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|For Immediate Release
March 31, 2000
Governor's Chief of Staff Receives UNC Asheville's
ASHEVILLE -- UNC Asheville Chancellor James H. Mullen presented the Chancellor's Medallion to Wayne McDevitt, chief of staff to Governor James Hunt, today for McDevitt's extraordinary contributions to higher education, community service and public leadership. More than 200 people gathered at the North Carolina Arboretum for the event honoring the 1975 UNCA graduate and Marshall native.
Joining Chancellor Mullen at the podium were Governor Hunt and McDevitt's son, Nicholas, a junior at UNCA majoring in history.
"If Wayne McDevitt is known for anything, it is his capacity for hard and effective work to achieve the common good. . . . He has boundless enthusiasm and commitment to public service, serving all of us," Governor Hunt told the audience. The Governor touched on many of McDevitt's achievements in state service, including his work as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and as general manager of the Arboretum.
Chancellor Mullen, saying this was "a very special and very rare day in UNC Asheville's history," presented the medallion to McDevitt, "the great son of our university."
"Wayne McDevitt represents what the Liberal Arts education should be about," said Chancellor Mullen. "He represents the kind of ideals we teach every day -- devotion to family, commitment to service, to integrity, to passion, to getting the job done. There is no truer friend to our ideals, there is no truer friend to this university, and there is no stronger voice for the people of this state and this region."
Nicholas McDevitt talked of his love for his father and his father's love of his family. "I already knew I had something special in Wayne McDevitt. This prestigious medallion is a symbol of how special he is to you. It is a symbol of the hard work, creativeness, dedication and desire that my dad has to be the best at everything he does. Congratulations, Dad," he said.
The Chancellor's Medallion is presented at the discretion of the Chancellor and is considered one of the most distinguished honors UNC Asheville can bestow. It symbolizes UNC Asheville's commitment to the highest ideals in the search for truth, scholarly teaching and research, and service to the university.
McDevitt has served as Governor Hunt's chief of staff for the past year, and prior to that, as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. In these capacities, he worked with federal and local governments on economic development, transportation and agricultural and environmental issues. He served as chair of the N.C. Democratic Party from 1995-96, and was director of the Governor's Western Office from 1980-84. He served as special assistant to the Chancellor of UNCA from 1984-85.
McDevitt was involved in the development of the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, a 285-acre environmental, ecological and conservation education center within the University of North Carolina system. As general manager and associate director from 1985-92, he led the Arboretum's development.
In 1998, McDevitt received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from UNC Asheville for his distinguished career in public service
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