George Frizzell, head of special collections at Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library, is the 2013 recipient of the Thornton W. Mitchell Service Award for outstanding service to the archival profession in North Carolina.
A native of Jackson County, Frizzell is a descendant of a family that has lived in the area for more than 200 years. His grandfather attended the small school that was the predecessor of WCU, and his father was employed by the university. Frizzell earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from WCU and a Master of Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
In recent years, Frizzell has given dozens of talks, tours and presentations to community organizations, regional historical and genealogical societies, public libraries, civic groups, community centers, elementary school classes, student organizations, churches, and conferences and symposia on regional history. A founding member and former president of the Jackson County Historical Association, he is a Cherokee scholar and has published many articles on the Native American experience in professional journals. He also is a published poet and an aficionado of rock ‘n’ roll music.