Grandfather Mountain, the not-for-profit nature park run by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, has announced that Harris Prevost – longtime employee and former right-hand man of the late Hugh Morton – has been inducted into The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest honorary society.
Among the most prestigious awards conferred by the Governor of North Carolina, this honor is given to persons who have made significant contributions to the State of North Carolina and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.
Prevost has had a long career of working tirelessly for the benefit of the tourism, film and sports industries in North Carolina. He has also shaped the lives of countless individuals through his teaching and involvement in nonprofit organizations.
Prevost is a former vice president of Grandfather Mountain, where he continues to serve after 50 years. He’s been a voice and leader for the state’s treasured landmarks and tourism industry, receiving the esteemed Winners Circle Award for his contributions to tourism in 2018.
He began working with Morton 50 years ago at Grandfather Golf, a position that eventually led to his leadership role at Grandfather Mountain. He served for more than 30 years as Morton’s right hand, serving to promote and manage Grandfather Mountain. He also worked tirelessly to represent Morton and the mountain across the region in a variety of capacities.
Prevost has worked in public relations, advertising, fundraising, civic engagement and operations. Working alongside Morton in the fight for clean air, he will forever be a true steward of the environment.
“You truly can’t put into words the impact Harris has had on this mountain,” said Jesse Pope, president and executive director of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. “While he is among the fortunate few who can say they worked and learned alongside Hugh Morton, one of the greatest treasures and champions this state has ever known, Harris has certainly left his own mark in a notable way. His work ethic, character and winning personality are valued and beloved across North Carolina.”
“He cares deeply for his friends, his family and his co-workers,” said Pope. “He cares deeply for Grandfather Mountain and what this place means to people. He cares about the legacy that’s been left behind us and the future that stands in front of us.”
Prevost has also been a strong voice for the benefits that the film industry brings to North Carolina. From working with the director of “Forrest Gump” to hosting dozens of car commercials and other film projects on Grandfather Mountain, he knows the value of the industry in terms of jobs, recognition and the financial support it can bring to an area.
Those who know him know he has many passions beyond his excellent work in tourism. He is also an adamant supporter of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s academics and athletics. He was a member of the UNC Golf Team during his time in Chapel Hill and, these days, attends as many sporting events as he can each season. He currently serves on the board of directors for the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
Prevost also continued Morton’s ACC Outing. For over six decades, the ACC Outing has brought together ACC media, coaches and various stakeholders for a few rounds of golf in the North Carolina High Country each year. It’s created a family atmosphere and has drawn dozens of attendees annually.
He was also a professor at Appalachian State University for many years and has furthered the cause of education in the state, not only through his teaching, but also with his advocacy for educational opportunity. This complements Prevost’s service on many committees and boards during his career, including for the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, North Carolina Tourism Industry Association, High Country Host, Southern Highlands Attractions, Blue Ridge Parkway Association, North Carolina Mountain Resources Commission and the North Carolina Golf Panel, among others.
Prevost was honored Monday at Grandfather Mountain’s Wilson Center for Nature Discovery. His family, friends, peers and colleagues gathered for a surprise celebration honoring him and his award.
“I was shocked when I walked in the door, and I’m still shocked at all the people that were here,” said Prevost. “I’m a Tar Heel. I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve seen who’s won the award, and to be included with those is an amazing tribute. I don’t deserve it, but I’m not giving it back! I guess what means the most to me, and that [the award] means a lot, is to have all my friends here and my family. … Every member of my family is here and all these friends, some I haven’t seen in probably 10 years. So that, that they came, that’s what means the most.”
Courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation
The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, visit www.grandfather.com.