William E. Bird
Dr. William E. Bird (1890 – 1975), president emeritus and longtime dean of Western Carolina University at Cullowhee, was presented the award in 1968 for his service to the organization, including being a charter member and its first president when it was founded in 1952. Dr. Bird, a native of the Qualla community of Jackson County, served as dean of the college for 35 years and retired from that post in 1957, but continued to be active in adult education. Bird wrote a number of historical articles and poems on Western North Carolina. Bird was also commended for his efforts to raise funds to help finance the writing of a new history of Western North Carolina.