Davidson’s Anthony Abbott and Charlotte’s Patricia McBride have won North Carolina Awards, the state’s highest civilian honor, from the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
Gov. Pat McCrory will hand out the honors Nov. 12 in Durham.
Abbott was praised for holding forth for half a century as professor of English at Davidson College and a Sunday School teacher at Davidson College Presbyterian Church. He has written seven books of poetry and two novels and advocated for a creative writing focus for English majors, a first for the college.
His latest work, a suite of poems titled “The Angel Dialogues” in 2014, focuses on a cynical poet’s encounter with an iconoclastic angel.
McBride was honored for moving to Charlotte in 1996 with husband Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and helping to revitalize Charlotte Ballet (then N.C. Dance Theatre).
After a three-decade career at New York City Ballet, she became associate artistic director and master teacher at the Charlotte company; he became artistic director and president. Her specialty has been to set the great George Balanchine ballets she danced on members of her troupe.
The other 2015 honorees are: Anthony Atala, director of the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, who has made human tissue in his Winston-Salem lab; James Broyhill of Winston-Salem, whose 13 terms in the U.S. Congress included oversight of the Consumer Product Safety Act; A. Everette James Jr., of Chapel Hill, who opened a folk art museum in Robersonville and pioneered the use of digital radiography to analyze paintings; and Howard Lee of Chapel Hill, the first African-American to become a secretary in the N.C. cabinet (over the Department of Natural Resources and Community Development) and chair the State Board of Education.