The Distinguished Alumni Awards are conferred annually at a signature event that celebrates the achievements of each recipient. The 2023 Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner was held on Friday, April 21, in the Sutton Center on Wake Forest’s Reynolda Campus. The 2023 honorees are Wake Forest trailblazer Beth Norbrey Hopkins (’73, P ’12, P ’15) and champion of the arts J. D. Wilson (’69, P ’01).

View photos of the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Awards on Flickr

Read more about the recipients

Beth Norbrey Hopkins (’73, P ’12, P ’15)

Beth Norbrey Hopkins is a Wake Forest pioneer who leaves a legacy of service at the University and in the Winston-Salem community. As a gifted Wake Forest School of Law professor who was named director of outreach in 2012, Beth transformed the law school’s Pro Bono Project and Public Interest Law Organization into nationally recognized programs. Under her leadership, underserved members of the community were provided legal assistance through a network of talented students, colleagues and local attorneys. From her days as a student when Wake Forest struggled with integration until she retired after 30 years of employment with the University, Beth never lost her energetic drive to compel change.

J. D. Wilson (’69, P ’01)

J. D. Wilson’s contagious enthusiasm for the arts has helped transform Winston-Salem into a mecca for the performing and visual arts. Not only is J. D. a gifted businessman and entrepreneur who co-founded Excalibur and Stepstone Strategic, but he has also served on the board (frequently as chair) of nearly every arts-connected organization, institution and nonprofit in Winston-Salem. With an unsurpassed passion for the arts that began when he was a participant in Wake Forest’s 1969 student-led art buying trip to New York City and evolved into his recent recognition by Wake the Arts as Distinguished Arts Ambassador, J. D. is a living legend at Wake Forest and in the arts community of Winston-Salem.