The Distinguished Alumni Award is conferred annually at a signature event that celebrates the awardees’ achievements. The 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards were conferred on Friday, April 21. This year’s recipients are Don Flow (MBA ’83), Jim Jones (’55, MD ’59), and Elizabeth Watson (’74).
If we could bottle his energy, Don Flow could sell it. As chairman and chief executive officer of Flow Automotive, his name is synonymous with car sales in North Carolina and Virginia. But he can also sell a community, a message and a cause. Don Flow has made Winston-Salem a tennis tournament mecca, promoted philanthropic efforts like Habitat for Humanity and the United Way and run the most successful capital campaign in Wake Forest University history.
He calls himself a country doctor, but Jim Jones brings new meaning to the expression. After graduation, he remained true to his rural eastern North Carolina roots and devoted a lifetime to practicing in those underserved communities. He also founded the family medicine program at East Carolina University. This country doctor was the first native American to graduate from Wake Forest, the first to graduate from Wake Forest’s School of Medicine and the first to serve as president of both the North Carolina and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He’ll also be the first to tell you it was no big deal.
Every place is special. Just ask Elizabeth Watson. A gifted preservationist and regional planner, Watson can stir the pot of culture, geography and history and bring a community’s unique character bubbling to the top. From the Outer Banks of North Carolina to the Township of Oley, Pennsylvania, she reminds us of our native treasures, lifting economic outlook and local pride along the way.