264
| the history of wake forest
SometimeS
you learn more outSide of the claSSroom than inSide
it. While that notion may smack of heresy, it applied to one aspect
of my time at Wake Forest. Now, that’s not meant to slight any of
my fabulous professors, who were deeply dedicated to helping stu-
dents learn, and, more importantly, helping students learn how to
learn. There was Ed Wilson, author of this volume and revealer
of the Romantic poets’ eternal truths. There was Charles Allen, a
believer who realized God and evolution could coexist. There was
Bob Shorter, who unlocked the secrets of the Canterbury Tales.
And the list goes on: Charles Lewis and the complexity of philoso-
phy; Larry West and the German language; Don Schoonmaker and
European realpolitik; Elizabeth Phillips and the complacencies of
the peignoir.
Then there was Bynum Shaw. A soft-spoken elf of a man with
a bright shock of white hair, Bynum—as we called him because
Professor was too formal an appellation—boasted no doctorate in
philosophy from a prestigious university. Instead, he gained his
post-graduate education after Wake Forest by working as a news-
paperman, primarily at The Baltimore Sun. He was a true ink-
stained wretch, and he loved journalism; in fact, he was a living,
breathing embodiment of the joys of journalism. He loved telling
stories and exercising his curiosity; he extolled the virtues of fer-
reting out facts and chasing down the truth. He especially loved
the strange characters and odd tales that mesmerize reporters. But,
most of all, he loved helping students understand and appreciate the
arcane craft of journalism. The university had no journalism major,
and that was proper; instead, there was Bynum, who created a
in retrospect
Ode to a Newspaperman
By Michael Riley (B.A., 1981)
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