McGee honored at General Assembly

Contributed photo Retiring Wingate University President Dr. Jerry McGee was honored at the N.C. General Assembly this week. Pictured from left are Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Union, McGee, Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond, and Senate President Pro-tem Phil Berger, R-Rockingham.

RALEIGH — State lawmakers paid tribute this week to Richmond County native Dr. Jerry McGee, the state’s longest-serving college president. McGee will retire next week after 23 years at Wingate University.

After introducing a resolution honoring McGee, Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond, said McGee “has amassed a worldwide following among folks who know what he has done for higher education in North Carolina.”

In a separate session in the House, a proclamation was read thanking McGee for his nearly 45 years of service to higher education in the Carolinas. Before he came to Wingate in 1992, McGee served at Richmond Community College, Gardner-Webb University, Meredith College and Furman University.

“We are truly blessed in North Carolina to have such people as Jerry McGee leading our state and leading the efforts of our universities,” Rep. Craig Horn, R-Union, said on the House floor.

In both chambers, McGee was given a standing ovation.

Earlier this year, Gov. Pat McCrory presented McGee with the Old North State Award. And in 2006, McGee received The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest civilian honor, in recognition of his extraordinary service to the state.

McGee was modest about the accolades.

“It’s been such a joy and an honor to have the privilege of being president of Wingate University,” said McGee. “I’m very humbled by all the recognition I’ve received.”