“in remembrance is the secret of redemption.” The baccalaureate
sermon on the preceding Sunday was delivered by Will Davis
Campbell (B.A., 1948), who told the graduates that they should
“repent of an educational system that has become a religion itself.”
Honorary degrees were awarded to four distinguished American
writers: to Campbell himself; to Eudora Welty; to Robert Penn
Warren; and to Eleanor Clark. Also honored were Sherman M.
Mellinkoff, Dean of the School of Medicine of UCLA, and Thomas
H. Davis of Winston-Salem, founder and former chief executive
officer of Piedmont Aviation.
The final, spectacular event of the sesquicentennial was truly a
“spectacle”: “A Spectacle of Sound and Light” called “Visions and
Dreams.” Directed by the campus genius of theatre and magic,
James Dodding (since 1979 a member of the theatre department
coming from Great Britain every spring for classes and a major
mainstage play), “Visions and Dreams” was a “son et lumière” pro-
duction, the first ever at an American college. It was presented on
the Plaza of the Reynolda campus for five successive nights, August
19 through August 23. On each occasion all seats were filled, and
audiences were captivated. In a “sound and light” show, no actors
appear. Buildings are illuminated in various dramatic ways as re-
corded voices and music tell the story. For the Wake Forest pro-
duction the central building was Wait Chapel, and spectators sat
on tiered seats facing the Chapel and saw lights playing upon the
Chapel and adjacent residence halls and trees, “changing from day
to night, from winter to spring, from fire and war to victorious cel-
ebrations.” In this way the history of Wake Forest’s one hundred
and fifty years became “spectacularly” alive.
For reasons that I suppose are largely personal (though I hope
that others who witnessed the “sound and light” show found it as
uniquely memorable as I did) I have included in Appendix K eleven
pages from the souvenir program that was given to each person
who came to see the show. More than anything else, I wanted to
place in this historical record the names of all the many folks—
students, faculty, staff, townspeople—who made contributions to
the show. Repeating their names, many of us can remind ourselves
what a friendly, cooperative, and versatile community we were.
Seeing all these people again, though in my mind’s eye, gives me
cause to smile.
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