October 27, 2017
Alumni Times news for alumni and friends
Shirley Frye named 2017 News & Record Woman of the Year

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Shirley Frye named 2017 News & Record Woman of the Year

Photo Credit: Greensboro News & Record

Long-time community service trailblazer, Shirley Frye ’53 was named the 2017 News & Record Woman of the Year. Her life’s mission of leading philanthropic efforts and her relentless dedication to the Greensboro community truly exemplifies that “service is a way of life.” Her favorite saying that she shares with the world is that “we are not put on this earth to be served but to serve others.”

“I am always humbled when I’m recognized for the work I do in the community. I stand on the shoulders of so many that have come before me and it’s an honor to receive the Woman of the Year Award,” said Frye.

The News & Record Woman of the Year Award recognizes a woman annually who has made a tremendous positive impact to the Greensboro area.

In 1970, Frye became the first African American president of the YWCA of Greensboro, after leading the merger with the city’s two segregated organizations. She served on the National YWCA board from 1973- 1993. She also served on the board of education for Greensboro City Schools, was the vice-chairwoman of the United Way of Greensboro and was a former administrator for Bennett College and North Carolina A&T State University. For more than 10 years, she was the vice president of community relations for the Greensboro CBS affiliate, WFMY-TV.

Frye credits her parents for being influential in her life by instilling in her the importance of giving and helping others. She grew up on a farm in Fremont, North Carolina, and it was difficult for her mother and father to send her to what was then, North Carolina A&T College. With her determined spirit, she worked as a waitress in order for her to attend college.

During Frye’s time at N.C. A&T, the environment and nurturing spirit of the faculty and staff assisted her along her journey and molded her into who she is today. Particularly, Dr. Warmoth T. Gibbs, who was vice president of student affairs at that time, believed strongly in her capabilities of being successful and she strove to live up to his expectations. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and English with honors.

In 1956, Frye married former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Henry E. Frye, who was the first African American to be elected to the North Carolina state legislature in the 20th century. He was also the first African American to become Chief Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court, on which he served from 1983-2001.

Mrs. Frye is currently the chair of the North Carolina A&T State University Real Estate Foundation and serves on the board of trustees for High Point University.



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