Inside WFU

Wake Forest news for faculty and staff


Wagstaff, ‘father of the economics department,’ dies

wagstaff.200x275By Kerry M. King (’85), Wake Forest Magazine
Photo by Lee Reunion

J. Van Wagstaff amassed a number of noteworthy accomplishments during his 28 years on the faculty, but his most rewarding achievement, he once said, was teaching more than 6,000 students.

Leave it to an economist to tally the number of students who took his classes on public finance and micro and macro principles of economics from 1964 to 1992. Wagstaff, who helped establish the economics department in the late 1960s, died on July 13. He was 84.

He is survived by his wife, Marge; three children, Victoria Howell (’79), Terry Williams (’81) and Joseph Wagstaff Jr. (’80); and eight grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Augsburg Lutheran Church in Winston-Salem; the family will receive friends following the service.

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Former professor Litcher dies

John Litcher on motorcycle (1977)John H. Litcher (P ’83, ’85), who taught a generation of education students how to become great teachers, died Feb. 22 after a lengthy illness. He was 75.

Litcher was also regarded for his community service and was a support team member and a past president of the Lewisville (NC) Fire Department.

A celebration of life service will be held at 2 p.m. on March 8 at Lewisville Fire Department Station 13, 9420 Shallowford Road, Lewisville, N.C.

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School of Business’ Melissa Clark passes away

We are saddened to inform you that Melissa Clark, administrative assistant for the Market Readiness and Employment office in the School of Business, died Dec. 9 after an extended illness.

We grieve Melissa’s loss and extend our condolences to her family, friends and co-workers.

Melissa joined Wake Forest’s staff in 2010 and helped manage career development events and on-campus recruitment activities.

A memorial service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, December 13, 2013 at Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Melissa Clark Children’s Fund at any Wells Fargo location or to Rescue House Church, 653 Wilksboro St., Mocksville, NC 27028.

Read the obituary in the Winston-Salem Journal.

Wake Forest offers support and counseling services for all students, faculty and staff.  The Counseling Center may be reached at 758-5273, the Chaplain’s Office at 758-5210. For faculty and staff, there is also the Employee Assistance Program at 716-5493.

Former professor Covey passes away

Cyclone CoveyWe are saddened to inform you that Cyclone Covey, professor emeritus of history, died Nov. 22 in Winston-Salem. Covey was a member of the Wake Forest faculty from 1968 until his retirement in 1988.

A memorial service for Covey will be held Dec. 1 at 3 p.m. in Wait Chapel. A reception for the family will be held earlier in the afternoon, at 1:30 p.m., at Frank Vogler & Sons funeral home on Reynolda Road.

In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family requests that donations be made to the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at  P.O. Box 7777, Winston-Salem, NC 27109 or through the online giving form.

Read a story about Covey in the Winston-Salem Journal »

Read the obituary in the Winston-Salem Journal »

Elizabeth Stroupe passes away

Henry and Elizabeth Stroupe pose in front of their Faculty Drive home in 2006.

Henry and Elizabeth Stroupe pose in front of their Faculty Drive home in 2006. The Stroupes moved into the home in 1956.

Elizabeth Stroupe, wife of longtime faculty member Henry and mother of current faculty member David (’68), passed away on Nov. 4 a week after she had turned 100. Henry Stroupe began teaching history on the Old Campus, and he retired in 1984. The Stroupes were married for 67 years until Henry died in 2009.

Elizabeth Stroupe served as president of the University Club, and as wife of the chair of the history department and dean of the Graduate School, she was hostess for many faculty and student events both at home and on campus. Elizabeth and Henry were avid sports fans, attending all home football and basketball games until both were well into their 90s.

David Stroupe is a lecturer in Health and Exercise Science.

Read more about Elizabeth and sign the guestbook »

Wake Forest legends Casey, Sawyer pass away

Two important figures in Wake Forest history passed away this week.

Dot Casey

Dot CaseyDorothy “Dot” Casey, a member of the WFU Sports Hall of Fame, died on July 16 at the age of 87.

Few people were more important to the evolution of women’s athletics at Wake Forest than Casey, who came to Wake Forest in 1949. Before 1971, women only competed in intramural athletics at Wake Forest. But Casey and lifelong friend Marge Crisp teamed to start an intercollegiate program that became the foundation of women’s athletics today.

A memorial service will be held on Friday at 2 p.m. at the Salemtowne Retirement Community Center with a reception immediately following. A formal burial will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Dudley, N.C, at the Emmaus Baptist Church.

Read more from Wake Forest sports »

Jack Sawyer

Jack Sawyer John Wesley “Jack” Sawyer (’38, MS ’43), a mathematics professor emeritus who was called “an important figure in the modern history of Wake Forest,” died in his sleep July 13. He was 95.

Wake Forest Provost Emeritus Ed Wilson said that Sawyer contributed a great amount to the school in academia, athletics and art. Sawyer joined the mathematics department at Wake Forest in 1956, the year the school moved to Winston-Salem.

In 1993, the department of mathematics and computer science established a John W. Sawyer Prize in Computer Science, which is awarded in his honor annually to a senior.

Sawyer also served as president of the ACC four times and as an NCAA vice-president after extensive work on multiple NCAA committees.

Sawyer’s son said his father also loved music and could play almost any kind of wind or keyboard instrument. Wilson said he remembers him playing the organ at many Wake Forest basketball games.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. in Wait Chapel on Sunday. Visitation will be held at Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home on Silas Creek Parkway from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Read more from the Winston-Salem Journal »

Service set for Reid

A funeral service for Melvin Reid will be held at noon on May 13 at Praise Assembly Church Ministries, 3254 Kernersville Road, in Winston-Salem. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to noon at the church.

Mr. Reid was familiar to many at Wake Forest as a long-time driver for the University’s shuttle bus system. He died May 6.

Reid, long-time shuttle driver, dies

The University is saddened to inform faculty and staff that Melvin Reid, familiar to many on campus as a long-time driver for the University’s shuttle bus system, died May 6 while on duty.

Reid suffered a fatal health incident after driving his empty University van to a nearby apartment complex on the morning of May 6. No one had boarded the van at the time he became ill. An ambulance took him to a Winston-Salem hospital. He did not recover.

The University grieves Reid’s loss and extend its condolences to his family and friends, as well as those at Wake Forest — including many co-workers — who had the opportunity to know him.

Reid joined Wake Forest’s staff in 2003. He retired in 2012, but was driving for the University on a part-time basis since retirement.

Wake Forest offers support and counseling services for all students, faculty and staff. The Counseling Center may be reached at 758-5273, the Chaplain’s Office at 758-5210. For faculty and staff, there is also the Employee Assistance Program at 716-5493.

When available, the University will share information on services arranged by his family.

Memorial today for Medved

Wake Forest will hold a memorial service for Christian Medved on Feb. 13 at 4 p.m. in Wait Chapel. All are invited.

A first-year student, Medved died last week in his hometown of Pleasanton, Calif.

Professor Emeritus Carlton Mitchell dies

Carlton MitchellLongtime religion professor Carlton T. Mitchell (’43) remained devoted to his alma mater long after he retired in 1991. As president of the University’s Half Century Club — for alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago — he encouraged alumni to remain active and welcomed them back to campus every fall.

Mitchell, who died Jan. 30 in Winston-Salem, is being remembered for his service to the University as a professor, alumnus and volunteer leader. He was 92. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Feb. 16 in Wait Chapel. He is survived by two daughters, Grace Mitchell and Betty Morgan; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His wife, Miriam, died in 2000. He was also predeceased by a son, John Robert Mitchell.

Read his full obituary and sign his guestbook »

Mitchell joined the faculty in 1961 and taught American church history, religious education and the psychology of religion. When he retired in 1991, he was recognized as “a great friend whose sound judgment and good humor exemplify the intellectual vitality, compassion and faith that fulfill Wake Forest’s mission.”

He enthusiastically served as president of the Half Century Club until stepping down several years ago for health reasons. Bob Mills (’71, MBA ’80), associate vice president for University Advancement, recalls having Mitchell for classes in Old and New Testament and, years later, his service as a volunteer leader. “That deep, deliberate, precise voice of his still rings in my ears. And in his retirement, if it had been possible for someone to be our eternal president of the Half Century Club, he would have accepted the job happily.”

Professor Emeritus of Religion Fred Horton remembered Mitchell as a great friend and a strong department chair. “He was a very straight-forward guy and a defender of academic freedom.” Continue reading »