Wilkes County Hall of Fame 613 Cherry St, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659 • (336) 667-1121

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Frederick "B" William Townes IV

Year Inducted: 2016

Frederick “B” William Townes IV, a native of Danville, Virginia was born in 1953. Townes graduated from George Washington High School, North Carolina State University and he holds additional advanced degrees from several other colleges and universities. He began his professional career at Wilkes Community College (WCC) in 1973 and continued his education while working full-time.

Townes was instrumental in developing the WCC Horticulture Program and master plan for the WCC Gardens construction and endowments. To support the gardens, Townes conceived the idea of a music festival (MerleFest) in memory of Merle Watson. MerleFest draws more than 76,000 participants from all over the world and has a regional economic impact ranging from $10-15 million per year.

As Vice President of Development, “B” led the WCC Endowment Corporation and the Walker Center for more than 20 years and helped to raise over $25 million in assets for the college. Townes was responsible for doubling the size of the WCC campus in land acquisitions, developing performing arts endowments and scholarships. He led efforts to develop WCC’s Master Facilities Plan and retired after 36 years of service.

In 2002, Townes was recognized as “volunteer of the year” by the Greater Winston-Salem YMCA for his efforts in spearheading the capital campaign to build a new YMCA in Wilkesboro. He was also awarded the George Williams service award by the YMCA of Greater Charlotte for his leadership with the Camp Herring Ridge development in 2005. He currently serves on the Charlotte YMCA Camping Services Board.

Townes has been inducted into the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame and has thru-hiked the 2,200 mile Appalachian Trail with his son, William. Townes is married to Martha Ham Townes and they have two children, William and Charlotte. Townes civic activities include President of Wilkes YMCA Board of Directors, Co-Chaired building a new YMCA, President of the Blue Ridge Conservancy, Citizen of Year by North Wilkesboro Rotary Club, Chair Wilkes Chamber of Commerce, and President of Wilkes Beekeepers.

Townes now spends most of his spare time volunteering at WCC and on numerous boards, working on the farm, hunting, fishing, and working with and educating others about honeybees. He and Martha enjoy traveling.