The Distinguished Alumni Award is conferred annually at a signature event that celebrates the awardees’ achievements. The 2018 Distinguished Alumni Awards were conferred on Friday, April 27. This year’s recipients are Alfred Adams (’68, JD ’73, P ’01), Julie Coyne (’89), and John Medica (MBA ’83).
Alfred Adams is a Double Deacon who made it his 20-year mission to revitalize downtown Winston-Salem, Wake Forest’s hometown. Beginning with his work on a task force charged with engineering the city’s renewal, Alfred has been a driving force in the economic growth and explosive urban energy that now define the downtown area. Alfred applied his skills as a leading commercial real estate attorney to help acquire the land for Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, and is a longtime member of the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership. He also recognizes that urban blight is a blight on the human spirit, and was a leading proponent in efforts to significantly improve living conditions in Winston-Salem’s low-income housing.
When Julie Coyne traveled to Quetzaltnenango, Guatemala, 24 years ago for an internship, she was overwhelmed by the poverty and lack of educational opportunity facing children in the rural mountain community. Julie quickly realized that before she could help improve the children’s minds through tutoring and scholarships, she needed to first nourish their bodies and elevate their spirits. Julie’s tireless efforts to serve the community have evolved into Education and Hope, a holistic program that provides food, healthcare, basic hygiene, tutoring and scholarships – as well as self-worth, dignity, love and hope – to children with few resources in rural Guatemala.
John Medica was a powerful presence in the world of the technology and in the lives of all who were fortunate enough to know him, and his recent loss has been profoundly felt by the Wake Forest community. John transformed the laptop industry, leading product development for Apple’s Powerbook series and essentially reinventing Dell’s notebook computer concept. However, his work as an engineer, innovator and strategist cannot rival the effect he has had on the lives of his family, friends and colleagues. We expect the impact of his friendship, generous spirit, kindness and boisterous wit will endure beyond the technology he developed