Carrie McLean Honored with Order of the Long Leaf Pine
The award is granted by the North Carolina Office of the Governor for retiring individuals who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.
What does Carrie McLean have in common with Maya Angelou, Andy Griffith, Tennessee Williams, Michael Jordan, Itzak Perlman and Oprah Winfrey? They are all members of what is considered North Carolina’s highest honor of recognition for state service, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
The award is granted by the Office of the Governor for retiring individuals who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.
McLean, formerly assistant dean for advising in University College and the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, retired last December with 36 years of service. For decades, she was a beloved advisor, guide, steward and friend to students, colleagues, faculty and staff, and is now among the newest members of the Order.
Prior to McLean’s retirement, Yvette Thompson, university program specialist for University College, suggested nominating Mclean for the Order as another way for the university to express gratitude.
“When I arrived at NC State after working in public health for nearly two decades, Carrie stood out for several reasons: her deep love of and care for students; her kindness and care for everyone she encountered on campus; and her model of perseverance, persistence and dedication to her own education and development, which is a torch of inspiration for people – especially women of color. We appreciate her being a champion!”
“Carrie invested in the lives of students, colleagues and peers in a way that has an extraordinary and lasting impact on people’s lives and, by extension, on the lives of everyone they touch.” – Bret Smith, senior associate dean for University College
Thompson wanted to do something extra special for McLean for her retirement. Her experience in nominating two remarkable North Carolinians for the Order of the Long Leaf Pine honor includes Libby Puckett, who is responsible for getting defibrillators into the state legislature buildings through the Start With Your Heart Program, and Elwood Robinson, the chancellor of Winston-Salem State University, who was Thompson’s former boss when they both were at NC Central University, for his immense accomplishments and contributions to students, faculty and staff at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She offered to take the lead on the Order nominating process.
Holly Hurlburt, assistant dean and executive director for academic enrichment programming at University College and professor of history, said, “Yvette was the driving force behind shepherding the application through the process. We were delighted to learn this week that Carrie received the award! Our only regret is that we can’t host an in-person event for her to celebrate this honor together.”
Bret Smith, senior associate dean for University College in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, said in his recommendation for Carrie to the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, “In my over 30 years in higher education, I have never seen a person whose life has more impact on the future success of so many people. Carrie invested in the lives of students, colleagues and peers in a way that has an extraordinary and lasting impact on people’s lives and, by extension, on the lives of everyone they touch. Her impact on the lives of thousands of North Carolinians is beyond measure.”