A guest post by Alex Abrams, Communications Coordinator, Office of the Dean of the College
Ed Wilson sat in a plush chair with a book of poetry in his hands.
Rather than enjoying a quiet evening, Wilson entertained the small crowd that gathered on Oct. 23 inside the renovated house at 2430-A Reynolda Road with poems by former Poet Laureate Billy Collins.
Looking up every so often from his book, he recited Collins’ poem “Schoolsville” about a retired college professor adjusting to life away from the classroom. The crowd laughed as Wilson read aloud.
After all, many of the people in attendance for the grand opening of the College House were retired Wake Forest faculty members – including Wilson, the longtime English professor and provost affectionately known as “Mr. Wake Forest.”
This is a guest post from Alex Abrams, communications coordinator in the Office of the Dean of the College:
A large historical marker stands at the corner of Faculty Drive and Timberlake Lane, just across the street from where Wake Forest University’s Department of Biology is housed inside Winston Hall.
The words “Welcome To Historic Wake Forest Neighborhood – Est. 1956” are etched into the metal historical marker, which has been painted old gold and black like other signs posted around campus.
Just past the marker, one- and two-story houses line the five quiet streets that make up the neighborhood. The houses range in style, with some exteriors made of brick and others covered with wood. Large trees in each yard provide both shade on a hot afternoon and a limb for the occasional tree swing.
Martha Allman, WFU’s Dean of Admissions, got a sense of the neighborhood during her four years living on campus as an undergraduate student. Her freshman advisor had a house on Royall Drive and hosted a dinner for students during Orientation.
“I had this very idealized feeling about that neighborhood and how wonderful it would be to live there,” Allman said.
In 2001, Allman and her husband moved their two young daughters into a yellow house on Faculty Drive. Their neighbors include a “Who’s Who” list of WFU administrators, professors, and staff members who also enjoy living on campus, walking to work, and hosting students in their homes.
The Historic Wake Forest Neighborhood was started the same year WFU moved its campus to Winston-Salem as a place for faculty who had relocated to live. It has since grown into a tight-knit community where dozens of university employees have raised their children just down the street from Wait Chapel for more than 50 years.
“Over here faculty members are our next-door neighbors, and the fact that one faculty member was a historian, another one was a psychologist, another one was a physicist, that’s tremendously important,” said Ed Wilson, the longtime English professor and Provost who is affectionately known as Mr. Wake Forest.
“And of course it made our children grow up with the idea that it was important to go to college, and if they could, it was important to do well.”
Wilson still lives in the same four-bedroom house that he and his wife, Emily, built on Timberlake Lane in 1964. He raised his three children there. He can still remember the different routes he used to walk every day to reach his favorite spots on campus, including his office in Tribble Hall.
Categories: Inside WFU
This is a guest post from the Wake Forest University Press:
Wake Forest University Press is hosting a housewarming reception on Friday, Nov. 3, to celebrate a new office space at 2518 Reynolda Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27106. The press will be open to the public for a come-and-go gathering from 4:30–6:30 p.m., and light hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served. Provost Emeritus Ed Wilson will open the reception with a poem, Celtic duo CandelFirth will provide festive live music, and memorabilia from 40 years of WFU Press history will be on display. RSVPs are appreciated by Oct. 27. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336-758-5448.
Wake Forest University Press has made its name as the premier publisher of Irish poetry in North America. The press was founded in 1975 by former Professor of English Dillon Johnston with the help of then Provost Ed Wilson and the university administration. It has published some of the most distinguished poets from Ireland, including Ciaran Carson, Michael Longley, Medbh McGuckian, and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, among others, and brought many a poet to Winston-Salem for readings over the years.
The WFU Press office has been located on the Wake Forest campus throughout its 40-year history, most recently in the basement of Tribble Hall. In spring 2017, the university granted the press a new space just off the Reynolda campus. The new building accommodates all of the WFU Press staff, as well as warehousing space for books and a room for small events and poetry readings.
Counseling professor Sam Gladding, whose dozens of books about counseling are read worldwide, is focused now on a topic very close to home and his heart—Wake Forest University and its history.
Recently, he completed a nine-year project to write “The History of Wake Forest University: Volume 6.” The book tells the story of the University when it was led by Thomas K. Hearn Jr. From 1983 until his retirement in 2005, Hearn served as Wake Forest’s 12th president. He also was the University’s second-longest serving president with 22 years at the helm.
“Wake Forest went from a strong regional, Baptist-affiliated university to a top 30 national, independent institution of higher learning,” according to Gladding, a Wake Forest alumnus who returned to the University in 1990 as assistant to the president for special projects and professor of counseling. He later spent several years as associate provost before focusing all of his efforts at the University on the Department of Counseling.
An opportunity to have the book signed by Gladding is ahead. On April 9, he will be signing on campus at Words Awake 2, a two-day celebration of Wake Forest-associated writers and writing. The signing will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Benson University Center, fourth floor. Also signing books will be Provost Emeritus Ed Wilson, author of “The History of Wake Forest University, Volume V,” which focused on the University between 1967-83, when James Ralph Scales was president.
The Media, a student-run digital media group, launched in September with a ceremony in Reynolda Hall’s Magnolia Room featuring Provost Rogan Kersh (’86) and Provost Emeritus Ed Wilson (’43). The Media will be working with members of campus to create digital content with a focus on using iTunesU as an academic distribution channel. The Media plans to add to the global branding of Wake Forest.
Kersh’s remarks focused on the entrepreneurial spirit of the group’s founder, sophomore William Wang, and Kersh also presented badges to the student leaders. Wilson’s remarks focused on the teacher-student relationship through history at Wake Forest, saying: “Normally students learn from teachers at Wake Forest. However, as teachers, we should also learn from them.”
Senior Addison McLamb outlined the goals of the group, and Wang spoke about the hybrid of student creativity and institutional vision from Wake Forest faculty and staff.
“With incredible support from all over the campus, we are hungry to do more in the future,” Wang said. “Our job is to ensure that Wake Forest University thrives in a mobile- and cloud-first world.”
Categories: University Announcement