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the appointment of a committee to undertake the search for the
next president of Wake Forest: Justice Joseph Branch of Raleigh,
Robert P. Caldwell Sr. of Gastonia, Rev. W. Henry Crouch of Char-
lotte, Weston P. Hatfield of Winston-Salem, James W. Mason of
Laurinburg, Rev. Alton H. McEachern of Greensboro, Dr. Mary Lide
Morris of Burlington, and J. Robert Philpott of Lexington. Hope
appointed himself as committee chairman. He promised that there
would be an advisory committee from the faculty.
Candidates who would be considered as possible successors
to President Scales, Hope said, must have “a strong Christian
heritage and a solid religious background,” “proven administrative
abilities,” “excellent scholarship credentials,” and promise as a
“good fund-raiser.”
The work of the presidential search committee belongs properly
to the next volume of this Wake Forest history, providing as it does
the context for the presidency of Thomas K. Hearn Jr., Senior Vice
President of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who was
unanimously elected to that office on June 23, 1983. Hearn was sub-
sequently—on October 4—inaugurated as Wake Forest’s twelfth
president and began a career in which he would serve with distinc-
tion and with energy and imagination for twenty-two years.
Scales’s last Commencement as Wake Forest’s president—on
May 16—was clouded by his continuing health problems. On May 5
he had undergone a successful operation for the removal of a cancer-
ous prostate gland, and, although he was already recovering from
the surgery and would soon regain his strength, he was not able to
return to the campus for the graduation exercises and had to listen to
the program by radio from his hospital room. He did receive a visit
from an old friend, John William Gilbert, a Labor Party member
of Great Britain’s House of Commons, who was at Wake Forest to
deliver the Commencement address.
In President Scales’s absence I presided over Commencement.
The faculty marshals and I had to confront another unexpected
development on this busy day: a morning downpour of rain which
made an outdoor program impossible. We moved into Wait Chapel,
and everything went well, but everyone was disappointed. For only
the second time in Wake Forest’s twenty-seven years in Winston-
Salem, we had had to leave the Quad and go inside.
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