N.C. governor honors Human Service Studies professors

Associate professors Bud and Beth Warner have been awarded the Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service by North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue for their work with the local Mayco Bigelow Community Center and North Park, recreational facilities managed by the City of Burlington Recreation and Parks Department.

Associate professors Bud and Beth Warner

Created in 1979, the Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service has recognized more than 16,000 North Carolinians for their service. The Warners were recognized in the Family Category.

“Beth and I are both very humbled by it because there are a lot of people who do a lot more than we do,” Bud Warner said. “We’re really honored that the work and investment we’ve tried to put back into a community that’s been neglected is starting to pay off.”

The Warners, professors in the Department of Human Service Studies, were honored last spring with the Alamance County Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service before their nomination for the state award.

“The tradition of volunteerism is the heart of community services in our state,” Perdue wrote in a letter to the Warners. “Recognizing the needs of others and working to improve those circumstances strengthen us all, and your commitment sets an impressive standard for volunteer service.”

Bud Warner said the couple has been working at North Park for three years after getting involved through a service-learning class. The Warners were instrumental in starting a Community Advisory Board that works to assess the needs of the surrounding community.

“They work to get local neighborhoods folks reconnected with the center,” Bud Warner said. “They reached out to create a group of people that live in the community and want to help decide what kind of programming should be offered and how to reach out to kids and other people.”

Bud Warner said he and Beth were encouraged to get involved by William Gattis, director of the Center. “Seeing people that are routinely ignored speaks to both of us,” Warner said. “We wanted to work more closely with Gattis as he strove to work in the community.”

Bud Warner joined the Elon faculty in 2006 and was selected as a Service-Learning Faculty Scholar in 2007-2008. He is currently serving as Elon’s first Faculty Fellow for Civic Engagement. Beth Warner arrived at Elon in 2003. She received the College of Arts and Sciences Service Award in 2005.

– Written by Caitlin O’Donnell ‘13