Rudy Wright International Service Award

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Application Information / Click Here to Apply


The purpose of the Rudy Wright International Service Award is to recognize an individual or organization that is based within the 4-county Greater Hickory Metro Region (which includes Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties) and has made an outstanding contribution of goodwill, service, cultural awareness, tolerance, and/or global connectedness to their community.


On May 7, 2002, the Hickory International Council (HIC) was founded by former Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright and Hickory’s city council.  HIC was created to serve as a forum for the international community in Hickory in addition to advising the mayor and the city council on ways to improve and expand Hickory as an international city that welcomes and values its international visitors, residents, and businesses.  On July 1, 2019, HIC transitioned to a non-profit organization serving not only the City of Hickory, but also expanding to include the entire 4-county Greater Hickory region.  Its name was officially changed to the Greater Hickory International Council (GHIC), which now inclusively serves the 4-county region of Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties.  This prestigious award honors Mayor Wright’s legacy and the countless contributions he personally made to the international community, while recognizing an individual or group of individuals that share his goodwill, generosity of spirit, and interest in global connectedness within our regional communities.


Individuals and/or organizations will be asked to submit an essay (500 word count max) outlining the contributions they have made promoting goodwill, service, cultural awareness, tolerance, and/or global connectedness in their community. Applications will be collected through the GHIC website annually from January 1 – March 31.  The selection committee will review all applications during the month of April and the winner will be selected, contacted, and publicly announced the first week in May.  An award presentation will take place on May 7 (or the closest weekday to that date) to commemorate the official day that the former Hickory International Council and current Greater Hickory International Council was formed.  You may submit your application on this page by using the “Click Here to Apply” button at the top of the page. The form allows you to upload relevant photos.

A face-to-face or virtual meeting is required for all finalists.

When using a contact email address, if you are a student, you will need to use your personal email vs. your school email.  Due to security reasons, we will not be able to reach you directly through your school email address.


Those chosen will receive a $1000 grant and a plaque commemorating the award.