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Parkhill honored with Order of the Long Leaf Pine

BRCC President Molly Parkhill receives Order of the Long Leaf Pine from BRCC Chairman John McCormick. BRCC President Molly Parkhill receives Order of the Long Leaf Pine from BRCC Chairman John McCormick.

Blue Ridge Community College President Molly Parkhill received the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine at a surprise ceremony during her retirement reception at the Thomas Auditorium Gallery at BRCC Thursday.

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BRCC Board Chair John McCormick Jr. presented the award to Parkhill on behalf of Sen. Chuck Edwards, who was unable to break away from the legislative session in Raleigh in time to present the award.
Parkhill retires from the presidency on June 30 after 31 years of service to Blue Ridge Community College, the past 10 as president.
“This is the highest honor you can be given in the state of North Carolina as a citizen from the legislature,” McCormick said.

“It means a lot to me,” Parkhill said. “I was very much surprised. I wasn’t expecting this recognition. I’m very humble, very honored. I have been very blessed to be able to serve Blue Ridge Community College for 31 years and have the opportunity to serve as president for the past 10.
“I can’t take credit for what this institution has meant to the community in Henderson County and Transylvania County and the dedicated faculty and staff. I am so blessed to be a part of it and to be able to leave this fine group of faculty. This award’s really for them.”
The Order of the Long Leaf Pine was signed by Gov. Roy Cooper and presented to Parkhill on behalf of Sen. Edwards and Reps. Chuck McGrady, of Hendersonville, and Cody Henson, of Rosman. Edwards, McGrady and Henson recommended Parkhill for the honor.

To be considered for the award, candidates must undergo a rigorous nomination and evaluation process, making the award one of the most distinguished accolades in the state of North Carolina. Established in 1963, the award is bestowed upon those who have a long and extraordinary record of service to North Carolina. Originally, the award was created in order to promote and interest in North Carolina as recipients of the award traveled to many functions, meetings and public appearances and had great influence with their high stature.

Induction into the order makes the honoree an ambassador of North Carolina entitled to propose the "North Carolina toast in select company anywhere in the free world."

Here's to the land of the long leaf pine

The summer land where the sun doth shine

Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great

Here's to "down home," the Old North State!