the end of chapel and the changing college scene
The athletic ambitions of the University received
a major strengthening on September 14, 1968,
when a new football stadium was dedicated. From
the time the College moved to Winston-Salem,
home football games had been played in the mu-
nicipal Bowman Gray Stadium on the east side
of the city: an unsatisfactory arrangement because
of the size of the stadium and its distance from
the campus. Now Groves Stadium12 was ready
for use. Built at a cost of four million dollars on
land across Cherry Street,13 east of the campus,
it had 31,000 seats (twice as many as Bowman
Gray Stadium) and modern facilities, and it was
beautifully designed for a particularly appealing
setting. Fund-raising for the stadium had taken
place under the chairmanship of Bert L. Bennett
of Winston-Salem and Supreme Court Justice
Joseph Branch (LL.B., 1938), and R. B. Crawford of
Winston-Salem had been chairman of the construction committee.
Unfortunately, given the glamor of the dedication ceremonies and
the happiness of the crowd, Wake Forest lost the game to North
Carolina State by the score of 10 to 6.
Four new gifts during the 1968–1969 school year indicated the
continuing generosity of the Reynolds family toward Wake Forest.
Anne Cannon Forsyth, the daughter of Z. Smith Reynolds, gave the
University approximately sixty-eight acres of mountain property
near Fancy Gap in Carroll County, Virginia, just north of the border
separating North Carolina and Virginia. The two houses on the prop-
erty became available to Wake Forest employees who wanted a few
days’ vacation in a rural setting, and the larger house was designed in
such a way as to accommodate overnight groups of students or fac-
ulty members. I recall being present several times at Fancy Gap for
University retreats when there were issues to be discussed or prob-
lems to be resolved. Long walks in the mountains offered exercise
and relaxation when conferees became weary of talking and listening.
Also, Winifred Babcock, the widow of Charles Babcock, gave
Wake Forest a “Southern Collection” of rare books: 679 volumes
which Mr. Babcock had carefully and lovingly acquired. These books
were placed in the “Library of Charles Lee Smith” rooms on the sixth
Groves Stadium
Groves Stadium
was also the name of
the football stadium
on the old campus.
It was named in
honor of Henry
Herman Groves Sr.
(B.A., 1913), then of
Gastonia. The new
stadium was also
named in honor of
Groves as well as
two of his brothers,
Earl E. Groves and
L. Craig Groves,
both already de-
ceased in 1968.
University Park-
way now separates
Groves Stadium
from the campus.
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