This annual award honors an alumnus who has achieved exceptional career goals, or earned a superior reputation within a particular field, or made significant contributions to the College, or to the local or national community. Alumnus is defined as a person who has obtained a degree, certificate or diploma from the College, or its immediate predecessor, Mitchell College.
To nominate someone for the Award, send a letter of recommendation via email, postal mail or fax:
Postal Mail: Alumni Office, Mitchell Community College, 500 West Broad Street, Statesville, NC 28677-5264
Fax: (704) 978-5406.
Nominations must be received by February 1 of each year.
2007 - William S. Powell, Class of 1938
William S. Powell '38 was selected as Mitchell’s first Distinguished Alumni Award winner. Powell was born in Johnston County and grew up in Statesville. He attended Mitchell for two years before transferring to the University of North Carolina. He graduated in 1940 and entered the US Army where he served in the Army's military intelligence branch in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
He returned to Chapel where he earned degrees in history and library science. He began his academic career as a librarian at Yale University. He continued his career as a research historian at the NC Department of Archives and History. In 1952, he became assistant librarian of the NC Collection at the University of North Carolina and in 1958 was promoted to curator. In 1973, he became a professor of history at Chapel Hill before retiring in 1986.
Powell is professor emeritus of history at the University of North Carolina and is an expert on NC history. He has authored and edited many books about the state and local history-The North Carolina Gazetteer, The Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, North Carolina Through Four Centuries, and the Encyclopedia of North Carolina. Powell has served on the NC Historical Commission, the NC Literary and Historical Association, the America’s 400th Anniversary, the editorial board of the NC Historical Review and the Historical Society of NC.
He lives in Chapel Hill with his wife and research partner, Virginia.
Mitchell Community College
500 West Broad Street
Statesville, NC 28677-5264
Phone: (704) 878-4321
Fax: (704) 978-5406
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