| the history of wake forest
and visitors of the future
who never had the pleasure
that we have had of knowing
him in the flesh.
Dr. Scales had cosmopol-
itan tastes—he liked to trav-
el and he liked settings of
comfort and sophistica-
tion—and so, acting almost
entirely on his own, he decid-
ed that Wake Forest should
have colonies: overseas pro-
grams, first in Venice and
next in London. The spirit of
James Ralph Scales haunts
both these cities, and those
of you who have looked out
onto the Grand Canal from
the upstairs living room of
Casa Artom or left Worrell
House to walk down Steeles
Road toward the Chalk Farm Underground should remember
that Dr. Scales is the sponsor of your pleasures. I traveled with
him both to Venice and to London, and I know what a good
companion he was: alert, attentive to every sight, savoring the
pleasure of tea rooms and restaurants and clubs: a connoisseur
of ‘the good life.’
But the main business of Dr. Scales’s administration was
back home in Winston-Salem, and under his leadership Wake
Forest became stronger and better and more free. There were
occasional crises, especially during the unsettling and some-
times turbulent years of the late sixties and early seventies, but
Dr. Scales, an experienced naval officer from years on an air-
craft carrier in World War II, was a calm and shrewd navigator,
and the University reached port not only without damage but
with renewed seaworthiness. Facts and statistics and adminis-
trative decisions could be cited to define further the Scales years,
but Scales the president is to be found in the records, and today
I would speak primarily of Scales the man and Scales my friend.
One of the characters in a James M. Barrie play, when asked
the question “What is charm?”, replied, “If you have it, you don’t
need to have anything else; and if you don’t have it, it doesn’t
much matter what else you have.” Well, Dr. Scales had other
qualities—intelligence and wit a-plenty—but he also had
“charm,” and that is what many of us will remember most of all.
He could walk across the campus, move in and out of offices,
President and Mrs. Scales: in retirement
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