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Lees-McRae President Barry Buxton awarded prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine

Lees-McRae President Barry Buxton was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory Friday morning. president-buxton-long-leaf-award

Created in 1963, the award is one of several civilian-focused honors the governor of North Carolina can bestow.

In order of precedence, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine is the second most prestigious award presented by the governor. On several occasions, the award has been regarded as the highest-ranking civilian honor achievable even though legally, that rank is given to the North Carolina Award.

The Order of the Pine is presented to “persons for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty and which has made a significant impact on…North Carolina,” according to the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Society website.

President Buxton joins about 15,000 other recipients of the award—some of which include Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey and Andy Griffith.

Buxton was nominated by Lees-McRae Board of Trustees member, North Carolina Rep. and ’85 alumnus Mitchell Setzer.

Setzer said the president was long overdue for the award.

“(President Buxton’s) impact helped save Lees-McRae College,” Setzer said. “His efforts and abilities have brought Lees-McRae to a new level.”