville Downtown Association and administer festivals and special events. An Asheville resident, she is the recipient of several leadership awards and was named one of Western North Carolina’s 50 “most influential people of the century” by the Asheville Citizen-Times.
Terry Snyder of Winston-Salem serves as chairman of Operation North State, a nonprofit organization founded in October that sent gift boxes to 500 men and women from North Carolina serving in all branches of the armed forces who were away from home on Christmas.
Bobby Justice MBA ’88 is interim associate vice chancellor for financial services at Western Carolina University. Justice began his professional career with the university in 1986 and has served as a systems accountant, senior systems accountant and, most recently, as controller.