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Basnight receives honorary degree from Appalachian

Basnight_t.jpgBOONE—Among those receiving a degree from Appalachian State University Dec. 13 was N.C. Senator Marc Basnight, who received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. The degree recognizes Basnight’s lifetime of public service and contributions to the state.

Although Basnight never earned a college degree, something not uncommon for adults of his generation, he has been one of the state’s staunchest advocates for higher education. During his tenure in the senate, the 16-campus University of North Carolina system has remained the nation’s premier public university system, while the state’s community college system is the nation’s best in job training. Basnight was instrumental in the passage of a $3.1 billion bond package in 2000 to help universities and community colleges with their most critical facility needs.

NC Senator Marc Basnight_t2.jpgN.C. Senator Marc Basnight, center, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Appalachian State University during commencement Dec. 13. The honorary degree recognizes his lifetime of public service. Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Stan Aeschleman, left, adjusts the academic hood representing the degree while Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock congratulates Basnight. (Appalachian photo by University Photographer Marie Freeman)

“It is an honor for all of us here at Appalachian State to award this honorary doctorate to Marc Basnight,” said Chancellor Kenneth E. Peacock. “This leader has a heart for all the people of North Carolina. His leadership has impacted this institution and all of the others in the University of North Carolina system. He is a great leader in the state, and through his leadership, he has made a difference for all of us in North Carolina.”

Basnight also has worked to develop policies that protect the state’s environment.  Basnight established some of North Carolina’s most progressive environmental initiatives, including the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the state’s first and only dedicated source of revenue that preserves environmentally sensitive areas; and the Clean Water Responsibility Act, which aimed to stop river pollution from all sources.  In 2007, he helped enact landmark clean energy efficiency standards to reduce the burden on foreign oil, help cut pollution, and lower greenhouse gases.