Mark H. Reece, who retired as Wake Forest University’s dean of students in 1988, died today. He was 71.
For his 32 years of distinguished service to the university, Reece received Wake Forest’s highest honor, the Medallion of Merit, in 1996.
“To generations of students, Mark Reece was a counselor and a guardian, using the authority of his office whenever he had to, and even being stern when firmness was called for, but never really masking the kindness that lay behind the official look he had to wear,” said Ed Wilson, Wake Forest’s provost emeritus.
Reece came to Wake Forest as associate director of alumni activities in 1956. Named director of student affairs in 1958, he became dean of men in 1963. For more than 20 years, Reece held the post. He became dean of students in 1984, when the offices of the dean of men and dean of women were combined.
“Working with Mark Reece as dean of men when I was dean of women was special. I have never seen him angry, disgusted or disappointed,” said Lula M. Leake, associate vice president for academic affairs. “He was always patient, fair and forgiving.”
During his tenure at Wake Forest, Reece worked with the Student Union, fraternities and a range of other student groups. He was instrumental in starting the Student Union Collection of Contemporary Art and, in 1963, he began taking students to New York to purchase new works for the collection.
A native of Jonesville, Reece attended Wake Forest in 1943, spent 30 months in the U.S. Navy and returned to Wake Forest in 1946. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1949.
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