JACKSONVILLE, N.C. -- The Coastal Carolina Community College president received the 2005 Spirit of Hope Award at the Jacksonville Country Club Friday.
Ron K. Lingle, president of the college and a leader in the community, received the award at the Military Affairs Committee black tie reception for his strong support of and embodiment of the Marine Corps values, according to the award citation.
The award is given annually by each military service to those who rendered distinguished service to the men and women of the armed forces. The Spirit of Hope Award was originated by Michael Fagin in 1996 on behalf of Bob Hope and the US Armed Forces.
The award, a bronze medallion bearing the likeness of Bob Hope, was created by sculptor Don F. Wiegand. It was presented by Lt. Gen. Robert R. Blackman, Jr., US Marine Forces Atlantic commander, on behalf of the Wiegand Foundation Inc.
“I can state unequivocally that since his arrival here in 1988, no one has been more singularly responsible for the positive relationship we currently enjoy with our civilian counterparts, and for the satisfactory resolution of the occasional contentious issues we’ve tackled through the years than Ron Lingle,” said Maj. Gen. Robert C. Dickerson, commanding general Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Installations East. “For the past decade and a half, the Marines and sailors, family members, and retirees of our community have been the principal beneficiaries of the Dr. Lingle’s innovative and progressive approach to delivering first rate, post-secondary education.”
Dickerson also cited Lingle’s efforts to cultivate a constructive and mutually beneficial relationship between Jacksonville, Onslow County, and the two Marine Corps installations here. Specifically, Lingle has offered support in the way of clinical assessments for the civilian personnel-training program on Camp Lejeune, special training programs for unemployed/underemployed spouses, and assistance with immersion language training for Marines.
“Whatever the Marines of the Carolina MAGTF have asked for, he has always been quick to satisfy our needs,” added Dickerson.
Lingle was humbled by receiving the award and was eager to thank the Marines for his nomination for the prestigious award.
"To virtually every combat veteran of the past 50 years, Bob Hope was bigger than life," Lingle said. "I would have been elated to receive anything with his name on it. To have outstanding Marine leaders like Maj. Gen. Bob Dickerson, Lt. Gen. Jim Amos, Lt. Gen. Marty Berndt support my nomination, General Mike Hagee approve it, and Lt. Gen. "Rusty" Blackman present it means more to me than I could ever say."
Lingle joins the company of other Spirit of Hope Award recipients like Senator John Glenn, Walter Cronkite, President George H.W. Bush and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.