Six mayors sign proclamation for Hurley
By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Perhaps no other person has touched more lives in Salisbury than Jim Hurley.
From YMCAs to a park to a foundation that has given away millions of dollars, the philanthropist and former publisher of the Salisbury Post has had a hand in nearly every major humanitarian effort in the city’s recent past.
Now, all six living mayors of Salisbury have honored Hurley by signing a proclamation thanking him for “unparalleled contributions” that have shaped and redefined the city.
The historic document marks the first time more than one mayor has signed a city proclamation, former Mayor Susan Kluttz said.
Hurley deserves the precedent, she said.
“We wanted to make sure that he knows we understood how much he’s meant to the city in so many different ways,” said Kluttz, current mayor pro tem. “It’s even hard to put into words.”
From Paul Bernhardt to Paul Woodson, every living mayor of Salisbury met two weeks ago at City Hall to talk about what Hurley and his family have done for Salisbury.
Representing city leadership from 1967 to today, they wrote the page-long tribute with help from city staff.
Kluttz and former Mayor Margaret Kluttz delivered the proclamation to Hurley and his wife, Gerry.
Susan Kluttz read the document aloud to Hurley, who is in hospice care. She said he was alert and moved by the surprise.
The proclamation calls Hurley a hero to education, humble steward of resources and an outstanding champion for the Salisbury community.
Hurley and his family’s history are “indelibly linked with the history of the city through their service as business leaders and humanitarians,” the proclamation reads.
“I don’t think we can honor the man enough,” said Woodson, current mayor.
Every mayor who signed the tribute witnessed Hurley’s generosity during his or her tenure, Woodson said. Signatures also included those of former mayors Bill Stanback and Sonny Allen Jr.
“Each one of us as mayor had experienced the impact he and his family had on Salisbury,” Susan Kluttz said.
The Hurley family owned the Salisbury Post from 1912 until 1997. Hurley, working side by side with brother, Gordon, served as publisher for 23 years.
Their father, J.F. Hurley Jr., had been publisher for 38 years. He died in 1986.
James F. Hurley III provided leadership for the Blanche and Julian Robertson Foundation. His major contributions included Rowan Regional Medical Center, Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, Meroney Theater, Norvell Theater, Salisbury Station, Waterworks Visual Arts Center, Rowan Museum, a new Rowan Helping Ministries Shelter, Elizabeth Court and the Salisbury Post building, among others.
Educational institutions have benefitted from his generosity, including Salisbury High School, Rowan-Salisbury Schools, Catawba College, Livingstone College, Hood Theological Seminary and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
“His philanthropic endeavors have created a lasting legacy that will impact the lives of future generations,” the proclamation reads.
Obvious and well-loved Salisbury institutions — the J.F. Hurley YMCA, Hurley Park, the J.F. Hurley Foundation — bear the family name.
“But there is another story that many of us will never know,” Margaret Kluttz said. “How many people individually he has helped and reached out to? He’s done so many quiet things.”
All living mayors of Salisbury have gathered once before, to honor longtime Salisbury Post columnist Rose Post at the Mayor’s Spirit Luncheon in 2007.
When they presented the document, Margaret Kluttz and Susan Kluttz explained the significance of the proclamation to Jim and Gerry Hurley. Susan Kluttz described the visit and moment she read the proclamation as “very emotional.”
“We felt very fortunate that we had the opportunity to let him know how we felt about him and make sure that he understood the city recognized his contributions,” she said. “He has shaped so much of what Salisbury is today.”
The framed proclamation will hang in City Hall.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.
City of Salisbury North Carolina
JAMES F. HURLEY, III WHEREAS, James F. Hurley, III is a lifelong resident of Salisbury, and whose family history is indelibly linked with the history of the City through their service as business leaders and humanitarians; and WHEREAS, James F. Hurley, III was editor and publisher of the Salisbury Post, which was owned by his family from 1912 until 1997, and which serves as an important contributor to the culture, history, and quality of life of the Salisbury community; and WHEREAS, James F. Hurley, III is a humble steward of resources and his service on the Boards of the J.F. Hurley Foundation and the Blanche and Julian Robertson Foundation has provided unparalleled contributions that have touched the lives of each citizen in our community; and WHEREAS, James F. Hurley, III’s generous contributions have shaped and redefined the landscape of the City of Salisbury through projects such as Rowan Regional Medical Center, Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, Meroney Theater, Norvell Theater, Salisbury Station, Waterworks Visual Arts Center, Rowan Museum, a new Rowan Helping Ministries Shelter, Elizabeth Court, the Salisbury Post Building; and WHEREAS, James F. Hurley, III’s contributions have enriched the lives of citizens through such initiatives such as the J.F. Hurley YMCA and Hurley Park, which are beneficial assets that improve our quality of life; and WHEREAS, James F. Hurley, III has been a hero to education and educational institutions through his gifts to Salisbury High School, Rowan-Salisbury Schools, Catawba College, Livingstone College, Hood Theological Seminary and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College; and WHEREAS, James F. Hurley, III is an outstanding champion for the Salisbury community and his philanthropic endeavors have created a lasting legacy that will impact the lives of future generations; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Paul B. Woodson, Jr., Mayor of the City of Salisbury, North Carolina, along with Susan W. Kluttz, Mayor 1997-2011, Margaret H. Kluttz, Mayor 1991-1997, William C. Stanbank, Mayor 1973-1975, Elmer L. Allen, Jr., Mayor 1971-1973, and Paul L. Bernhardt, Mayor 1967-1971, DO HEREBY
PROCLAIM DEEPEST APPRECIATION TO
JAMES F. HURLEY, III in honor of his extraordinary and noble contributions to the City of Salisbury. This the 12th day of March 2012.
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