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Parker Receives Appalachian Consortium’s Laurel Leaves Award

parker.jpgBOONE — Dr. Clinton Parker has received the Laurel Leaves Award from the Appalachian Consortium.More...

Parker is senior associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at Appalachian State University. The award, presented March 16 at the consortium’s annual meeting held at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, recognizes Parker for his support in the creation, growth and development of the consortium.”

It is the highest honor bestowed by the organization.

The Appalachian Consortium is a non-profit educational organization comprised of institutions and agencies located in the Southern Highlands. Founded in 1971, the initial objectives were to perpetuate, preserve and promote the heritage of Southern Appalachia.

“Clinton has been affiliated with the Appalachian Consortium since it was founded in 1971, that’s 30 years of service,” said nominator Dr. John E. Thomas. “He was among the visionaries who started the Consortium.

Parker worked with the late William Plemmons, Appalachian’s second president, and others to garner support for the consortium.

“Every member organization that Clinton and his colleagues got to join were on short rations in terms of income in 1971,” Thomas said. “It took some real salesmanship to sell their dream — the dream of preserving the Appalachian culture and putting it before the public.”

Parker has helped generate support for the Appalachian Consortium Press to help publish books relating to the Appalachian region. “These books present an accurate picture of the region….not the Snuffy Smiths and ‘Lil Abners, but actual pictures of the depth, knowledge, culture and contributions the mountain people have made over the years,” Thomas said.

Parker was appointed to the organization’s board in 1983, served as vice chairman from 1985-86 and chairman from 1986-87. “He brought his own brand of enthusiastic leadership to that role. He is a steadfast supporter of all of the principles, goals and objectives which he helped establish and he has nurtured this throughout his entire term,” Thomas said.

The Laurel Leaves Award was established in 1975 to honor outstanding contributions made by individuals and organizations to the Southern Appalachian region. The award is presented for achievement in education, business, publication and media production, historical and cultural preservation, environmental protection and government service.

The Appalachian Consortium represents 156 mountain counties in seven states. For more information about the consortium visit its website at