124 The History of Wake Forest
$22.5 million yield from the effort was limited, especially considering the needs of
the institution.
The kickoff of Heritage and Promise: The Campaign for Wake Forest on April 4,
1991, marked a significant change in campaign drives and goals. Unlike past fund-
raising efforts, it first targeted Forsyth County and North Carolina and reached half
of its goal even before it went public in 1992. The approach was multifaceted: of
the $150 million goal, $89.7 million was sought for the endowment, $40 million for
operating support, and $20.3 million to complete the campus building program. A
July 1990 article in Wake Forest University Magazine itemized Reynolda campus aims
even further: “Endowment is needed in three areas: $39.3 million for faculty sup-
port to enable the University to attract, retain, and reward outstanding teachers and
scholars; $37.4 million for student aid to increase the diversity of the student body
and maintain a need-blind admissions policy; and $13 million for support for new
programs and curricular enhancement.”
Wayne Calloway, John Medlin, and Arnold Palmer were the campaign’s desig-
nated leaders, but professional staffers were hired to carry out day-to-day operations.
Faculty and administrative personnel from the Reynolda campus demonstrated their
support for the initiative by committing almost $1.5 million in gifts and pledges.
Professor of Psychology Deborah Best (’70, MA ’72), a Double Deacon with consid-
erable passion for the institution, headed this on-campus effort in which 71 percent,
or 711 of the 1,005 employees who returned their pledge cards, made pledges or gifts
averaging $2,020.
Ed Wilson stepped up into a new role as Vice President for Special Projects as the
campaign began. Known respectfully and affectionately as “Mr. Wake Forest,” he was
the ideal advocate for the active phase of the campaign. Wilson was a bridge between
generations. He treasured the old campus and was friends with many of those who
had studied there. Named a “Super Prof” by Esquire Magazine in 1966, he taught gen-
erations of students on the new campus after “The Removal,” the rather portentous
term for the transport of the campus from the town
of Wake Forest to the city of Winston-Salem. His
courses on the Romantic poets and Blake, Yeats, and
Thomas were legendary. Students eagerly enrolled
in them, loved them, and related to Wilson with
genuine warmth. His continuing presence in the
classroom after he became Dean and Provost gave
him a singular familiarity with Reynolda campus
graduates. Now, he moved out of Reynolda Hall
and away from the daily grind of administrative
work into an office on the second floor of Z. Smith
Reynolds Library to take up his new duties: secur-
ing Wake Forest’s financial future.
The search committee to replace Wilson as
Provost was chaired by John Anderson. The com-
mittee first met in 1988, and its first choice in
the spring of 1989 was John William Elrod, Vice
President for Academic Affairs at Washington and
Ed Wilson
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