In 2012 Alice was honored as a Town Treasure by the Chapel Hill Historical Society in recognition of her service to the Chapel Hill and Carrboro community. Then in 2014 she received the Village Pride Award from WCHL as a Hometown Hero for her contributions to Orange County.
The citations for the Goodmon Award and for Town Treasure are given below.
Jim Goodmon presented the award to Alice for
Exemplary Regional Leadership By An Elected Official
Leadership Triangle presented the fifth annual Goodmon Awards, recognizing individuals and organizations that exhibit outstanding regional leadership, on December 11, 2006 in Durham, N.C. In the "elected official" category, the award went to Alice Gordon.
New Hope Preserve was one of the acquisitions funded
by the Lands Legacy Program, the first comprehensive
county land acquisition program in North Carolina
Alice Gordon has been an Orange County Commissioner for 16 years. During that time, she has proactively addressed regional growth while enhancing the quality of life that defines the Triangle. An unsung champion and distinguished leader, Alice's work focuses on two areas: environmental protection and regional transportation. In her quiet, methodical manner she displayed passion, vision, and leadership in promoting and helping to implement the first comprehensive county land acquisition program in North Carolina: The Lands Legacy Program and the new environmental department essential to its operation. In six years the award-winning initiative has protected more than 1,700 acres of the county's most important natural and cultural resources, including farmland, parkland, and critical natural areas. Among the notable acquisitions are the New Hope Preserve on the Durham - Orange County boundary and the Little River Regional Park and Natural Area which spans the two counties. Alice has been at the forefront of regional transportation leadership for a decade, and has served as an officer or executive committee member on several regional boards including a multi-jurisdiction policy board of elected officials directing urban transportation planning for Durham, Orange, and northern Chatham counties. More recently she spearheaded the creation of the new TTA Hillsborough-Chapel Hill bus route, a huge step toward inter-city connectivity. Alice currently chairs the Triangle Transit Authority. Alice's accomplishments in the areas of environmental protection and regional transportation have made significant contributions in addressing the rapid growth dilemma that challenges our Triangle home, and make her truly worthy of receiving this award.
Leadership Triangle Awards for 2006
The Leadership Triangle website explains the rationale for the Goodmon awards as follows: As communities across the Triangle come to understand the importance of working together, regional thinking and regional cooperation become more essential to our individual and collective well being. Yet we have few mechanisms in place for rewarding such regional foresight and action. As a result, Leadership Triangle has established these annual awards in honor of James F. Goodmon to recognize leaders in our community who are regionally minded, and who exhibit that frame of mind in their personal and professional lives.
Town Treasures has been a program of the Chapel Hill Historical Society since 2008. This annual program recognizes individuals and couples for their contributions to the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro over the years.
In the recognition ceremony honoring those who have generously served the community, each individual receives a commendation from the Chapel Hill Mayor's office. The photographs and citations describing the contributions of the honorees are on view at the Seymour Center on Homestead Road in Chapel Hill.
The photograph and citation for Alice are shown below. The photograph was taken by Catharine Carter in the spring of 2012.
Alice, shown here at the Southern Human Services Center,
was recognized as a Town Treasure by the
Chapel Hill Historical Society in 2012
Alice Marie Gordon was born on July 1, 1937 in Columbus, Ohio, and grew up there. She received a B.Sc. in Psychology from The Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. She and her husband, Alan Biermann, have been married over forty years, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren. Alice became a Chapel Hill resident in 1972 when she accepted a position at the University of North Carolina. She worked as a research psychologist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, specializing in the study of children’s language development. In the 1980s, Alice served as Chair of the Orange County Planning Board and President of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools PTA Council. She was elected to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) of Orange County in 1990. Alice has served as Board Chair, and Vice Chair, and is now in her sixth consecutive term as a Commissioner. In 2006, Leadership Triangle honored Alice with the Goodmon Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership by an Elected Official for her significant contributions in the areas of environmental protection and regional transportation. The award citation stated that she had "proactively addressed regional growth while enhancing the quality of life that defines the Triangle."
Alice’s contributions to Chapel Hill and Carrboro have focused on the areas of public education, environmental protection, and regional transportation. She has been a dedicated champion of excellent public schools and played an important role in crafting the county’s Schools Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance to plan ahead for school growth. Since new schools are built when needed, this ordinance helps prevent school overcrowding.
The second initiative saw the production of the first joint transportation plan for the western and eastern parts of the Triangle region, which had previously been planned separately. Alice chaired the policy board of the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (DCHC MPO), the regional organization responsible for transportation planning in the western part of the Triangle. In 2007 and 2008, while serving as Chair, she led the collaborative effort between the DCHC MPO and the Capital Area MPO to create a joint 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan. As a result, Chapel Hill and Carrboro are part of an area with a unified plan to guide future transportation investments. In 2009, the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations honored these two MPOs with the National Award for Outstanding Achievement in Metropolitan Transportation Planning for their exemplary collaborative planning effort. As a current member of the DCHC MPO, Alice continues to promote better public transit and to foster efforts for improving air quality. She has also served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Triangle Transit, the regional public transit agency, and spearheaded the creation of that agency’s bus route connecting Chapel Hill and Hillsborough.