claims upon the students' time and attention. Those diversions were
multiplied in May 1958, when the students accepted the idea of a
Student Union for which each would be assessed $1.50 per semester.
The cause had been promoted by Earl Shaw, a junior from Weldon
who was elected the organization's first president. At the same time
Mark Reece, who had been associate director of alumni activities, was
made director of student activities. In that capacity he was to work
closely with the Student Union.
The interests of the union were indicated by the committees set up
to coordinate its affairs: music and arts, lectures, recreation, small
socials, major functions, movies, and publicity In the first year of its
operation the union brought to the campus a number of lecturers
prominent in national life, among them Paul Green, dramatist; J. J.
Kilpatrick, a Richmond editor; Randall Jarrell, poet; Charles Lowry,
an Episcopal rector from Washington; and Dr. V. E. Devadult, a
Colgate-Rochester expert on the Hindi religion.
Add to that, musical groups, social functions, films, bridge and
chess tournaments, along with many other events, and the Student
Union had something going on almost every night of the week. By
1966, when the name had been changed to College Union, the annual
budget was $32,000, with some of the funds invested in a permanent
art collection. There were also the concerts of the Artists Series,
directed by Dr. Charles M. Allen, and lectures available through the
Institute of Literature, visiting Phi Beta Kappa scholars, and functions
sponsored by the various academic departments. This rich melange
was available to every student, and Wake Forest was offering
opportunities that would have been difficult to match anywhere else
in the South.
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