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Former associate dean of CoB receives Gov. Roy Cooper's highest honor


Former associate dean of the College of Business, Ken Flynt (left), attends an I Love WCU celebration with Chancellor Kelli Brown and Nancy Liddle.

Ken Flynt, former associate dean of Western Carolina University’s College of Business (2008-2021), recently received The Order of the Long Leaf Pine from Governor Roy Cooper.

Since 1963, North Carolina’s governors have reserved their highest honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine award, for persons who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments. Persons named to The Order become North Carolina “Ambassadors” with their names and award dates recorded on a roster maintained by The Order of the Long Leaf Pine Society.

Flynt’s nomination included the following remarks:

“Ken Flynt is a North Carolinian, born and raised in Kernersville. He has lived and served the residents of this state from the Western mountains to the Eastern beaches. A graduate of Western Carolina and NC State University, Ken spent most of his career building new banks and bringing commerce to small towns of our state. He began his banking career in the early 1970s with NCNB in Charlotte but paused his career in banking to serve our state for the first time as Chief Economic Advisor to Governor Jim Hunt during his first term. His banking and life of service took him through towns like Beaufort, Rocky Mount, Mt. Airy, Raleigh, Kernersville, Oak Ridge, Winston Salem, Waynesville, Asheville, Cullowhee, Sylva and Greensboro. Along these stops, he found time to serve in many capacities within each of the towns, including lead roles on Chamber of Commerce and Rotary in Rocky Mount, Kernersville and Waynesville. Most recently, his state service as an instrumental member of the State Banking Commission, appointed by Governor Cooper, where he has used his experience to help guide our state through a volatile period for the banking industry. Maybe his most joyous, and proud moments were serving as associate dean of the College of Business and professor at his alma mater, Western Carolina.  Being able to provide students with the same opportunity he enjoyed continues to bring him great joy and pride. In addition to service, Ken also endowed a scholarship in memory of his son, Chadwick Flynt, and recently the alumni and faculty endowed a scholarship fund in Ken’s name, as well, continuing to provide opportunities to those students in need or facing challenges. 

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Following a move to Greensboro in 2020, Ken has become active in advisory roles at both UNCG and Guilford College and has continued his passion in connecting, fundraising and mentoring. As part of all of these stops, Ken always leverages his own experiences and connections to seed growth for individuals, towns, organizations and companies. His impact on our state is tremendous and deserves special recognition for his work.”

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