| the history of wake forest
tance so late at night in an older car. Being the invincible college stu-
dent, I was not worried and prided myself on being a “road warrior.”
I set out on my trek back to Winston-Salem around 10:00 PM with
expectations that I would arrive at Wake around 1:00 AM. My mom
told me several times to call home when I got back to school so that
they would know I made it safely and they could go to bed. As a par-
ent of two teenagers, I now fully understand that logic. However, at
that time of my college life, the instructions to “call home when you
get to school” went in one ear and out the other, and I forgot those
instructions as quickly as I got into my car and turned on the radio.
Big Mistake!
I arrived safely at Wake and went straight to bed because I knew
I had an early Monday morning class. Being the clear-headed college
student that most are, I forgot to call my Mom to say I was safely in
my dorm. And anyone who knows my Mom knows that she was the
ultimate “worry wart”; so by 1:15 AM, she was pacing the floor at my
house in Kingsport. Exacerbating the problem was the fact that our
suite phone was not working (no cell phones in those days), and my
Mom had no other numbers to call. She was really worried that I had
not gotten back to Wake safely.
Not to worry too much, though, because of one comment from
my Mom’s visit to Wake Forest that stuck in her mind… “Let me
know if there is anything I can ever do for you.” She heard it many
times on that visit but she couldn’t quickly recall who might be able
to help her right now. She racked her brain and then it became clear.
It was Dr. Ralph Scales, President of Wake Forest University, who said
“Let me know if I can ever help you” and he sounded most sincere.
What happened next still amazes me. My Mom used all the re-
sources at her disposal and found Dr. Scales’ home phone number
and called him at 1:15 AM to inform him that her son, her only son,
may not have arrived back at school safely. She told Dr. Scales that
I was supposed to call back but had not done so and she was really
worried. She also reminded the President that he did say to let her
know if there was ever anything he could do for her and now she
needed his help. Without hesitating, the President of Wake Forest
University gets out of bed, gets dressed and gets to Davis Dorm as
quickly as he could and knocks on the door of 305-D. I stumble
around my roommate and answer the door in my gym shorts and
when I see who it is and I see other students gathered around, I
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