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Elon pays tribute to the life, gifts of Edna Truitt Noiles '44

The memorial service in the Sacred Space of the Numen Lumen Pavilion offered the opportunity to celebrate the life of Noiles, an alumna and long-time supporter of Elon. 

Dozens gathered in the Sacred Space within the Numen Lumen Pavilion on Tuesday to pay tribute to the life of Edna Truitt Noiles '44, whose generosity as a founding donor with her husband, Doug Noiles, helped launch the Elon Academy and led to the creation of the Vera Richardson Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life. 

Jim Piatt, vice president for university advancement, speaks during an April 18 memorial service for Edna Truitt Noiles '44. 

Noiles, who passed away in February at the age of 93, grew up near Elon and was a steadfast supporter of the university throughout her years. Tuesday offered an opportunity for those she touched to offer a word of thanks for her friendship and support. 

In his remarks, Elon President Leo M. Lambert called her a "golden human being" whose deep spirituality and faith impacted the lives of those she met. Her belief in the power of educational opportunity in the lives of children led the Noiles to provide "the booster rocket, the propulsion" for Elon Academy, a college access and success program that has touched the lives of hundreds. 

One of those was Miriam Lopez-Rosales '17, who told those at the service that her participation in the Elon Academy led her to pursue a degree at Elon. "Without the Elon Academy, I don't think I would be here," Lopez-Rosales said. "I've had so many opportunities." 

Emily DemaioNewton '18, a multifaith intern in the Truitt Center, talked about how her work with the center led to to better understand the worldviews of others from different faith backgrounds. "I appreciate the gift the Truitt Center has given me of increasing the depth of understanding of the world and all the different people in it," DemaioNewton said. 

That experience fits with the theme of reconciliation that prompted Noiles to support the creation of the Truitt Center, which is named for her mother, said Nan Perkins, vice president emerita. Through the center, she hoped Elon students would learn about their own faiths and the faiths of others, and in doing so, work toward reconciliation and peace in the world, Perkins said. 

For her support of the university throughout her life, President Lambert presented Noiles last summer with the Elon Medallion, the university's highest honor. 

Owen Covington,
4/18/2017 4:35 PM