The Vernon Malone Friend of Education Award

The Vernon Malone Friend of Education Award is the highest honor awarded by Wake Education Partnership. It is given to someone who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to public education and shares the personal qualities of the late Senator Vernon Malone.

Recipients of this award set a high standard for selfless dedication to the ongoing improvement of public education — moving from words to deeds that have a lasting impact. Those nominated for the award must come from outside the field of education, be persuasive advocates for all children, and serve as an example for others.

Vernon Malone’s Legacy

Born in Wake Forest in 1931, Vernon D. Malone was a longtime teacher, administrator, county commissioner, and local legislator in Wake County. He was the first chairman of the Wake County school board following the 1976 merger of the Raleigh and Wake School Systems and devoted his life to improving education for all students. As the highest honor awarded by Wake Education Partnership, it is given to someone who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to public education and shares the personal qualities of the late Senator Vernon Malone, who passed away in 2009.

Vernon Malone lived and worked his entire life in Raleigh and its surrounding communities.  For close to four decades he held an elective office. A black man who came of age during the era of segregation, he developed a firm belief that every child, regardless of race, could reach their full potential if given a solid education. Learn More About Vernon Malone’s Legacy

The highest honor bestowed by WakeEd, it is presented annually at the Stars of Education event. Recipients are nominated and selected by WakeEd’s board of directors, leadership council, and past recipients.

Recipients:

Sherwood Smith Junior | 1990

Walter Brown Junior | 1991

Dub Graham | 1992

Patricia Hackney | 1993

Gordon Smith III | 1994

Smedes York | 1995

Bill Kress | 1996

Governor and Mrs. James B. Hunt | 1997

Tom Oxholm | 1998

Henry Knight | 1999

Vernon Malone | 2000

Dr. Robert E. Bridges | 2001

Frank Daniels Junior | 2002

Jim Talton | 2003

Ann Goodnight | 2004

Orage Quarles III | 2005

Jim Goodmon | 2006

Richard Urquhart | 2007

Dargan and Blount Williams | 2009

Betty Lou Ward | 2010

Marion Robinson | 2011

Virginia Parker | 2012

Dick Daugherty | 2014

Harvey Schmitt | 2015

Judge Howard Manning Jr. | 2016

Doug McMillan | 2017

Easter Maynard | 2018