Betty Perry, the daughter of Frances Barr Laird and John Edgar Laird, was born at Samaritan Hospital. She was educated in Ashland City Schools and graduated from AshlandHigh School in 1957. She married Charles Perry in 1960, who died of colon cancer in 1999. He was the founding President of Florida International University, a state university in Miami, Florida with a current enrollment of over 30,000 students. His entrepreneurial career moved them to seven states during which they reared their two children, Tom and Lynn. Betty completed an Associate Degree in Humanities at Miami-Dade Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Florida International University, and a Master of Science in Health Care Planning and Policy at the College of Urban Affairs at Georgia StateUniversity in Atlanta.
Throughout her lifetime, art and music have been her passion, having been encouraged by her parents, “Doc” Pete, Cal Rogers and Mrs. Garrigus, her voice teacher. A high school Scholastic Art Award honorable mention encouraged her art interest. She has explored studio art, namely water media via university courses and workshops and hopes to complete her BFA in art in the near future.
She believes it is the future generation and their exposure and education which offer the hope of preserving and enjoying fine art, jazz, classical and “show” music. She has chosen ACCF to handle her gift in the most efficient way to underwrite her charitable desires.