Elon Alumni Association

Elon Black Alumni Network Awards

These awards are presented annually at Homecoming during the Black Alumni Scholarship banquet.

Click here to access the online nomination form.

2013 Award recipients

Gail Fonville Parker '70 Distinguished Alumna Award

A consummate educator, Ruby Thornton graduated from Elon in 1999 with a degree in elementary education. She is an English language arts teacher at Thomasville Middle School in Thomasville, N.C. Before assuming that role, she served as elective teacher and coordinator for the Advancement Via Individual Determination program at Stephen Decatur Middle School in Clinton, Md. In that position, she was responsible for teaching students college and career preparatory skills, as well as critical reading and writing skills, often mentoring students from challenging backgrounds. Ruby resides in Greensboro with her three children, William, Melvin III and Camille.

Eugene Perry '69 Distinguished Alumnus Award

Shortly after graduating from Elon in 1986 with a degree in business administration, Darryl Smith joined United Parcel Service as a driver. He has been with UPS for 27 years and presently serves as vice president of sales for UPS Capital. During his time at Elon, Darryl was one of a few black students on campus, and fondly remembers dormitory custodians, cafeteria cooks, coaches and others who pushed him to pursue his dreams for the future. Darryl has a passion for mentoring young people and works alongside students at Elon interested in pursuing a career in sales. An Elon ambassador in his community, Darryl volunteers with the elderly and distressed youth and is actively involved with his church. He and Kimberly, his wife of 20 years, have two sons, Kyler, 14, and Colton,10.

K. Wilhelmina Boyd Outstanding Service to Students Award

Since joining Elon in 2005, Associate Professor of English Prudence Layne has worked as a tireless advocate for students, faculty and staff of diverse populations. After being selected to lead the African & African-American Studies program in 2006, Prudence has reinvigorated the legacy of Professor K. Wilhelmina Boyd, the program’s founding coordinator, by promoting knowledge about African and African-descended peoples through advocacy, research, scholarship, service and teaching. Prudence holds undergraduate degrees in English and political science and a master’s degree in English from Howard University and a doctoral degree in English from the University of Miami. She is the daughter of a proud mom, Mavis Layne.

Previous year recipients


  • Gail Fonville '70 Distinguished Alumni Award: Dr. L’Tanya Richmond '87
  • Eugene Perry '69 Distinguished Alumni Award: Frank Haith '88
  • K. Wilhelmina Boyd Outstanding Service to Students Award: Melissa Jordan '04


  • Gail Fonville '70 Distinguished Alumni Award: Dr. Donna Hill Oliver '72
  • Eugene Perry '69 Distinguished Alumni Award:Priscilla Awkard '95
  • K. Wilhelmina Boyd Outstanding Service to Students Award: Dr. Matthew Clark


  • Staff Awards: Marsha Boone P'06, Janice Ratliff & Betty Covington P'94
  • Alumni Awards: Annette Leath Orbert '90 & Lisa Roper '93 P'11
  • Faculty Award: Dr. K. Wilhelmina Boyd
  • Organization Award: Black Cultural Society