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Newest honorary alumnus Herbie Wiles recognized among others at Flagler College’s annual Spring Donor Celebration

May 24, 2018 11:40 AM
Row of people seated and looking up at something off camera, presumably the person speaking at the podium.
Herbie Wiles sits with his family during the presentation. Photo by Perry Knotts, '04.

The Flagler College Spring Donor Celebration opened with a welcome by President Dr. Joseph Joyner on Wednesday afternoon, attended by the Board of Trustees, alumni, and supporters of the college, in the new Flagler College Commons area.

Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dr. Beverly Carmichael, ’72 gave remarks on the impact of giving, which contributed to the 331 scholarships handed out last year, and also introduced a 2018 graduate, Dani Martinez, who spoke about her appreciation for donors.

“My time at Flagler was filled with many opportunities,” she said. “Through your generosity, you are helping students like myself study at our amazing school and pursue our dreams.”

Female graduate addressing the audience at the podium.

Raised by her mother, grandmother and grandfather, alongside five siblings, Martinez knows the financial hardships students face when it comes to planning for college. The average financial need for a student at Flagler is $23,664. She says receiving scholarships while in school helped reduce the amount of off-campus work she had to take on in order to be able to focus on her studies.

Honorary alumni recognition is granted to a longtime college supporter who has outwardly exhibited a passion and loyalty to the college despite not having graduated from Flagler. The tradition of recognizing those individuals who meet that criteria began in 2011 with Dr. and Mrs. William T. Abare, Jr., president of Flagler from 2001-2017, and his wife Susan. President of the Alumni Board of Directors Michelle Vijgen, ’01 presented the 2017-2018 honorary alumni which included Louise Lewis Foster, Thomas S. Kenan, III and H.L. “Herbie” Wiles.

Louise Foster was appointed to the Board of Trustees on September 18, 1980 and served until October 22, 1999. She was reappointed to the Board on June 11, 2004, and served until her retirement on May 26, 2010. Foster is the daughter of Flagler College founder Lawrence Lewis, Jr. and has previously served as the President of the Flagler Foundation and as President of the Board of Directors of the Flagler College Endowment Fund. She currently holds the title of Trustee Emerita and resides in High Point, North Carolina.

Tom Kenan is a member of the Flagler family and a Trustee of The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust. Through his support in this role, Flagler College has received over $19 million from the Kenan Trust to help fund multiple building projects, as well as the establishment of the Molly Wiley Endowed Scholarship Fund and the William R. Kenan Professorship Endowed Fund. Kenan received the Flagler College Medallion in 2010, and resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Herbie Wiles is one of Flagler College’s longest and most enthusiastic supporters. A lifelong resident of St. Augustine, Wiles founded Herbie Wiles Insurance in 1961 and received the Order of La Florida award from the St. Augustine City Commission in 2013 for his extraordinary service to community. Wiles has supported numerous projects at Flagler College over the last four decades, including the J. Edward Red Cox Memorial Scholarship, athletics programs, and renovations of the Molly Wiley Art Building and Dining Hall. He is married to Annette Wiles.

Grateful for his new status as an honorary alumnus Wiles said, “I’m among first class people.”


For photos from this event, please visit the photo gallery here.