WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The University of North Carolina School of the Arts community is mourning the loss of founder and longtime supporter Helen Copenhaver "Copey" Hanes, who died early Saturday morning at the age of 96.
Hanes supported UNCSA in many ways. While serving as a senator in the 1960s, her late husband, James Gordon Hanes, introduced legislation that established he school in 1963. A year later, Mrs. Hanes and volunteers organized a phone bank that called almost every phone number in Winston-Salem. That determination raised more than $850,000, ensuring that Winston-Salem would be the future home of UNCSA.
She served on the UNCSA Board of Trustees as a UNC Board of Governors appointee from 1989-1993, and at the time of her death, Hanes was a founding and longtime member of the UNCSA Board of visitors and an emerita member.
She also was a charter lifetime member of the UNCSA Giannini Society, and also served as a member of the Founders Society, the Encore Society and the Chancellor's Circle at the school. In 2003, Hanes received an honorary degree from UNCSA, and in 2006, she and her husband received the Giannini Award.
Her work was recognized with a variety of honors and awards, including the Arts Council Award, the Alumni Citation from Wittenberg College, the Katharine Reynolds Johnston League Legacy Award from the Junior League of Winston-Salem, and the Archie K. Davis Award from the Wachovia Historical Society. Hanes was also inducted into the North Carolina Women's Hall of Fame.
Her son, Redge Hanes told WFMY News 2 his mother lived a humble life. She never wanted a lot of recognition.
Hanes said his favorite memory of his mom was when she was inducted into the North Carolina Women's Hall of Fame.
"She was extremely proud that day," Hanes said. "Though she would say 'I don't deserve this,' but apparently a great amount of people believed she did."
"I was very proud over and happy she was really happy," Hanes said.
Click here to see pictures of UNCSA in its early days.
"She was one of a kind. Irreplaceable," said UNCSA Founder and Trustee Emeritus Thomas S. Kenan III.
A service will take place in Salem Cemetery at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 31st, followed by a memorial service at Centenary United Methodist Church at 11 a.m.
WFMY News 2