Mayor Kluttz honored

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Salisbury Mayor Susan Kluttz was recently recognized through a new scholarship established in her honor at Catawba College.

Kluttz, now in her fifth term, is the longest serving mayor in the city’s history.

The Susan W. Kluttz Endowed Scholarship will assist able and deserving students, with a preference given to those majoring in environmental science.

“Mayor Kluttz’s influence has been felt for a decade throughout our community,” explained Catawba College Senior Vice President Tom Childress. “This scholarship is a distinctive way to recognize her and her efforts to improve the quality of life for us all. She has a track record of promoting healthy collaboration, diversity and environmental awareness, and is very interested in how today’s community decisions affect the legacy we leave to our next generation.”

A Salisbury native, she is the daughter of the late Dr. John and Susie Wear. Her father also served as mayor of Salisbury.

“I am truly overwhelmed by this honor and thrilled with the opportunity it will provide to deserving students,” Kluttz said. “As mayor, I recognize that Catawba College is one of our greatest assets, and knowing that the scholarship will provide young people with the opportunity to gain a quality education here is very exciting to me.

“I am particularly pleased that preference will be given to environmental majors,” she said. “Growing up here in a family that has loved this community and been concerned about the environment, including being the proud sister of the center’s director, the program has a special place in my heart. Not only will this gift benefit the students who receive it, but also the entire community and its future.”

A graduate of Boyden (now Salisbury) High School and Mount Vernon Junior College in Washington, D.C., she earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to her election as Salisbury mayor, she was executive assistant to the superintendent of Rowan-Salisbury Schools from 1989-97.

A member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, she is active in the community, serving on the board of directors of the Community Care Clinic, F&M Bank, the Salisbury Community Development Corporation and the Salisbury Community Foundation. She is a member of the Project Safe Salisbury executive committee and the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees.

She also serves on the Western N.C. Rail Coalition committee, the N.C. Municipal Coalition and the N.C. League of Municipalities board of directors. Nationally, she serves on the U.S. Conference of Mayors Amtrak Intercity Rail Investment task force.

Her past community service has included serving on the boards of Communities-in-Schools of Rowan County, the Rowan County Strategic Planning Technical Committee, the Salisbury YMCA, the Rowan County YMCA, Waterworks Visual Arts Center, Livingstone College and Amtrak Mayors Advisory Council. She has been chairman of the Rowan County Parks and Recreation Commission and president of the United Arts Council of Rowan, the Rowan Memorial Hospital Auxiliary and the Rowan County Cancer Society.

Among her numerous honors are the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Elizabeth Maxwell Steele Chapter’s Community Service Award in 2006, the Salisbury-Rowan Ministerial Association’s Community Spirit Award in 2004 and the Salisbury-Rowan Human Relations Council’s Elizabeth Duncan Koontz Humanitarian Award in 2004.

She was recognized as the Salisbury Lions Club’s Woman of the Year in 2003, the Salisbury Civitan Club’s Citizen of the Year in 2002 and the Civitan International’s N.C. District West Distinguished Citizen of the Year in 2002. The Salisbury-Rowan Branch of the NAACP recognized her with its Community Service Award in 1999, while Livingstone College recognized her with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1998.

She is married to District Court Judge William C. Kluttz Jr., a former trustee of Catawba College. They have two adult children, William C. Kluttz III and Susan Whittle Kluttz.