Library wing named in honor of Provost Wilson

The $7 million addition to the Z. Smith Reynolds Library has been named the Edwin Graves Wilson Wing in honor of the University’s provost.

President Thomas K. Hearn Jr. made the announcement during commencement ceremonies on May 21. The addition, which will nearly double the library’s size upon its completion in 1991, honors Wilson’s “devotion to the life of the mind and the life of Wake Forest University,” Hearn said. “For over four decades, Wake Foresters have been inspired by the example of one man who reminds us gently and elegantly of our commitments and our aspirations.”

Wilson became Wake Forest’s first provost in 1967. He was named dean of the college in 1960 after serving as assistant dean for three years. He joined the University’s English department in 1951 and has been professor of English since 1959.

Millard D. Fuller, founder and director of Habitat for Humanity International, told the more than 700 undergraduates and 450 graduates of the professional schools that solving the problems of modern society requires faith, hope and unity. “What it takes is being united, working together, and having a sense of God’s calling to a mission,” he said. “Then, we have to move, on faith, and take risks to accomplish what needs to be done.

“The great disparity between the rich and the poor raises tremendously important ethical and moral questions for all people of concern and compassion,” he said. “It is a problem to be solved by caring people in the years ahead.”

Fuller received an honorary doctor of humanities degree. Also receiving degrees were:

  • David R. Bryant (’58), Wake Forest alumnus and senior chemist with Union Carbide;
  • R. Philip Hanes Jr., Winston-Salem philanthropist and arts patron;
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton, the first chairman of the Equal Opportunity Commission;
  • and R. Gene Puckett, editor of the Biblical Recorder.

Four retiring faculty members from the Reynolda campus were recognized during commencement. In addition, six medical doctors from the Hawthorne Campus have been granted emeritus status.

Retiring from the Reynolda campus are:

  • Bianca M. Artom, lecturer in romance languages;
  • J. William Angell, Easley Professor of Religion;
  • Caroline S. Fullerton, lecturer in speech communication and theatre arts;
  • and Balkrishna G. Gokhale, professor of Asian studies.

Physicians granted emeritus status are:

  • John P. Gusdon, professor of obstetrics and gynecology;
  • Quentin N. Myrvick, professor of microbiology;
  • Modesto Scharyj, associate professor of pathology;
  • N. Sheldon Skinner Jr., professor of cardiology and physiology;
  • Cornelius F. Strittmatter IV, professor of biochemistry;
  • and Henry L. Valk, professor of internal medicine.

Published in Wake Forest Magazine.