William “Bill” Slaughter Hunter Sr. is the recipient of Wayne Community College’s President’s Award for Distinguished Service.
The award recognizes an individual for work for community, profession, and the college.
“I get to recognize someone who, through his generosity, has helped make it possible for others to shine,” Walker said in announcing the award. The presentation was made during a Foundation of Wayne Community College Board of Directors meeting into which Hunter’s family and friends snuck.
Hunter has served on the Foundation’s board since 2006. He was the board’s vice chair from 2010 to 2012 and was its chair from July 2012 to June 2019.
“He didn’t do this as a retiree in his leisure time. This self-made man found time to lead the Foundation while president and owner of a very successful local business, and also an active Mason, Shriner, and church member,” said Walker.
Hunter led Eastern Aluminum Supply for nearly 30 years. He expanded the aluminum building supplies vendor from Goldsboro to location throughout this state and into South Carolina and Virginia.
Foundation of Wayne Community College Board Member Paige Barwick, who is a former Eastern Aluminum Supply employee, testified to how well Hunter treated his employees.
“Hundreds of employees were touched by the opportunity he provided,” Barwick said. “He lived and preached a family mentality with his employees and provided growth and opportunities for many.”
“This gentleman has a work ethic and desire to serve, modeled by his physician father, and which he passed down to his own daughter, son, and grandchildren. His empathy and compassion led him to treat his employees as family, too, and give them opportunities to grow within his company,” said Walker.
Even when Hunter was selling the business, he was “paying close attention and giving great thought to the buyer to ensure his employees would retain their jobs and his customers would receive the same support” Barwick said.
“The Foundation of Wayne Community College, and through it, many students, have been the beneficiaries of his and his company’s generous financial contributions and several of our more unique auction items,” said Walker.
“A testament to his dedication to the Foundation and a reflection of his own attributes, is that a few years ago, his friends could think of no better birthday gift than to establish an endowment in his honor,” Walker said. They made the criteria for the William S. Hunter Endowed Scholarship for Lifetime Success that the student recipient must demonstrate leadership and participate in civic activities.
“Bill never went to college and worked his way up in his career,” said Foundation of Wayne Community College Executive Director Adrienne Northington. “He was a very successful businessman and is very civic minded, thus the reason for a student to exhibit leadership and a desire to be civically involved.”
Walker presented Hunter with a framed brass medallion of the college’s seal that was milled in the college’s machining lab.
“It is an honor to receive the President’s Award from Dr. Walker. He spoke so kindly about my service to the Foundation,” Hunter responded.
“The 15 years that I have been on the Foundation Board have been a real joy for me. This board has one reason for its existence, and that is to provide scholarships for the students and to enhance the student’s education. To that end, this board has worked so well together to provide for the needs of the students,” Hunter said.
“I humbly accept this award and hope to continue to be a part of the Foundation,” he said.
Hunter is the sixth recipient of the award. Past honorees are Dillon Wooten, Elmer Crumpler, Dr. James Zealy, Fran Boyce, and Larry Boyce.
The award presentation can be viewed at http://bit.ly/WSHunterAward.
Hunter is married to Bonnie Hinnant Hunter. They have a son, Bill Hunter Jr., a daughter, Beth Byrd, and two grandchildren.