A National Nod, Heart Trouble,
Basketball, Plan Approval,
and Campaign Success
In talking about his heart surgery: “A health problem reorders and verifies priorities.”
Thomas K. Hearn Jr., May 15, 1995;
Charge the Graduates, Wake Forest University Commencement
ive major stories competed for attention at Wake Forest during 1994–1995.
The importance of each, like other stories, was judged differently by various
In chronological order: the University was reclassified by the
media from regional to national status; President Hearn underwent heart surgery;
the men’s basketball’s team won the ACC championship; the Board of Trustees
approved the Plan for the Class of 2000; and the Heritage and Promise Campaign
ended on a high note.
Although not the biggest story of the year within the University, one of the best
was that U.S. News & World Report’s annual college guide reclassified Wake Forest
from the leading regional university in the South to the “first tier” among national
universities. After topping the regional category for eight consecutive years, in the
fall of 1994, Wake Forest was placed among institutions ranked twenty-sixth to fifty-
seventh based on an average SAT score of 1250 for entering first-year students, a
42  percent acceptance rate, and a 37 percent alumni giving rate. The University was
at last recognized by its peers and the media as a top-flight national institution.
U.S. News & World Report was not the only publication to highlight the national
status of Wake Forest. Money magazine ranked the University the fourteenth best
buy among the nation’s 3,600 colleges and universities. In addition, Barron’s Profiles
of American Colleges named Wake Forest to its “most competitive” list, comprising
only thirty-nine colleges and universities nationally, and just eight of them in the
South. Furthermore, President Hearn reported in October that Wake Forest was in
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