Members of the Asheville School Board of Trustees are proud to name Lou Bissette the recipient of the Award of Merit. Bissette was recognized during a convocation at Asheville School on April 12, 2018.
Bissette is a longtime civic and educational leader whose community service has touched the lives of thousands of people across North Carolina.
“Asheville School established this award as our equivalent to an honorary degree, with the expressed intent to award it to those individuals who have been conspicuous in public service or in education,” said Asheville School Chairman of the Board of Trustees Walter Cox. “Mr. Bissette’s lifetime contributions in both public service and in education are compelling examples of the transformative power of serving others and reflect the essence of what this award is about.”
Lou Bissette is a North Carolina native and grew up in High Point. He now resides in Asheville, where he practices law and serves of counsel at McGuire Wood & Bissette.
Bissette has a long track record of supporting North Carolina education. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina System, and he is serving his sixth term on the Wake Forest University Board of Trustees. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the A-B Tech Foundation, Western Carolina University, and the Western Carolina University Foundation.
His extensive community service includes two terms as Mayor of Asheville and service on the board of Mission-St. Joseph’s Health System and as President of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on numerous boards, including the Board of Directors of the Asheville-Buncombe Economic Development Coalition and the Asheville Community Betterment Foundation.
Bissette has been honored with local and regional awards for his service, including the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Public Service Award, the Beverly Lake Service Award, The Land of Sky Regional Council Citizenship Award, and Wake Forest’s Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2016, he received one of North Carolina’s most prestigious awards, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
Haywood Cochrane is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and serves as a Trustee for Asheville School. Cochrane has known Bissette for many years and is pleased that Bissette was chosen to receive Asheville School’s Award of Merit.
“As I think about Lou, one word jumps directly to mind,” said Cochrane. “That word is ‘gentleman,’ and he is one in every sense of the word. Lou is a leader driven by integrity, balance and a real sense of humor. His ability to be calm and graceful under fire is one of his principal attributes. His commitment to education and to the Asheville community provides true support for this award.”
Asheville School Chairman of the Board of Trustees Walter Cox and Head of School Arch Montgomery presented the Award of Merit to Bissette during a convocation in the Walker Arts Center’s Graham Theater on April 12, 2018, at 7:15 p.m.
Click here to see an interesting list of Notable Asheville School Alumni some of which were also presented with the Award of Merit.