138
| the history of wake forest
indicates the remarkable value of what Wake Forest now owned:
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Bacon’s Essays, Boswell’s Life of
Samuel Johnson, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Browning’s The Ring
and the Book, Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Defoe’s Robinson
Crusoe, Dickens’ David Copperfield, Fielding’s Tom Jones, Hardy’s
Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Keats’s Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Ag-
nes, and Other Poems, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Scott’s Ivanhoe, Mary
Shelley’s Frankenstein, Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, Bram Stoker’s
Dracula, Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, and
Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads. In Mrs. Babcock’s re-
marks she recalled “precious evenings” she had spent with her hus-
band, “sharing the lives and times and minds of the authors whose
words shaped and still shape the consciousness of humankind.”
Welcome news also came from Washington: Congress had ap-
proved, and President Nixon had signed, legislation2 allowing Wake
Forest to buy for $250,000 the former U.S. consulate in Venice
which the University had been occupying since 1971, with the un-
derstanding that if the University ever decided to sell the house,
the Department of State would have the privilege of first refusal or
of repurchasing the house at the sale price of $250,000. North Car-
olina Congressman James Broyhill and Senators Sam Ervin and
Jesse Helms had led in making possible this favorable legislation,
and Representative Wayne Hays of Ohio, chairman of a House
Foreign Affairs subcommittee, who
had also given his support to Wake
Forest, said that he felt “we had an ob-
ligation to let this great American uni-
versity continue a unique educational
opportunity.” After this report was
received, the Venice house was named
Casa Artom in recognition of Dr. Ca-
millo Artom; subsequently, his widow,
Bianca Ara Artom, was officially des-
ignated as being also honored in the
naming of the house.
The Kenan Professorship, estab-
lished through a $500,000 grant from
the William R. Kenan Charitable
Trust, was awarded to Germaine Brée,
Germaine Brée
2
The Congressional
Act authorizing Wake
Forest to purchase
the Venice property
is reproduced in
Appendix G.
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