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June 26, 2000 -- No. 348
Local angles: Winston-Salem; Waynesville; Lithonia, Ga.;
Lookout Mountain and Morristown, Tenn.; Bethlehem, Penn.
Longtime English faculty members honored through awards for outstanding students
CHAPEL HILL -- Three May graduates of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently won the first Kimball King Undergraduate English Honors Thesis Awards for writing the top honors theses in the English department.
Also in English, three students have been chosen for the first Laurence G. Avery Awards for Outstanding Teaching in Literature by a Graduate Student. Both new awards honor longtime members of Carolina's English faculty.
Each of the King winners, named May 4 at a department honors presentation, received a cash prize of $325. The students and their hometowns, thesis subjects and faculty advisers were:
David Jerome Twombly, Pfafftown; "Imagery of Chaos in Pope's Dunciad," Dr. Thomas Stumpf.
Benjamin Clay Parris, Hazelwood; "Fashioning Renaissance Hierarchies," Dr. Reid Barbour.
Matthew David Mutter, Lookout Mountain, Tenn.; "Hallowed by Sacrament: Corporeality, Particularity, and Gnosticism in Walker Percy's Novels," Dr. Joseph Flora.
The Avery awards, also with a cash prize of $325 each, will be presented at a department reception this fall to Todd Butler of Bethlehem, Penn.; Michael Claxton, Lithonia, Georgia; and Rob Spirko, Morristown, Tenn.
The King awards are named for English professor Dr. Kimball King, at UNC-CH since 1964. An anonymous donor couple established the award in 1999 after their daughter, a student of Kingís, praised his teaching methods.
Through his 36-year career, King has influenced several generations of students. Bill Schmidt, a 1966 alumnus and advertising agency executive in Jacksonville, Fla., said King made his 20th century drama course "fascinating."
"Kimball loves the classroom and takes interest in his students. His approach to teaching sparked my love for the liberal arts, which helps me work Ďoutside the box,í" said Schmidt, who writes copy for television commercials.
King also taught Schmidtís son, Bill Jr., a 1988 Carolina alumnus, and his son John and daughter-in-law Kathryn (Seale), both of the class of 1989.
King earned a doctorate at the University of Wisconsin, a masterís degree from Wesleyan University and a bachelorís degree from Johns Hopkins University. Since 1984, King has taught nearly 1,000 students in a theatre course offered in London each summer. He has won a Tanner Faculty Teaching Award and other teaching honors.
Dr. William Jordan of Fayetteville, vice chair of Carolina's board of trustees, established the Avery awards in honor of English professor Dr. Laurence Avery, at UNC-CH since 1966. Jordan is chief executive officer of Global Lithotripsy Inc., Ultra Imaging of North Carolina LLC, Cardiac Imaging LLC and Sonorex LLC. He holds a 1965 degree in English and a 1970 medical degree, both from Carolina.
English department chair Dr. William Andrews said Avery has been a department leader.
"His teaching is marked by extraordinary breadth, intellectual curiosity and adaptability to changing student interests," Andrews said. "Generations of graduate students are grateful to him for his informative introductory course in bibliography and methodology, and for his ongoing teaching and scholarship in 20th-century American drama."
Avery earned his doctorate in English from the University of Texas in 1966, his masterís degree from the University of Michigan in 1958 and a bachelor's degree from Baylor University in 1957. His areas of research include modern and American drama and Southern literature.
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Contact: Del Johnson, 919-962-8216