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GAA Installs New Officers and Board Members

Donald W. Curtis ’63 of Raleigh was installed as chair of the GAA Board of Directors at the Annual Alumni Luncheon on May 7, succeeding D. Jordan “Jordy” Whichard III ’79 of Greenville. Eric S. Montross ’94 of Chapel Hill took office as chair-elect.

Curtis, chairman and CEO of Curtis Media Group, has served on the GAA board as first vice chair and as an N.C. district director, and he is a member of the UNC Board of Trustees. He also serves on the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s board of visitors and the boards of the N.C. Community Foundation and the UNC-TV Foundation. He is a former member of the UNC Health Care System board of directors. Curtis was chosen last year as chair-elect by the GAA board.

Montross, a member of the 1993 NCAA championship Tar Heels basketball team and former professional player, is a commentator for men’s basketball games on the Tar Heel Sports Network radio broadcast. Montross has served on the GAA board as a representative to the University’s Athletic Council and as an appointed at-large representative. He received the GAA’s Distinguished Young Alumnus Award in 2009.

As a result of elections decided by GAA members, Sally Price Ormand ’58 of Monroe is the board’s new first vice chair and Draggan Mihailovich ’83 of Stamford, Conn., is the new second vice chair.

Ormand, a retired registered nurse, has served on the board since 2008 as an N.C. district director. She is a former leader of the Union County Carolina Club and member of a Morehead (now Morehead-Cain) Scholarship regional committee.

Mihailovich, a producer with CBS’ 60 Minutes, has served on the board since 2008 as an out-of-state district director. He was a recipient of the GAA’s Distinguished Young Alumnus Award in 2001 and has been a Nelson Benton lecturer at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

New directors elected to three-year terms representing N.C. districts are:

  • Dr. Ernest Jerome Goodson ’76 of Fayetteville, to the district for Anson, Brunswick, Chatham, Columbus, Cumberland, Hoke, Lee, Moore, New Hanover, Richmond, Robeson, Scotland, Stanly and Montgomery counties. Goodson is an orthodontist who also received his doctor of dental surgery degree from UNC in 1979. He is a past recipient of the Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Alumni Award, given by the UNC Black Alumni Reunion, and is on the board of directors of the UNC Health Care System.
  • Dershie Bridgford McDevitt ’64 of Asheville, to the district for Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Forsyth, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin and Yancey counties. McDevitt is a community volunteer and fiction writer and is a past chair of a Morehead (now Morehead-Cain) Scholarship regional committee.
  • Emily L. Williamson ’99 of Hildebran, to the district for Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Rutherford and Union counties. Williamson, who also earned a master’s of public administraion degree from UNC in 2003, is vice president of student development at Western Piedmont Community College as well as mayor pro tempore of Hildebran. Williamson is a past president of the Foothills Carolina Club and in 2009 received the GAA’s Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.

New directors elected to three-year terms representing out-of-state alumni are:

  • Eric E. Van Loon ’67 of Concord, Mass., to the district for Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont and for alumni who live outside the U.S. Van Loon is a mediator, arbitrator and owner of JAMS, The Resolution Experts.
  • Peter A. Harkness ’65 of Washington, D.C., to the district for Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia. Harkness is founder and publisher emeritus of Governing magazine, a columnist for Governing and a senior adviser to the Pew Center on the States.
  • Debra Pickrel ’80 of New York, to the district for Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. Pickrel is the principal of Pickrel Communications.

Appointed as at-large directors are:

  • James E. Delany ’70 of Hinsdale, Ill., for a three-year term. Delany, who also earned his law degree from UNC in 1973, is commissioner of the Big Ten Conference. He has served on the GAA Board of Directors as an out-of-state district director (2005-08).
  • Rep. Tim Moore ’92 of Kings Mountain, for a three-year term. Moore is an attorney in Kings Mountain and has represented Cleveland County in the N.C. House since 2003. He also is a former member of the UNC System Board of Governors (1997-2001).
  • Teresa Holland Williams ’77 of Huntersville, for a two-year term, completing the term of Montross as he becomes chair-elect. Williams is a former member of the UNC Board of Visitors and a founding member of UNC’s Light on the Hill Society.

New director elected to a three-year term on UNC’s Athletic Council is:

  • L. Ferguson “Ferg” Norton ’61 of Wilmington. Norton is treasurer of the First Flight Foundation. As the foundation’s former executive director, he was instrumental in staging commemoration of the Centennial of Powered Flight in December 2003. Also, as a carrier-based fighter pilot in the Navy, he served in five positions of command and retired as rear admiral after 32 years.

Bland Simpson ’70 of Chapel Hill has been appointed as the faculty representative on the board. Simpson is Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor of English and Creative Writing, has taught in UNC’s creative writing program since 1982 and was the program’s director from 2002 to mid-2008.He was awarded UNC’s Tanner Faculty Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2004, and he is the author of seven books, including The Coasts of Carolina: Seaside to Sound Country, published in 2010 by UNC Press. Since 1986, Simpson also has been a member of the Tony Award-winning stringband The Red Clay Ramblers.

The board has reappointed William P. Aycock II ’65 of Greensboro as counsel to the board, Anthony Eden Rand ’61 of Fayetteville as treasurer and Dwight M. “Davy” Davidson III ’77 of Greensboro as assistant treasurer.


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