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The Jim Hart Award

The Jim Hart Champion Award was created in 2014 to recognize extraordinary commitment and contributions to the Governor’s School Foundation.
Named after the first recipient and a true champion of The Governor’s School, Jim Hart, the award is given to honor steadfast leadership, support, or service to the Governor’s School.

Hall of Champions


Joe & Lucy Milner_July 2018_Jim  Hart Award.JPG


Joe Milner & Lucy Milner

Award Recipients, 2018


Our 2018 recipients have been called the “power couple of Governor’s School” – an apt description given their many years of service to both campuses and their tireless efforts to save the Governor’s School program in the face of the 2011-2012 budget crisis.

Joe Milner was a faculty member at both Governor’s School East and Governor’s School West, teaching Area 2 studies.  He also served as onsite director of Governor’s School East from 1999-2002. As head of the education department at Wake Forest University and founder of the Master Teacher Fellows program, Joe brought generations of graduate students to experience the ideal academic environment of the Governor’s School.  Upon retiring from campus, Joe served as President of the NC Governor’s School Foundation, where he led the campaign to save Governor’s School when funding was eliminated from the state budget in 2011-2012.  He spearheaded efforts to raise over $700,000 in private funding to keep the school open that summer and generated a groundswell of alumni support that convinced lawmakers to reinstate the program the following year. 

Lucy Milner served as an English instructor at Governor’s School West for many years and then became onsite director at West in 1998.  There, she implemented critical innovations like the TAC program, the Deans of Students role, and the wildly popular optional seminars.  Above and beyond her program contributions, she formed the spirit of the campus: one of mutual respect and dialogue. Her legacy continues as students take part each year in what she called “The Great Conversation.”  At a time when the future of Governor’s School was in doubt, Lucy proved instrumental in coordinating the efforts of the Alumni Association and the Foundation in anticipation of our 50th year gala.  

As one alumnus described, “Without Joe and Lucy’s leadership efforts, GS would have died in 2012.  Tens of thousands of alumni and future alumni have Joe and Lucy to thank for their ‘GS Experience’.”  Thank you, Joe and Lucy!


Dr. Randy Foy

Award Recipient, 2017

Dr. Randy Foy (GS 1967), worked at The Governor's School as a teacher and conductor for 37 years. He was the architect of the tremendous instrumental music program at Governor's School West and had a major impact on his scholars. He was able to inspire superb performances from his students, in an abbreviated amount of time. Randy understood that his musicians were interested in more than music, so he tied the music in with relevant issues and concepts. He challenged students' preconceived notions of the world and created an atmosphere where they felt free to explore and learn. He fully embodied the core principles of the Governor's School program. Randy labored to raise awareness of what was taking place in the North Carolina Senate in 2012 and attended multiple fundraisers. Overall, Randy has been a remarkable advocate for the Governor's School program.




Ms. Camilla Roberson & Mr. Dana Simpson

Award Recipients, 2017

Ms. Camilla Roberson has been the Special Assistant for the North Carolina Governor’s School for 19 years. For most of this time, she was the only full-time, year-round Governor’s School employee. Through the years, she has processed more than 30,000 student nominations and helped facilitate more than 13,000 student selections. During the budget cuts and resulting tuition requirements, Camilla worked with colleagues to find ways to extend the opportunity to as many students as possible. The Office of the North Carolina Governor’s School is now poised for growth and possibility, due in large part to the industrious and gracious efforts of Camilla Roberson.

Mr. Dana Simpson attended the Governor's School West in 1991. He was a chief contributor to the GSF’s efforts during the North Carolina Senate funding crisis in 2011-2012.  His efforts as a lobbyist assisted in the eventual restoration of government funding to the Governor's School Program. Since that time, he has continued to be GSF’s proponent in the General Assembly. He has generously donated many resources in the support of the organization on a long-term basis and deserves recognition for saving this preeminent program.


Mr. Scott Gayle

Award Recipient, 2016

Scott C. Gayle (GSW 1968), served on the Foundation's Board of Directors from 2010 to 2016. Scott served as Fund Drive Chair during the financial crisis of 2011, working alongside David Winslow (GSW 1970) and others to lead the Foundation as it raised over $700,000 in just seven months. Without Scott's leadership in securing those contributions from interested corporations, foundations, and hundreds of Governor's School alumni, both GSW and GSE would have been forced to close for the 2012 session. Scott was also a key voice in alumni advocacy efforts in Raleigh, working with then-President Joe Milner and many others to convince the NC Legislature to restore Governor's School's recurring appropriation in time for the 2013 session. Scott also served as GSF President for three years (2013-16). In that time, he accomplished many things, including strengthening the Foundation’s infrastructure by purchasing and implementing state-of-the-art alumni donation software, and recruiting new talent and volunteers for the future. Scott is a Director of Tuggle Duggins, PA, practicing business and real estate law in Greensboro.


Mr. Ron Loftis

Award Recipient, 2015

Mr. Ron Loftis Jr. (GSW 1969), served as the treasurer of the Foundation for 25 years. During the 2011 budget crisis that threatened to shut down the Governor's School, donations to the Foundation increased by over 200%. Ron was responsible for manging the Foundation's finances during this unprecedented increase. He oversaw all  financial matters and reporting functions for the Foundation board, providing updates on rapidly changing budgetary and political matters. Ron Loftis' vision, advice and suggestions have been critical to the Foundation's success.


Mr. David Winslow & Mrs. C.C. Winslow

Award Recipients, 2015

Mr. David Winslow attended Governor's School West in 1970. When he joined the Foundation Board, the merits of his fundraising expertise were as self-evident as they were severely needed. Equally as crucial were the contributions of his wife, C.C. Winslow. David’s tireless fundraising efforts in 2011 resulted in a record-breaking fundraising campaign, preserving the legacy and future of the Governor’s School. Perhaps more importantly, as Fund Drive Chair from 2012-2014, David helped to maintain the momentum from the 2011 campaign and inspire investors across the state to maintain their financial commitment. In 2011, C.C. Winslow volunteered to create and maintain a comprehensive database system, that tracks donations to the Foundation and updates contact information of alumni. It was C.C. who laid the infrastructure for the new software implementation that will serve the Foundation and the Alumni Association well into the future.


Mr. Jim Hart

Award Recipient, 2014

In his 20 years of service to both the North Carolina Governor's School Foundation and the Alumni Association, Jim Hart (GSW 1979) has inspired everyone around him. When Jim realized that the State had failed to retain contact information on the thousands of students who have attended Governor's School, he undertook the daunting task of recording the name and address of all alumni. Jim created the original database used by both GSAA and the Foundation. In 2012, he created the scholarship process and chaired the Scholarship Committee for three years. In 2013, Jim designed and implemented a survey of 750 alumni, that proved instrumental in convincing the legislature to restore funding for the Governor's School.

Jim's leadership is manifest in every decision the Foundation makes, and his dedication to Governor's School has remained constant. Jim's leadership on the Board of Directors of the GSF continued through a full two terms of service.