Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tarpley named Charles Brown Award winner

By Meg Hibbert

SALEM – Former Salem Mayor Carl “Sonny” Tarpley, one of the longest-serving members of Salem City Council, was named the 14th recipient of Roanoke College’s Charles Brown Award today.

The award was named for the first true dean of the college, who was also the only college employee to serve as mayor of the City of Salem.

Roanoke College President Mike Maxey, left, congratulates Sonny Tarpley, recipient of the college's Charles Brown Award on Oct. 5. Photo by Margaret Christ

Roanoke College President Mike Maxey, left, congratulates Sonny Tarpley, recipient of the college's Charles Brown Award on Oct. 5. Photo by Margaret Christ

Tarpley served on Salem City Council from 1974 until 2006, and under his tenure as mayor for much of that time, Salem accomplished major advances, such as a professional police force, upgrades to the electrical land water system, and Tarpley’s dream, an Olympic-size pool for Salem High School swimmers to practice and compete.

The pool is part of the Salem Family YMCA, and became reality with a major contribution from the City of Salem.

Current Salem Mayor Randy Foley thanked Roanoke College “for recognizing a citizen who has as much impact as anyone on our community.”

Tarpley began his banking career in 1978 as one original founders of Salem Bank and Trust. The bank merged with FNB Corp. in 2001. Tarpley was president of the bank when he retired from banking in 2005.

Among those present to see Tarpley receive his award were his wife, Joyce, their two daughters and Tarpley’s father, Carl Tarpley. Sonny and Joyce Tarpley own a house at Claytor Lake, but after his retirement from council, sold their Salem home and live much of the year in Florida.

Two previous recipients of the Brown award, Dr. Wayne Tripp and Louise Braxton, were among the 80 people at the breakfast announcement in the Wortmann Ballroom at the college. Tripp is retired superintendent of Salem Public Schools. Braxton was a longtime kindergarten teacher who retired from West Salem Elementary School.

Also present were all the current members of Salem City Council except Vice Mayor John Givens, who is recovering from double knee replacements.

Nominations for the Brown award come from the community.

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