Washington -- Dr. Maya Angelou was one of 15 civilians honored Tuesday during a special ceremony at the White House as she received the Medal of Freedom.
Aside from being an award winning author and poet, Dr. Angelou is a professor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
The entire list of honorees is as follows: former President George H. W. Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Congressman John Lewis, Natural Resources Defense Council co-founder John Adams, poet and activist Maya Angelou (Winston-Salem NC native), Warren Buffet, Artist Jasper Johns, Holocaust survivor and activist Gerda Weissmann Klein, Dr. Tom Little (posthumous) who was killed in Afghanistan, Musician/cellist Yo-Yo Ma, former Boston Celtic basketball player Bill Russell, Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial, and former AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.
The president bent down to kiss Dr. Angelou on the cheek after putting the medal around her neck.
During the President's speech, he said Dr. Angelou had such an impression on his mother, she named her daughter Maya.
WFMY News 2