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Beth Hopkins, interviewed by Cameron Young
Interview Project
Beth Hopkins
March 22, 2016
Describe your experience at Wake Forest. What specific events do you remember that
stand out to you? How did you find Wake Forest?
“I was actually on my way to Reed College in Portland, Oregon and I had a very good friend
here, a childhood friend who was on the football team here. He said, “Beth, you’re crazy to go
out to Portland, you need to come here.” There were maybe 12-15 black guys on campus and
there were no black women on campus so, the University was interested in making the campus
more diverse, and so my friend convinced me that I should come to Wake Forest, and I just went
on his word. It was just that simple. So I came in August of 1969 and it was, you know, a
different time that it is right now. My roommate and I were the only two black girls who lived on
campus and there were two others who were day students from Winston-Salem. Most of the
student body had not encountered middle-class black people. For most of the students, the black
people they knew were people who did their clothes and washed their underwear, swept up floors
and babysat them.” “There were less than 20 of us on campus the first year I was here, and we’re
all still very close. I would say 6 of those 20 were football players and they’re now lawyers and
doctors and my husband delivers babies; he was a football player, too. So, we sort of stuck
together and because I was a freshman and they were upperclassmen, they told us which
professors absolutely not to get. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, just don’t get them! So I
paid close attention to what they gave me and we tried to pass that on down, now of course the
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