A graduate of South Edgecombe School and NC State University, Norris Tolson also received a graduate degree from Penn State. A native of Pinetops, he grew up on a farm but went to work in industry after college. Tolson ran the Agrichemicals Marketing Division at DuPont for 28 years before retiring and coming home to North Carolina where he started a second career in state government. He first served in the NC General Assembly. Soon he was tapped to be Secretary of Commerce. Then he was appointed as Secretary of Transportation and later was named Secretary of Revenue. Norris also served on numerous boards including the NC Community College Board, the NC Economic Development Board, the NC Science and Technology Board, and the Bio-fuels Center of NC Board. A board member of the NC Biotechnology Center since 1997, Tolson was chosen as its President/CEO. There he continues to coordinate efforts of government, education and business to lead North Carolina’s biotech industry.
Inducted into Hall of Fame 2008