Graduates cautioned to avoid ‘stress of success’

Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder warned Wake Forest University’s 148th graduating class of the “myopia of materialism” and encouraged graduates to balance future careers with time spent with family and friends during commencement exercises on May 20.

“If you are to be happy and fulfilled for the rest of your lives you must come to terms with the stress of success,” said Wilder, “and develop a personal credo as to just what success means to you.”

Wilder, the country’s first elected black governor, is considered to be a possible Democratic presidential candidate for 1992.

“Those persons here who accept the proposition that above all else nothing is more important in life than sharing with family and friends in all that is vast or little; joyous or painful; richer or poorer — in my judgement — can count themselves among the truly fortunate,” said Wilder.

Nearly 1,200 students received diplomas when rain forced the graduation ceremonies from the Plaza (Quad) to the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. President Thomas K. Hearn Jr. told the graduating students that “the cold war may be over but the peace has not yet begun.”

Hearn urged the students to lead the nation into the new century by working for peace. “The ending of war is a monumental achievement,” said Hearn. “Generations of doomsayers, who predicted a cataclysmic nuclear conflict between the superpowers, have been silenced. The end of armed conflict and the cold war means at least that the work of peace can be begun. That work now falls to you. As you lead the nation into the new century, your task is to work the work of peace — to make real the ancient dreams of humanity for peace and plenty.”

Joseph C. Hough Jr. (’55), Vanderbilt University’s divinity school dean and professor of ethics, gave the baccalaureate sermon in Wait Chapel on May 19. Hough received an honorary doctor of divinity degree. Wilder and Stephen L. Neal, North Carolina 5th district congressman since 1975, received honorary doctor of laws degrees. Albert R. Hunt (’65), Washington bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal, received an honorary doctor of letters degree.

Six retiring faculty members were recognized for their more than 200 years of cumulative service:

  • Lucille S. Harris, instructor in music;
  • D. Paul Hylton, professor of accounting;
  • Carlton T. Mitchell, professor of religion;
  • Carl C. Moses, professor of politics;
  • F. Jeanne Owen, professor of business law;
  • and David L. Smiley, professor of history.

Six retiring medical school professors were honored:

  • Alvin Brodish, professor of physiology and pharmacology;
  • Henry Drexler, professor of microbiology and immunology;
  • Harold O. Goodman, professor of pediatrics-medical genetics;
  • George C. Lynch, professor of biomedical communications;
  • William J. May, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and professor of family and community medicine;
  • and Richard B. Patterson, professor of pediatrics.

Wake Forest awarded its first bachelor of arts degrees in Russian during the ceremony.

Published in Wake Forest Magazine.