McBride, Herbert, Perkins receive Elon Medallions
Elon University chaplain emeritus Richard McBride, Elon trustee Dr. William N.P Herbert ’68 and retired vice president Nan Perkins received Elon Medallions on Aug. 22, 2011, in an annual ceremony that celebrates the highest honor the university bestows on individuals for their meritorious service to the institution.
Medallions recognize those who have contributed outstanding service to Elon over the course of many years. Elon University President Leo M. Lambert awards the honor each year at the start of Planning Week, which marks the beginning of the academic year.
Below are brief summaries of contributions by McBride, Herbert and Perkins to Elon University:
Rev. Richard Wray McBride
McBride served for 25 years as Elon’s spiritual guide as college chaplain, director of church relations and assistant professor of religious studies. He came to Elon in 1984 after serving as assistant chaplain at Wake Forest University and college minister at Gardner-Webb University.
McBride left an indelible mark on the university, guiding the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life through its rapid growth in the past two decades, providing the vision for the Vera Richardson Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and helping to secure the resources to permanently endow the Truitt Center and providing leadership for the use of Holt Chapel and construction of the labyrinth on South Campus.
He also served as board chair for Allied Churches of Alamance County and the Alamance County Community Services Agency; founded Alamance County Habitat for Humanity and the Elon University chapter; envisioned Elon’s successful student-run service program, Elon Volunteers!; launched the university’s first international service-learning course, which he taught in Guatemala; and continued to lead domestic and international service trips.
Continuing his service to the university, McBride now serves as curriculum chair of the new LIFE@ELON program, a lifelong education initiative for alumni, friends, and retired faculty and staff. He previously launched many programs that have become hallmarks of Elon’s campus life, including Senior Showcase, Hometown Heroes, and the Turning 21 Dinner, and provided leadership for the annual holiday lighting ceremony, Moravian love feast, and baccalaureate service.
McBride published his book, Inventing a Life: The Journey through College and Beyond, based on his discussions with Elon students and his popular life stories academic course. He has been recognized for his many contributions to education with Elon’s Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility and lifetime membership honors from The National Association of College and University Chaplains
Together with his siblings, McBride established the Aubrey Wilson and Rubye W. McBride Endowed Scholarship to honor his parents and assist students in the School of Education. He is equally devoted to his family, including his wife, Wendy, their children, Heather, Karen, Jeff, and Scott, a 1991 Elon graduate, their spouses, and their grandchildren.
Dr. William N.P. Herbert ‘68
Herbert demonstrated great promise as a student at Elon College, earning his bachelor’s degree in biology in 1968 and his medical degree from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University in 1972 before completing an internship and residency in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Vanderbilt University in 1976 and a fellowship in the division of maternal and fetal medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas Parkland Hospital.
He returned to North Carolina in 1978 and served for 22 years as a faculty member at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Duke University medical centers before moving on to the University of Virginia Medical Center, where he further distinguished himself as professor of obstetrics and gynecology and chair of the department until his retirement in July 2011.
A respected scholar and practitioner, Herbert made significant contributions to medicine during his career, assisting in the development of groundbreaking prenatal tests to measure fetal lung development and preparing future physicians to care for their patients’ spirits as well as their bodies. He has a national reputation as a successful educator and has received numerous awards in recognition of his contributions to medicine, including the 2008 Distinguished Career Award from the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics.
In recognition of his professional accomplishments, Herbert was named Elon’s Distinguished Young Alumnus of the Year and Distinguished Alumnus of the Year, and despite a demanding schedule, he has made his alma mater a priority, serving in a variety of leadership capacities, first as a youth trustee, later as a member of the Board of Visitors and since 1996 as a member of the Board of Trustees.
Herbert is a member of the Board’s Executive Committee, was vice chair of the Board from 2005 to 2007, and has chaired the Governance and Nominating Committee since the Board’s reorganization in 2004. Bringing his professional experience to the campus, Herbert has served as a member of the Elon University Health Professions Advisory Board, providing an outstanding example of leadership and mentoring students preparing for careers in health care.
He and his wife, Marsha, have been generous donors to the university over the years and are equally devoted to their family, including son, Turner, and his wife, and son, Coleman, and their two grandchildren.
Nan Phipps Perkins
Perkins served Elon for 32 years as a valued member of the senior staff, a close advisor to two presidents, and as vice president for enrollment management and vice president for university advancement, guiding the institution to new levels of national visibility and excellence in academics, communications and philanthropy, and helping to shape and tell the Elon story.
Perkins began her Elon career in 1976 as a part-time English instructor before being named director of communications and launching the office of publications, the predecessor of today’s university relations office, where she managed internal and external communications as director of publications and public information. Under her leadership, Elon received numerous awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, setting a new standard for college and university publications nationwide.
She conceptualized and coordinated Elon’s successful centennial celebration during 1988-1989 before becoming dean of admissions and financial planning and later vice president for enrollment management, overseeing a 30 percent increase in applications and increases in the SAT average of incoming students and helping to develop programs that increased student graduation and retention rates and enabled Elon to achieve recognition in national college and university rankings and guidebooks.
During her leadership of Elon’s advancement office, Perkins presided over the conclusion of the $47 million Elon Vision campaign, a 150 percent increase in annual unrestricted and restricted giving, and planning for the $100 million Ever Elon Campaign, the largest comprehensive fundraising effort in the university’s history. She also helped Elon navigate critical institutional change, including Elon’s transition from college to university status in 2000 and the selection of a new mascot, the Phoenix, the following year.
Perkins and her husband, Edward, have been generous supporters of Elon, endowing the Edward T. and Nan P. Perkins Scholarship to ensure the university remains accessible to deserving students. Her steadfast devotion to Elon and education is matched only by her love for her family, including her husband, her daughters, Laura, a 1988 Elon graduate, and Molly, son, Edward, Jr., their spouses and her seven grandchildren.