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Philip Gura received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. He is pictured here with a guitar.
Philip Gura received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

Philip Gura, William S. Newman Distinguished Professor of English & Comparative Literature in the College of Arts & Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill, was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine on May 7. First awarded in 1963, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine is among the highest honor bestowed by the North Carolina governor.

Gura is a literary and cultural historian who has published widely in American literature and religious history, as well as 19th century-American music history. He served as the editor of Early American Literature for a decade and was on the editorial board of the multi-volume History of the Book in America. He is also the recipient of a number of prestigious awards including, the 2008 Distinguished Scholar Award from the Division on American Literature to 1800 of the Modern Language Association and the American Antiquarian Society’s 2006-07 Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Scholar in Residence.

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is awarded to “friends of North Carolina” who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments. Honorees are conferred the rank of “Ambassador Extraordinary” by the governor to honor a proven record of service to North Carolina or other special achievement. Gura said he was surprised and delighted by the award, adding “it means that after 30 years at UNC, I am almost a native of the state!”

Previous winners include Maya Angelou, Andy Griffith, Michael Jordan, Tennessee Williams and Oprah Winfrey.

By Hannah Montgomery, Department of English and Comparative Literature

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