Emory Medalists 2010

Nurse practitioner, business leader earn Emory's highest alumni honor

Shining Examples: William Warren III 53B and Twilla Haynes 80 MN are leaders in volunteerism and community spirit.
Ann Borden

The 2010 Emory Medalists include a nurse practitioner and educator dedicated to teaching students close to home and helping some of the world’s most vulnerable populations abroad, and an Atlanta business and alumni leader who traces his family roots back to Emory’s beginnings and has worked tirelessly for six decades to improve his alma mater.

Those alumni, Twilla Haynes 80MN and William Warren III 53B, received their Emory Medals at a ceremony on Thursday, October 7, in Cox Hall. Awarded by the Emory Alumni Association (EAA), the Emory Medal is the highest University award given exclusively to alumni.

In the aftermath of the earthquake that devastated Haiti in early 2010, an organization named Eternal Hope in Haiti (EHIH) was tapped to help coordinate rescue services for thousands of earthquake victims in the second largest city in Haiti, Cap-Haitien. EHIH was founded by Haynes, an Emory alumna who has worked for more than a quarter century to improve the lives of Haitians of all ages.

In 1984, in response to a measles outbreak in Cap-Haitien, Haynes was asked to assist in providing health care and immunization services there. The impact of that trip has driven Haynes personally and professionally ever since.

“It was more than about health care,” Haynes said. “It was taking care of humans—humankind. There was starvation, lack of water, lack of housing—people were living in squalor. Even as much as the needs of the population, the people, I was also overwhelmed by the needs of the providers. They didn’t have basic working tools.”

In 1985, Haynes established a public health international nursing course that incorporated Haiti as part of the learning experience. “The students really drove it,” she said. “And I began to see the world through their eyes. They were excited about it. I also saw how little it took to save a life. I saw a twenty-cent box of Amoxicillin save little lives.”

Then, in 1993, Haynes, with the help of her daughters—Angela Haynes 91PH 08N 09MN and Hope Haynes Bussewius 93MN—founded EHIH. In 1996, the Haynes family opened the Hope Haven Orphanage in Cap-Haitien.

Haynes, a nurse practitioner, also is cofounder of Health Connections, an Atlanta-based organization that serves the needs of the poor and underserved. Both of her daughters assist with care at the Health Connections Clinic in Jefferson, Georgia, which treats nearly 5,400 patients annually.

“I raised them with that notion that there are always those out there who have less, and it is our responsibility to share and help bring them up,” Haynes said.

Haynes has more than twenty-five years of teaching experience and has served on the faculty of several universities, including the Medical College of Georgia, where she was twice named Teacher of the Year. She also has assisted with the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing’s South Georgia Farm Workers Health Project and has served on Emory’s Nurses’ Alumni Association (NAA) Board.

Like Haynes, Warren is a longtime alumni leader, and he has deep family ties to the institution. When Warren graduated from Emory in 1953, his maternal grandfather, Charles Howard Candler 1898C, handed him his diploma. His paternal grandfather, William Chester Warren 1890M was an alumnus, too. Warren’s father, William C. Warren Jr. 20C 22M, served as president of the Board of Governors (as the Emory Alumni Board once was known) from 1947 to 1948, and Warren’s son, William C. Warren IV 79M 82MR, is an alumnus and trustee. That’s four generations of Warrens at Emory—it is no stretch to say that Billy Warren’s family helped build Emory into the institution it is today.

“I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth,” Warren said simply. “But my parents didn’t act that way and neither did my grandparents.” Warren grew up at Callenwolde and lived with both earlier generations of his family.

Even from a young age, Warren developed a remarkable work ethic and a sly sense of humor. When he stepped to the podium to receive his medal, he brought an athletic bag with him. Warren said he used the prop so he could keep the audience’s attention while he was speaking—everyone would want to know what was in the bag.

Just before stepping down, he opened the bag to reveal . . . an Emory shirt. Boisterous applause followed.

As a young man, he worked in construction and auto repair and, for a year, worked in south Georgia packing peaches. After graduating, he became a fixture of the Atlanta business community. Warren brought that hard-work mindset to Emory, where he has been a fixture at the University for six decades.

Warren has served on the Board of Trustees, Board of Visitors, Alumni Leadership Committee, Emory Healthcare Board, Woodruff Health Sciences Board, Emory Clinic Board, and much more. His work was instrumental in the creation of the internationally recognized Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and Warren also has been a significant supporter of Emory Wesley Woods Hospital (where Warren’s son Glenn is an emeritus board member).

“I hope my grandfather is looking down, seeing me, and saying he’s proud,” Warren said. “And my father, too. I hope they somehow know what is transpiring down here.”

The Emory Medal is awarded each year by the EAA, and recipients are recognized for their accomplishments in at least one of the following areas: distinguished service to Emory, the EAA, or a constituent alumni association; distinguished community or public service; or distinguished achievement in business, the arts, government, or education.

“Twilla Haynes’s and Billy Warren’s contributions to our community have been remarkable,” said Leslie Wingate 82C, senior director for alumni programs with the EAA. “Their engagement with Emory serves as an example for all alumni to follow. Fewer than 150 alumni have received the Emory Medal, and the EAA is proud to welcome our 2010 recipients into this exclusive group.”

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