Hall of Honor 2011 Inductees
Dr. Joann Horton
Dr. Joann Horton is the daughter of Jasper Horton and Laura Patterson Horton, both deceased, of Lenoir. She graduated from Kings Creek School in 1966, attended Appalachian State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in French. She earned her Ph.D. at The Ohio State University in Higher Education Administration and has more than 30 years experience in academic administration and senior executive leadership in higher education institutions and in state government.
Dr. Horton is the Chief Executive Officer of Team Masters, Inc, a management consulting agency focused on teambuilding and strategic planning. She served as the Chief Operating Officer of Pacific Crest Software, an educational consulting and publishing firm, and prior to this position she held several leadership roles, including Iowa Community Colleges Division Administrator and State Director of the Iowa Community College System in which she successfully transformed the two-year college structure among all fifteen institutions into a system. Within her leadership experiences, she is noted as the first woman and eighth President of Texas Southern University in Houston. She led organizational change and improved operations when filling the roles as senior executive at Baltimore City Community College, City Colleges of Chicago and in the Department of General Services for the State of Tennessee.
A Leadership Illinois fellow, Dr. Horton has dutifully served on a variety of boards and commissions throughout her career, such as Chicago Access Network Television, Texas Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors, the Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts Board, Southern Regional Education Board and the American Council on Education Commission on Women in Higher Education. She has been the recipient of numerous honors and recognitions to include Commendation from the 74th Texas Legislature, the Appalachian State University Distinguished Alumni Award, Texas Black Women’s Hall of Fame, Outstanding Administrator in Education, 7th Congressional District of Illinois, and the Alpha Gamma Pi Outstanding Woman of the Year Community Service Award. Her community activities range from chairing American Red Cross Chapters to providing strategic planning expertise to Imagine Houston to membership in Rotary International. She is an active volunteer with the Kwame Nkrumah Academy, Leadership Illinois and I-STAR Foundation.
She is the sister of John P. Horton and Elizabeth J. Horton of Lenoir; Emma Lindsey, Barbara Horton-Alomar, Nancy Banner, Mary Alomar and Janice Horton (deceased) of Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Horton currently resides in Chicago, Illinois, where she enjoys tennis, reading, the arts, travel and mentoring young leaders.
Dr. Annie Katherine Prestwood
Caldwell County native Dr. Annie Katherine Prestwood, daughter of the late John H. and Beatrice Adkins Prestwood of Lenoir attended Whitnel Elementary School and graduated from Hudson High School in 1953. Immediately after graduation, she began working for Dr. Donald Lackey’s veterinary practice and was encouraged to pursue her dream of becoming a veterinarian. She enrolled at Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina in 1954 and later earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from North Carolina State University. She continued her studies at the University of Georgia’s School of Veterinary Medicine from which she received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree (D.V.M.) in 1962. At the University of Georgia, Dr. Prestwood persisted to earn a Master of Science degree in Parasitology in 1964 and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Disease and Parasitology in 1968, pioneering research into the parasitological aspects of upland game birds throughout the southeastern United States.
In 1966 she became the Veterinary Parasitologist for the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, a participant in the investigative study of animal parasitic diseases that involved research in South America. She authored or co-authored 110 publications in nationally recognized and referred scientific journals. Her research support included the National Institutes of Health, USDA, Veterinary Medical Experiment Station, and the U.S. Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service. Dr. Prestwood taught graduate level courses in Veterinary Parasitology and Helminthology at the University of Georgia for 37 years, becoming Professor Emeritus in 1997. For her exemplary leadership and dedication to her chosen profession, she was awarded the Josiah Meigs Award for Excellence in Teaching from the University of Georgia, the Distinguished Service Award Wildlife Disease Association in which she served as President and the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine. During her notable career she served as the Vice President of the American Society of Parasitologists and President of the Animal Disease Research Workers of Southern States.
After retirement, she returned to Caldwell County as her home. She was married to the late Professor Frank A. Hayes. Three of her sisters continue to live in this area: Elsie Greene, Doris Kincaid and Linda Estes. One sister, Barbara Collins of Lenoir, is deceased. She is an active volunteer in the community, a member of Altrusa International of Caldwell County, the Caldwell County Foothills Bird Club and an avid photographer, especially fond of photographing wildlife. Dr. Prestwood’s specialized field of study in the scientific world contributed greatly toward the improvement of living conditions and the betterment of health worldwide.
Dr. Michael H. Palmer
Michael H. Palmer is the son of the late Lawrence Palmer Sr. and Faye Palmer, who is a 107-year-old resident of Lenoir. He graduated from Collettsville School in 1951, attended Charlotte College earning an associate’s degree and continued his education at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and minors in History and French. Later, he received a master’s degree from Appalachian State University in English/American Literature and earned a Ph.D. from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Twentieth-Century American and British Fiction and Drama and a minor in higher education. His professional career has been dedicated to teaching and a lifelong love of learning.
With more than 12 years of administrative experience, including Chair, Department of English at Louisburg College, he has served as professor or instructor at Gardner-Webb College, Pfeiffer University, Campbell University, NC Wesleyan College, Hardbarger Junior College of Business, Nash Technical Community College, Vance-Granville Community College, Northern High School in Durham and the former Gamewell High School. Dr. Palmer has presented and/or published over one hundred papers in a wide variety of areas, basically relating to language, literature, speech communication and cinema. Dr. Palmer was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to India in 1985 and to Mexico and Central America in 1991. He was named the Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature to both Romania and to Moscow University in Russia.
While traveling extensively abroad, Dr. Palmer has chaired international education committees on literature, culture association, and the Arts. He was offered two NEH Fellowships and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 1978 and in 1979. Before Dr. Palmer’s retirement in 1997, he was actively involved in more than twenty professional organizations, such as American Culture Association, Conference on College Composition and Communication, and Popular Culture Association in the South. He has received state and national acclaim through civic involvement in the Lions Club International and the Ruritan Club.
After his retirement, he continued teaching at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, NC for 12 years. Dr. Palmer has also served as director of college news bureau; associate director of public relations; editor of alumni magazine; editor of a biweekly newspaper and he served in the U.S. Army from 1955-57 as a medical supply officer. Dr. Palmer is an avid reader and an engaged traveler, who still finds time to volunteer in his grandchildren’s schools, teaching poetry-writing workshops. He has two sons in the Raleigh/Durham area, Michael Palmer and Patrick Palmer, and four grandchildren: Zachery, Brooks, Tyler, and Grace. He is the brother of Carole C. Palmer and Edith Laws of Lenoir; Marjorie O’Neill; Lawrence Palmer Jr.; and Shirley Rader and William C. Palmer, both deceased. Dr. Palmer resides in Raleigh, where he is a potter and a self-taught painter.
Walter Lee Roberts
Walter Lee Roberts was born April 1, 1933 to Ralph Lee and Dana Hart Roberts. He graduated from Granite Falls High School in 1951 and served in the U.S. Army in Korea. He graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne College in 1956 after completing BS degrees in chemistry, physics and mathematics.
Mr. Roberts accepted a position with Shuford Mills, Inc. in Hickory, and later joined Superior Cable Company, a predecessor of the current CommScope. He served as Director of Engineering and at the time of his untimely death was serving as Vice President of Engineering. He was only 39 year old when he died in a single engine airplane crash in the Sherrill’s Ford area of Catawba County in a plane that he was piloting.
Mr. Roberts’ research and development in the telecommunications industry affect each of us today. Beginning with engineering improvements to multi-pair telephone cables, he correctly predicted that a new industry would develop which we know today as cable television. He knew that new cable products would be needed to provide the necessary quality and performance characteristics needed to allow the transmission of television signals over coaxial cables in a broadband network. He initiated the research and development of these cables, ranging from small flexible cables to large semi-flexible trunk and distribution cables that have become the worldwide gold standard.
His research has also been important to the development of computer networks and the broadband networks needed to support communications around the world. The company he helped to establish became the world’s largest manufacturer of coaxial cables. At the time of his death, Mr. Roberts held the patent for the coaxial cable, along with four other patents which are important parts of the telecommunications industry. His research has been reported in various industry publications including Electrical Engineering;Telephony; and TV Communications: The Professional Journal of Cable Television.
Mr. Roberts is survived by his wife, Frances Roberts Raney; his daughter, Rebecca R. Rousseau; two sons, Michael Lee Roberts, and Christopher David Roberts; one brother, Boyce Roberts; and one sister, Rachel G. Bumgarner.