| the history of wake forest
Foundation established a fund of $500,000—the “Archie Fund”—
to be used to strengthen the faculty through leaves, support for
research and travel, and visiting professorships. In a Founders’ Day
ceremony on February 5, I remembered the man who had been my
predecessor as Dean: “For two unforgettable years he was dean of
Wake Forest College. Under his leadership,
Wake Forest changed more rapidly and more
imaginatively than in any two-year period be-
fore or since. Mr. Archie wanted Wake Forest
to be a place of intellectual excitement. He
wanted us to have good teachers, and he want-
ed them to be free to think, to write, and to
publish. He was fiercely independent, demo-
cratic, often indignant, sometimes gentle, al-
ways honest—a man to trust and believe in. He
would have enjoyed using this Fund for Faculty
Excellence. I hope that, in our use of it, we will
be as fearless and as imaginative as he would
have been.”
Gerald W. Johnson (B.A., 1911)—one of
Wake Forest’s most prominent literary alumni,
for many years an editorial writer for the Balti-
more Sun, essayist and book reviewer, and the
author of thirty-five books—was honored, following his death in
March 1980, by the naming of a reading room in the Library. He
had been, through the years since his graduation on the old cam-
pus, a friendly adviser to the University and, when he thought it
necessary, a frank and probing critic of what was happening at
Wake Forest. He was especially outspoken about the negative in-
fluence of the Baptist State Convention and about the role of ath-
letics in college life, once observing that “intercollegiate contests”
should be abolished. One comment he made about Wake Forest
became famous in College lore: “She is rowdy but there are those
who love her.” The Gerald White Johnson Room in the Library
would now, thanks to the gift of memorabilia from Mrs. Johnson,
house his World War I journals, photographs, scrapbooks, and
American and foreign editions of his books.
The Library also received a $50,000 grant from the Jessie Ball
duPont Religious, Charitable and Educational Fund for its collec-
William Archie
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