Salisbury’s Kirk honored by Meredith College trustees

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 6, 2024

SALISBURY — Phil Kirk, a Salisbury native, received the honorary designation of trustee emeritus at the Meredith College trustees annual retreat which was held in Beaufort on Monday night.
The resolution read that the designation of trustee emeritus was conferred on Kirk “in honor of and gratitude for his exceptional service to Meredith College.”
He served as a trustee for five four-year terms.
Kirk was singled out for his co-chairing the Meredith Capital Campaign and as a generous donor to Meredith Athletics and The Meredith Fund. His granddaughter, Madison Hamilton, was a star player on the Meredith softball team for five seasons.
“Serving on the Meredith Board of Trustees was one of my most rewarding volunteer activities,” Kirk said. “Meredith is especially noted for its development of young women who have become strong and effective leaders in many professions, including business and education. I am proud of my oldest granddaughter and her success on and off the softball field as an Avenging Angel.”
The other recipient of the same award was Sarah Parker, the retired Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. The resolution was signed by outgoing President Jo Allen and Charles Royal, chair of the Meredith Board.
Kirk was cited for his service and leadership in education which included six and one-half years as chairman of the State Board of Education and three years as a member of the State Board of Community Colleges, including a term as vice-chair, in addition to serving as a member of the boards of Participate Learning, N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching Foundation, ECU Board of Visitors, and UNC-TV.
A graduate of Catawba College, Kirk served on the board of trustees for 24 years before joining the staff as vice-president of external relations. He is currently on the staff of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities as a part-time advisor of community relations.
He was also cited for his decades of service in government, including serving as Chief of Staff for Governors Jim Holshouser and Jim Martin and U. S. Senator Jim Broyhill and Secretary of the N. C. Department of Health and Human Services (twice). He was elected to the State Senate at age 25 representing Rowan County and at that time was the youngest in state history. He also led the state chamber of commerce for 16 years and also worked for Brady Trane.
The resolution also mentioned that he worked at the Salisbury Post and WSTP Radio, in addition to teaching at Knox Middle School and Salisbury High School. He was also cited for his work with the Kiwanis Club of Raleigh and Ridge Road Baptist Church, also in Raleigh.