| the history of wake forest
Coincident with this encouraging news from the development
office, President Scales announced that he had decided to retire at
the end of the academic year.2 He wanted to “go out teaching, read-
ing, and writing,” he said, as befitted the profession he had originally
chosen as his career. Thanks to the generosity of Eugene Worrell, he
would begin, upon his retirement, a five-year term as the Worrell
Professor of Anglo-American Studies, spending part of each year
in London, he hoped, and perhaps teaching at the Worrell House.
Scales’s decision did not come as a surprise. It had, in fact, been
expected. He was in the sixteenth year of a successful but demand-
ing and fatiguing presidency. He was no longer in good health, as
events later in the spring would indicate. The Fine Arts Center—as
early as 1967 he had said that he wanted that “complex” for Wake For-
est more than anything else—was finished, and he had been honored
to see the Center grandly carry his name. The houses in Venice
and London were recognized as suggesting, symbolically at least,
his cosmopolitan ambitions for Wake Forest: the kind of style and
flair that his admirers in particular associated with his personality.
It was in the College—the undergraduate school of liberal arts
—that Scales’s achievements were most obvious and most appreci-
ated. His priorities for Wake Forest reflected his own intellectual
history and his own interests: he was an avid and curious reader;
he attended concerts and plays—and, sometimes, movies—with
enthusiasm; he wandered expectantly through galleries and museums;
he heard lectures eagerly and, if called upon, critically; he himself
used words with imagination and vitality and, often, with a touch
of irony or amusement; he was, in short, a person of humane and
informed responses to the world around him. It was not surprising,
therefore, that his priorities for fund-raising and University advance-
ment centered upon the College, and in that emphasis he was sup-
ported by others in the central administration: I was an English
teacher; Dean Mullen and Dean Stroupe were historians; all the
members of the staff in the Dean’s office had liberal arts back-
grounds, and both Bill Joyner and Bill Straughan were College
alumni, as were Director of Communications Russell Brantley and
Chaplain Ed Christman. In short, the orientation of the Scales ad-
ministration was decidedly toward undergraduate education, some-
times, it must be said, to the dismay of the professional schools.
Scales had already
set in motion a plan
“to study the future
of the University,”
looking especially to
the year 2000, but
such efforts in that
direction as had been
made by the end of
Scales’s administra-
tion were set aside
after Hearn arrived
and began to develop
his own prospectus
for the future.
Reynolds boathouse on Lake Katherine
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