Chapter One: 1983–1984 3
C.C. Hope and Glenn Orr and past Trustee Chair Leon Rice addressed matters
related to the University; those from University of North Carolina President
William Friday, Duke President Terry Sanford, North Carolina Baptist State Con-
vention officials, such as Cecil Ray, and other dignitaries and business leaders in
North Carolina and Winston-Salem, such as R.J. Reynolds Industries’ CEO J. Tylee
Wilson, were more formal and broader in scope. Some letters carried requests for
jobs and interviews. Perhaps the most interesting came from Mary Garber, sports-
writer for the Winston-Salem Journal, on June 28, 1983, not only requesting an inter-
view on intercollegiate athletics, but including her set of questions. The same day’s
mail brought the Reverend Warren Carr’s invitation to consider joining the Wake
Forest Baptist Church. Hearn, now a practicing Presbyterian, had a Baptist heritage
that, Carr recognized, might be revived. Most media and ministers had noted that
Hearn would be the first non-Baptist to lead Wake Forest.
Among the many letters from colleagues, associates, and leaders in Alabama were
congratulations from UAB President S. Richardson Hill, U.S. Senator Howell Heflin,
Birmingham Post-Herald editor David W. Brown, and Thomas Bartlett, Chancellor of
the University of Alabama. Higdon C. Roberts Jr., a professor in the UAB School of
Business, wrote on June 23:
When you first became Vice President, I was not happy about it. I thought you
lacked experience and were naïve, both in internal University politics and the
external political system. What I didn’t count on was how smart you are and
how quickly you could learn. More importantly, I underestimated your integ-
rity and commitment to education.
I am glad I was wrong. I hate like hell to see you go. I think you’ve become
a first-rate academic administrator and I’ve enjoyed working with you and for
you. In addition to this professional respect, I like you as a man.
The very best in your new position.
Tom Hearn answered most of these letters, regardless of their source and, in the
process, acknowledged that he felt good about being named to his new position. He
mentioned in his return letters, especially to his friends, that his wife, Barbara, was
also “very happy” about the move. Of their three children, son Will was in the new
undergraduate honors program at UAB; daughter Lindsay was an undergraduate at
the University of Texas, Austin; and son Thomas was finishing his MBA/MPH at
UAB and, in spring 1984, would do an internship at a hospital in Charlotte.
Inauguration
Although Tom Hearn could not leave his UAB position until October, the Inaugura-
tion Committee made extensive plans for the actual event on November 4. The com-
mittee was chaired by Bill Joyner (Vice President for Development). Members were
Leon Corbett (University Counsel), William H. Flowe Sr. (University Alumni Asso-
ciation President), Ralph S. Fraser (German), Barbara Hearn (for the Hearn family),
Robert M. Helm Jr. (Philosophy), C.C. Hope (Chair, Board of Trustees), Beth Nor-
brey Hopkins (for Reynolda Campus alumni), Richard Janeway (Vice President for
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