ism. Wright was named executive director of the commission in 1999. He was selected as chair of the
standing committee on professionalism for the American Bar Association in August.
Perry Lee Bullock (’ 67 MPH), 86, of Nashville, Tenn.;
Oct. 29, 2008. Bullock, a microbiologist, retired from
the laboratory service division for the state of
Tennessee. Later, he worked in a lab at Vanderbilt
University. He served in the Civilian Conservation
Corps in WWII. Kathryn Dodson Fort (’ 67 AB), 65,
of Hampstead; Nov. 8, 2008. Fort was a landscape
designer who worked in Longwood Gardens in
Pennsylvania as well as the N.C. Botanical Garden.
She took on private projects in Germany and along
the N.C. coast. After she married, she and her husband worked with U.S. Defense Department schools
in Stuttgart, Germany. They returned to the N.C.
coast in 1992. Richard Lee Whitenton (’ 67 MS),
66, of Fairfax, Va.; Nov. 12, 2008. Whitenton was
senior consulting engineer with Computer Science
Corp. and a vice president of Nichols Research Corp.
He served in the Army for 21 years, and his honors
included the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters,
the Vietnam Service Medal and the Republic of
Vietnam Campaign Medal.
’ 68 Peter Thacher Grauer (’ 68 AB) of Greenwich, Conn., has received the William R.
Davie Award from UNC. Grauer, co-founder of DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and DLJ
Investment Partners and now chairman of Bloomberg
LP, was recognized for his stewardship of UNC’s Honors Program. He has led the external advisory board
for the program since 1997. Toy Spotswood Poole
(’ 68 BSCH) of Vicksburg, Miss., has become a member of the international board of directors for ASTM
International, one of the largest developers of international voluntary consensus standards. Poole is a
chemist in the research and development center of
the Army Corps of Engineers. Robert Prentice
“Robin” Read Jr. (’ 68 AB) of Portsmouth, N.H., has
been elected to the New Hampshire House. As a
member of the House in the 1980s, Read served on
the science, technology and energy committee. He
coordinated renewable energy programs in the
administration of then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen and, in
2008, was named co-chair of New Hampshire Environmentalists for Obama.
John Nathaniel Bristow Jr. (’ 68), 62, of Morehead
City; Nov. 18, 2008. Bristow was employed by
PowerHouse of Newport and became known as
“John the Generator Man” for helping provide stand-by generator systems. He was scorekeeper for the
The Journey of a Pioneering Politician
His election as mayor of Chapel Hill in 1969 Howard and the barriers he overcame are true use that experience to
made Howard Lee ’ 66 (MSW) the first for the whole nation — civil rights, black power enhance my life in the
black chief executive of a predominantly white and higher education and opening up society to broader society,” Lee said. profile
Southern town since Reconstruction. Friends people of color.” “UNC gave me the confi-and colleagues urged him at the time to write a Robert Seymour, pastor emeritus at Binkley dence to understand myself
book about his experiences, but he didn’t think Baptist Church and Lee’s minister while the more and to be able to test myself more in dif-the time was right. Lees attended Binkley, also read the manu- ferent ways.”
“I resisted writing this book, and I frankly script. He said Lee’s election as mayor fore- After he graduated, Lee managed an experi-didn’t think I had anything to say,” Lee said in shadowed the election of Barack Obama as mental youth program at Duke University. The
an interview. “I still think I made the right deci- president, and the two campaigns are remark- Lees were the first black homeowners in a pre-sion to wait and write this book now.” ably similar: In Chapel Hill, there was a huge viously all-white neighborhood and had to
Lee also spoke about his book, The Courage grass-roots effort to get endure threatening phone
to Lead: One Man’s Journey in Public Service, out the vote and a calls and a cross burning
published by Cotton Patch Press/John F. Blair in tremendous enthusiasm in their yard.
Winston-Salem, at a Meet the Author Luncheon for the candidate. All of that is detailed in
Nov. 12 as part of the GAA’s College for Life- “Howard’s election The Courage to Lead, as
long Learning. The book details that mayoral was a pivotal step for- well as some bitter memo-campaign, as well as his childhood as the son ward in the civil rights ries: Lee was beaten by Ku
of a sharecropper in Lithonia, Ga., his cam- movement,” Seymour Klux Klansmen when, as a
paigns for Congress in 1972 and lieutenant gov- said. “He helped pave the youngster, he tried to enter
ernor in 1976, his election to the N.C. Senate way. He generated confi- a “whites only” restroom.
and service there from 1990 to 1994 and from dence and calmness Seymour particularly
1996 to 2002. In 2003, Lee became the first wherever he went.” liked Lee’s vivid descrip-African-American elected by the N.C. State Frank Porter Graham tions of the indignities and
Board of Education as its chair. (class of 1909) deserves oppression in the rural
“The determination and the focus that I had credit for urging Lee to South. “I find it almost
of wanting to overcome barriers and break attend UNC. Graham, the unbelievable that in spite
through started at a very young age,” Lee said former president of the of all that he endured in
in the interview. “And I frankly did not appreci- Consolidated University of times of segregation he is
ate some of the intensity that I was carrying, North Carolina, met Lee able to say, ‘I am glad I
wanting to be part of the mainstream, as much in Savannah in the early grew up in the South,’ ” he
as I have appreciated it looking back.” 1960s and was so said.
Lee spent the past five years writing the impressed with the young Barnes and Seymour
book, taking weekends and holidays to labor parole officer that he agree that The Courage to
over the manuscript. He called on some friends urged him to come to Howard Lee ’ 66 (MSW) came to Chapel Hill to pur- Lead provides a great les-to take a look at the manuscript, including Billy UNC to pursue a master’s son for young people.
sue a graduate degree and went on to become part
Barnes ’ 57, a freelance writer and photographer degree and promised him “Whatever you want to do
of the town and state political leadership.
in Chapel Hill and a longtime friend. Barnes a scholarship. So Lee is possible,” Barnes said.
was called upon to read a section of the book brought his wife, Lillian, and their two children “You can succeed, whatever natural talents
that dealt with Lee’s 1969 campaign for mayor to Chapel Hill. allow you to be if you work hard and put your-of Chapel Hill, in which Barnes and his wife, Lee came to UNC in 1964 and credits the self out there and risk failure in order to realize
Anne, worked. But Barnes found himself com- University with giving him his first opportunity dreams.”
pelled to read the entire manuscript. at a life in an integrated environment. He was Seymour said: “I hope the book will inspire
“The book reflects the history of the second elected president of the Student Association of young people, particularly young African-Ameri-half of the 20th century and is a good look at Social Workers. cans, to see that even in the midst of adversity
what America and the Southeast was like at “UNC basically allowed me to find myself in you can find hope and opportunity.”
the time,” Barnes said. “What happened to relation to people of different ethnic groups and — Don Evans ’ 80