The power of education has certainly been evident in their own lives. Both Bill and Faye grew up in North Carolina, first meeting as students on NCCU’s campus. Bill obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social studies and political science in 1971, while Faye obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in business education the same year.
After graduation, Bill spent two years in the Army before he and his bride moved to Connecticut for their first teaching jobs. In 1974, they relocated to Raleigh to work for the Wake County Public School System.
“I pursued a career in counseling to serve as a resource for students planning for their futures,” said Faye, who continued her education, earning master’s degrees in business education and guidance and counseling from NCCU.
Bill, who earned his doctorate at North Carolina State University, was promoted to assistant principal, then principal and, ultimately, administrator at the school and district levels. He was named Wake County Schools superintendent in 2000, and led the system in achieving a 95% grade-level proficiency among third- and eighth-grade students.
He served as superintendent until 2006, during which time the system was named third in Forbes Top Ten List for the Best Education in the Biggest Cities. Bill was named National School Superintendent of the Year in 2004. That same year, he received the NCCU Chancellor’s Merit Award and was honored to serve as his alma mater’s Commencement speaker.
Since her 2006 retirement, Faye has continued working with students as scholarship coordinator for the North Carolina American Chemical Society’s Project SEED program, which provides science training and help with the college admissions process for underserved, academically gifted high school students.
Bill has authored a book, titled A District’s Journey to Excellence, offering an account of his tenure as Wake County superintendent. In addition, he also works with North Carolina State University to coach aspiring principals in the university’s Master of School Administration program.
Neither Faye nor Bill show signs of slowing down. In their spare time, the couple enjoys spending time with daughters Tiffany Fox and Crystal Utley, and their families, including grandchildren Yahzmin Fox, Moses Fox IV, Tiffany Alexandria Utley and James Christopher Utley.
They also will continue building their endowment fund and encouraging other alumni to establish funds to support NCCU.
“There is a long list of individuals from all ethnic backgrounds who attended historically black colleges or universities and beat the odds,” Bill said.
“NC Central has been a driving force for many. It needs the ongoing support of alumni giving to ensure that the university is thriving and equipped with the resources for generations to come.”