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| the history of wake forest
Such was the size and diversity of the University’s student body
when James Ralph Scales entered upon his first year as Wake For-
est’s eleventh president. He looked favorably on the University’s
quickly expanding graduate programs but warned that the Univer-
sity should “never weaken the AB degree to set up a costly and in-
adequate Ph.D. degree.” (At the time, there were no Ph.D. programs
except at the medical school.) What the campus most needed, he
said, was a “fine arts complex,” and he was to take steps almost at
once toward reaching that goal.
Soon after his arrival, President Scales had expressed himself
as being content with the administrative staff that he had inherited
from the Tribble years. By nature he was not inclined to make
changes among the personnel with whom he worked. His only
new administrative appointment—actually, he recommended it
to the Trustees even before his own term began—was that of Gene
T. Lucas as Vice President for Business and Finance. Lucas had
been vice-president and treasurer of Oklahoma Baptist University,
and Scales said that he was “anxious to resume a working relation-
ship that I found enjoyable at OBU.” Lucas’ assignment was to be
in charge of “the business and other non-academic affairs of the
University, including budget preparation and control, physical
plant and clerical services, and auxiliary enterprises.” He was, as
Wake Forest would soon discover, admirably qualified for his job,
and he would become not only an efficient and highly professional
manager of the University’s business affairs but also appreciated
for his availability to the faculty, his willingness to listen sympa-
thetically to others, his innate fairness, and—perhaps above all—
his engaging wit, delivered with a touch of irony and an almost
never-fading smile.
At the same time that Lucas was named vice-president, John
G. Williard, who had served as Assistant Treasurer since 1958, was
named Treasurer. Williard was a quiet and industrious business
officer, with a C.P.A., who understood budgets and investments
and who brought to his position an air of dependability and au-
thority and who invited the trust of those with whom he worked.
For the next ten years he and Lucas were to act in concert to
strengthen the University financially.
At the end of the 1966–67 academic year, when President Tribble
had retired, Dr. Coy C. Carpenter, Dean of the School of Medicine
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