84 The History of Wake Forest
While delivery of the 1986–1987 edition of The Howler was delayed until the
spring of 1988, the 1987–1988 edition came out on time and was mailed to seniors in
August. The University also produced an admissions videotape and a video yearbook.
They were both shot at the same time, but the yearbook highlighted the year’s events,
while the admissions video provided more general information. The video yearbook,
which cost $28 for a thirty-minute VHS cassette, was not meant to compete with
The Howler. The admissions video was distributed free to anyone.
During a Student Union-sponsored ’60s week in late September, participants
could make a wearable tie-dye T-shirt for $2.50 on the Quad. A more substantive
event took place in the spring semester. To help students think on a higher moral
level, University Chaplain Ed Christman and Learning Assistance Program Director
Roger Pearman launched Gray Matters. It was a program designed to prompt upper-
class student leaders to reflect on ethical principles that might guide their responses
to campus concerns. It aimed to complement the Leadership Excellence Application
Development (LEAD) program for freshmen and sophomores supervised by Associ-
ate Dean of Students Mike Ford and Director of Student Activities Mary Beil.
Although not tied to and occurring before the Gray Matters program, a significant
action to promote better student relations occurred on December 4, when the Tau
chapter of Kappa Alpha fraternity voted to stop using the Confederate flag and uni-
form as a symbol of its chapter and publicly apologized to the Wake Forest commu-
nity for having used these symbols. The decision was noted as a positive but belated
step in a January 15 Old Gold and Black editorial.
In other Greek life news, Delta Sigma Theta became Wake Forest’s first black
sorority in the spring of 1988. In addition, four students sought approval from all
necessary student and faculty committees to form a chapter of Delta Delta Delta
National Sorority. Tension arose between the Intersociety Council and Tri-Delta
Sorority organizers due to misunderstandings and lack of communication, but the
Tri-Delta proposal was approved by the Student Government Legislature in April
1988, and the pioneer group acquired housing for fall 1988.
Facilities, Finances, and Alumni
In September, the F.W. Olin Foundation of New York announced it was making a
grant of $3,719,625 to Wake Forest to build and equip a new physics building. It was
the University’s second largest single foundation grant and the only one dedicated to
the construction of an entire building since the 1956 move to Winston-Salem. Ground
was broken on March 31, and construction started in April. The 31,375 square-foot
building was completed by the fall semester of 1989. It freed 16,037 square feet of
classroom and laboratory space in Salem Hall for sole occupancy by the Department
On April 12, another groundbreaking ceremony was held, this time for the Uni-
versity Center, which was named for Clifton L. Benson Sr., thanks to a lead gift from
his son. Tylee Wilson, the CEO of RJR Nabisco, also committed half a million dollars.