Curtis Worthy, president of the Cumberland County Chapter of the Fayetteville State University National Alumni Association and a 1978 graduate of FSU, was presented with The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory. The award was presented last month during ceremony in Raleigh.
Among the honors and awards the governor of North Carolina can bestow, none is more valued than The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Since its creation in 1963, it has been presented to honor persons who have a proven record of service to the state of North Carolina or some other special achievement and to others as a gesture of friendship and goodwill.
Upon being honored with The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the honoree receives a certificate by which the governor confers upon the recipient “…the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary privileged to enjoy fully all rights granted to members of this exalted order among which is the special privilege to propose the following 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!”
In addition to his work for FSU, Worthy provided years of service to Fayetteville/Cumberland County. For 10 years he was a member of the Fayetteville City Council. He also served as the city’s liaison to the Public Works Commission and the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. A member of Kingdom Impact Global Ministries in Fayetteville (formerly Parks Chapel Freewill Baptist Church), he was instrumental in starting the E.A. Jackson Scholarship.
Worthy joins a list of FSU alumni and other prominent state and national figures who have received the award. Among them are historian John Hope Franklin, Oprah Winfrey, and the late poet and Wake Forest University professor, Maya Angelou, an individual Worthy holds in high esteem.
“When they mentioned that she was a recipient, that was the height of my day and that’s what gave me goose bumps,” Worthy said. “God knows, I am in good company with Maya Angelou and to be elevated to that level is a great milestone.”