Kathryn Council, an NC State University alumna, volunteer and former staff member, is the 2017 recipient of the Jerry and Elizabeth Godwin Red Torch Award.
Chancellor Randy Woodson and Trent Ragland, chair of the NC State University Foundation Board of Directors, presented Council with the award during a dinner on June 8 at Vidrio, a downtown Raleigh restaurant.
“This is really an honor,” Council said after receiving her award. “I’ve never felt quite so appreciated as I do tonight.”
The award is given annually by the NC State University Foundation in appreciation of individuals or families who have volunteered with leadership, dedication and distinction to advance the university and to further the foundation’s mission. In 2007, Jerry and Libby Godwin established an endowment for the award program.
Council earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She then worked for several years in Student Affairs at NC State, earning a master’s degree in statistics from the university in 1974. Council later accepted a position at SAS, where she currently serves as vice president of publications. She will celebrate her 40th anniversary with the company this fall.
At SAS, Council works to keep fellow NC State alumni connected with the university through on-site engagement activities. She also plays an instrumental role in developing and maintaining professional and research partnerships between the company and NC State.
Currently, Council serves on the university’s Board of Visitors and on the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board, which she previously chaired. Her past board service includes terms on the NC State University Foundation Board, the Poole College of Management Advisory Board and the Achieve! Campaign Steering Committee.
“Kathy’s love for NC State is evident in so many ways,” said Ragland, who served alongside Council on the Foundation Board. “She is a terrific ambassador for the university.”
Council and her husband, Herb, provide generous philanthropic support across the university as members of the William Joseph Peele and R. Stanhope Pullen giving societies. The Councils have also established a planned gift that will create the Council Merit Scholarship. The fund will support students enrolled in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences who also have demonstrated skills and interest in mathematics or the physical sciences.
Woodson thanked Council for her unwavering commitment to the university. He said the achievements of NC State students and faculty — and the university’s role as an economic driver — are not chance occurrences.
“We strategically invest in areas where we can have the greatest impact for our city, our state, our nation and our world,” Woodson said. “We cannot do this without the support and leadership of individuals such as Kathy Council.”