Hall of Honor 2007 Inductees
Ronald Ray Beane
A native of Caldwell County, Ronald Ray Beane attended Baton Elementary School and graduated from Hudson High School in 1955. After graduating from Gardner-Webb College and Appalachian State University, he began his teaching career at Davenport Jr. High School and later taught at Gamewell-Collettsville and Hibriten High Schools. He was a basketball coach at all three schools. His high school basketball teams went to the state playoffs eight out of the ten years that he coached. Mr. Beane continued his career in education, becoming the last principal of Lenoir High School and the first principal at West Caldwell High School. He became the Associate Superintendent of the Caldwell County Schools in 1982 and retired from the school system in 1994. He serves as a member of the Caldwell County Education Foundation and the Appalachian State University Reich College of Education Advancement Board of Directors. He also serves on the Caldwell Community College Education Foundation Board of Directors. He and his wife sponsor an annual scholarship for a senior at West Caldwell High School. He is a member of Mountain Grove Baptist Church where he is a Sunday school teacher and has served as chairman of the Board of Deacons. He served as a Caldwell County Commissioner from 1996-2004 and was re-elected to the Commission as its Vice-Chairman in 2006. He has served on the National Association of County Commissioners Public Land Steering Committee, the North Carolina County Commissioners Public Education Steering Committee, and as chairman of the Unifour Rural Planning Organization. He is the chairman of the Foothills Regional Airport Authority and was appointed in 2003 by Governor Easley as a member of the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund Board of Trustees. Mr. Beane has also been active in a number of community organizations. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Caldwell Friends, the Board of Directors of Caldwell Opportunities, and he was the first president of the North Carolina Foothills Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. He has served as a trustee for Valdese General Hospital and served on the Board of Blue Ridge HealthCare. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Caldwell County and served as president of that organization. Mr. Beane has been recognized in the community for his efforts to improve the quality of life in Caldwell County. He was selected Lenoir Jaycees Man of the Year in 1970; Lenoir Jaycees Boss of the Year in 1976; inducted into the Caldwell County Sports Hall of Fame in 1995; was the recipient of the Rotary Club Paul Harris Award in 1991, the recipient of the Gold Apple Award in 2001 and was honored with the Caldwell County L.A. Dysart Award in 2005. He was inducted into Gardner-Webb University's Gallery of Distinguished Alumni in 2006. Ron Beane's life has been characterized by his commitment and service to education in Caldwell County, to his church, and to his community. Mr. Beane and his wife Christine have two children, Paige Harris and Dr. Scott Beane. They have four grandchildren.
Dr. Caryl B. Burns
A native of Caldwell County, Caryl Burns graduated from Granite Falls High School in 1958. She graduated with a B.A. degree from Lenoir-Rhyne College, followed by M.A. and Ed.S. degrees from Appalachian State University. She earned an Ed.D. Degree in Administration, Curriculum and Teaching from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Dr. Burns began her teaching career in 1961 at St. Stephens High School in Catawba County, teaching English and French. She returned to Granite Falls High School in 1964 where she continued to teach and serve in many extracurricular roles. In 1971, she moved to the School Administrative Office, serving as Director of Federal Programs, Public Information Officer, and Assistant to the Superintendent for Program Services. The first kindergarten programs in the school system were implemented with federal funds during the time Dr. Burns served as Federal Programs Director. Dr. Burns started the public relations program for the school system. Dr. Burns became the principal of Granite Falls Middle School in 1985 where she served for fourteen years. She became the school system's first female high school principal when she moved to South Caldwell High in 1996. She held this position until 2003 when she returned to the Education Center to serve as the Director of School Improvement. In 2006 she was named the Associate Superintendent for Educational Program Services. Dr. Burns is a charter member of Alpha Delta Kappa Honorary Sorority of Educators, member of Phi Delta Kappa Honorary Fraternity for Educators, and has served as an adjunct professor and visiting lecturer at LR College, ASU, UNC-CH, and UNC-G. In addition to her accolades in the field of education, Dr. Burns also serves her community as a member of the Town Council of Granite Falls. She has served on the Board of Directors for Caldwell County United Way, the Western Piedmont Symphony, Foothills Performing Arts, and Smart Start/Communities in Schools. She serves on the Board of Directors of First Citizens Bank and the Granite Falls Historical Association. She was the first female member of the Granite Falls Rotary Club, served as its president, and also served as Assistant District Governor of Rotary. She has been honored as the Granite Falls Woman of the Year, Administrator of the Year, Principal of the Year, National Distinguished Principal's Award, Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, and the Satie Broyhill Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006 Dr. Burns was named to the Order of Long Leaf Pine by Governor Easley. Caryl Burns began playing the piano in her church at the age of ten. She has served as a church musician for over fifty years, currently as organist at First Baptist Church, Granite Falls. Dr. Caryl Burns, as an educator, community servant, and musician, has devoted her life to making a difference in Caldwell County. Dr. Burns was married to the late Dean Burns and is the mother of two daughters, Elizabeth Carswell and Suzanne Barlow. She has three grandchildren.
A.W. (Bert) Huffman, Jr.
A. W. Huffman, Jr., better known in Caldwell County as Mayor Huffman, graduated from Granite Falls High School in 1941 and attended Clevenger Business College in Hickory, NC. He was the owner of Huffman Hosiery Mill Inc., Huffman Finishing Company Inc., and B. Walker Enterprises Inc. of Granite Falls where he employed more than 350 people. Mr. Huffman began his twenty-eight years of public service when he was elected to the Town Council of Granite Falls in 1970. He served on the Council for one year and was elected Mayor of Granite Falls in 1971. He held that position for 27 years. During his tenure as Mayor, Mr. Huffman was instrumental in bringing new and expanding industry and commercial businesses to Granite Falls and Caldwell County. He worked diligently to obtain a second entrance into South Caldwell High School from the Granite Falls area. When the road was completed, it was appropriately named Bert Huffman Road in honor of his tireless efforts. Mr. Huffman was active through the years in his church and in his community. He was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Granite Falls. He was a charter member and served as a past president of the Lovelady Rescue Squad. He served as a member and chairman of the Board of Directors of First Citizens Bank, as president of the Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce in 1977, and as a member and president of the Rotary Club of Granite Falls. Mr. Huffman was particularly interested and involved in economic development. He was a member of the first Caldwell County Economic Development Board, appointed in 1984 and served as the Vice President and as President of ElectriCities of North Carolina and as Vice Chairman of the North Carolina Power Agency #1. He served as a commissioner or alternate commissioner on the North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors from 1979 until 1997. He also served on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina League of Municipalities in 1982. Mr. Huffman was recognized through the years for his dedicated service to the community and its citizens. He was a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow and was recognized as the Man of the Year by the Lions Club of Granite Falls. He received the Gold Apple Award for his service to education and was recognized in 1999 by the Caldwell Economic Development Commission with the Herman Anderson Economic Development Award. Mr. Huffman was well-known for his hobby of collecting antique cars and fire trucks, and he often shared his collections with the community. He was also a well-known pilot, having made his first solo flight over Sandy Ridge Airport at the age of 12. Mr. Huffman, who passed away March 6, 2007, is survived by his wife, the former Patsy Thompson. They have three children, A.W., III (Al), Lee, Adele, and five grandchildren. Mayor Bert Huffman lived a life dedicated to service to his community and its citizens.
Edward A. Bryant
A native of Caldwell County, Edward Bryant graduated from Happy Valley High School in 1945. He received a BA and an MA in Art and Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study in Italy, and returned to begin his professional career as the General Curator of the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, CT (1959-61), after which he served as the Associate Curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, (1961-65). Mr. Bryant was Director of the University Art Gallery and an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, (1965-68). At Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, he was a Professor of Fine Arts, (l968-1980), where he also served as Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts and Director of The Picker Art Gallery. He retired as Professor Emeritus from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque after serving as a Professor of Art & Art History and the Director of the University Art Museum from 1980-1993. During his 35 years in the professional museum and university fields, he authored 8 books, some 48 articles and reviews, and organized over 100 exhibitions with introductory essays in 43 of the exhibition catalogues. As a much loved and respected professor of art history, he taught courses ranging from introduction to art to graduate courses on sculpture. He was awarded many opportunities for scholarly study, including grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ford Foundation. Along with special interests in Early Italian Art, American 19th and 20th Century Art, Modern Art, African Art, and Contemporary Art, he distinguished himself with exemplary character and superb and significant contributions in his chosen field. Honors that Mr. Bryant received include Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Art, Dictionary of International Biography, Honorary Order of Tar Heels, Esquire Magazine's Important Museum Curators, and the Order of Kentucky Colonels. A 1954 News-Topic article states, "When he entered the University, he registered for pharmacy, but one of his professors saw some of his art work and advised him that he was in the wrong field and that he should by all means study art. He changed," and Edward Bryant, the art world, and Caldwell County are all better for it. Mr. Bryant, who passed away in 2003, is survived by his wife, Tamara T. Bryant, who lives in Longmont, Colorado, and their two children, Adam Bryant and Mary Bryant Suozzi.
Dr. Annette Dula
A native of Caldwell County, Dr. Annette Dula graduated from Freedman High School in 1959 and attended Hampton Institute to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Biology Education in 1963. She earned a Master of Natural Science Degree from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Education Administration from New York University. Her Doctorate of Education focused on Philosophy of Education and was received from Harvard University in 1987. She attended the McLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. In 1963 Dr. Dula embarked on her professional career as a Biology teacher in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Later professional experiences included inner city teacher at the University of the Streets in New York City; Educational Administrator at the Educational Opportunity Center of Westchester Community College in Yonkers, New York; an editor of the Harvard Educational Review; member of the research staff with Atari Computer Corp and co-founded "The Learning Group" to guide Atari's educational product development and implementation; assistant professor of Medical Ethics at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center at Worcester; Research Assistant and Clinical Medical Ethics Fellow at the University of Chicago Hospitals; visiting Fellow at the Center for Values and Social Policy and as Senior Research Associate for Women's Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder; and an affiliate faculty member at the Center for Bioethics and Health Law at the University of Pittsburg, PA. In 1992, she received a Rockefeller Residency Fellowship to complete the book, It Just Ain't Fair: The Ethics of Healthcare for African Americans. In 1999 she helped establish the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care at Tuskegee University, Alabama. Since then, she has been scholar, consultant, and advisory board member at the Tuskegee Center. Dr. Dula's honors and awards include her service on the Hillary Rodham-Clinton Health Care Task Force; a Public Service Grant from the University of Massachusetts; a National Endowment for Humanities Grant; and an NFS Fellowship for Science Teachers. She has been published in over 25 works regarding ethics and has served as presenter at approximately 100 conferences and other forums. She belongs to numerous professional organizations including the American Public Health Association, the American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities, Association of Practical and Professional Ethics, Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight for the University of Pittsburg, and Howard University's Gilmore Center CEER Project. Dr. Annette Dula has a passion for helping and making a difference for others, one that she fulfills most admirably. The daughter of Elizabeth Dula of Lenoir, she and her husband, Mark Gross, currently reside in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
Wilfred A. Roberts
Wilfred Roberts is a native of Caldwell County, the son of the late Fred and Edna Roberts. He attended Kings Creek School, Davenport School, and Lenoir High School. Mr. Roberts has been Principal Bassoon of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 1965. He was an accomplished pianist at an early age and often played the piano and organ during morning worship at Lower Creek Baptist Church. One of his fondest memories of his teenage years is having the grand champion 4-H Club steer at the Caldwell County Fair six out of seven years. He was very active in the Band at Lenoir High School. Although the bassoon was his principal instrument, because of his excellent music ability he played other instruments on call, including percussion. After graduating from Lenoir High School in 1959, he attended Oberlin Music Conservatory where he studied bassoon and graduated with highest honors. He also studied at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria. Before beginning his career in the United States, he served as Principal Bassoonist of the Camerata Academica Orchestra of Salzburg, touring throughout Europe and recording on the Deutsche Gramophone label. Examples of his extreme lyrical yet strong style and his exceptional control of the instrument are heard on extensive recordings with the Dallas Symphony on the RCA, Telarc, Angel, Pro Arte, Dorian, Delos, and Hyperion labels. Throughout his career and on the national and international tours, his playing has been referred to as that which represents the top of his profession. He serves on the faculty at Southern Methodist University and has served on the faculties of North Texas State University, University of Indiana, and University of Michigan School of Music. He has performed in various leading summer festivals of music throughout his career and as Contractor of Musicians with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. For many years, he has served other American orchestras' personnel managers and musicians as consultant on labor problems, attitudes and arbitration. In recent years, he has participated as panelist in several national conferences on the state and future of American symphony orchestras. Although Roberts and his family live in Dallas, Texas, he keeps close ties with his Caldwell County friends and maintains the family farm in the Cedar Rock Community, visiting often and staying involved in local affairs. His Caldwell County ties include his loyal support of the Caldwell Community College, the Dream Program, and Caldwell County Hospice. Wilfred Roberts, as one of today's premier bassoonists, internationally recognized for his consummate artistry, is a proud son of Caldwell County. He is married to Nancy Meisel Roberts and has three children, Timothy, Michael, and Gretchen, and four grandchildren.