Chapter One: 1983–1984 5
and his friendship and advocated for continuing international education, research,
and the cultivation of imagination as well as intellect. Approximately one hundred min-
utes after the ceremony began, President Hearn and President Emeritus Scales emerged
from  Wait  Chapel and led the procession across the Quad to Reynolda Hall. There the
faculty assembled on the steps for the first faculty photograph in more than fifty years.
First Impressions
In a front-page article on the new president in the Old Gold and Black on Septem-
ber 30, 1983, Hearn told reporter Marjorie Miller he planned to preserve the “things
we are doing right.” Among those strengths, he saw a “real sense of intellectual and
academic community” with “many exciting graduate programs ….” He thought the
faculty was strong and devoted to academic freedom and that the trustees formed an
unusually loyal and committed group. He went on to say: “Everyone seems to agree
that there is a special spirit about Wake Forest …. There is really a family feeling about
this place.” He said he felt fortunate to follow such a “worthy man” as James Ralph
Hearn indicated in the article that he had been given only one particular man-
date by the trustees. The only thing the trustees requested was that a planning effort
be initiated. The new president intended to carry out this mandate by creating a new
position: Vice President of Planning and Placement. In doing so, he would address
concerns from the trustees and also those in a report titled “The Year 2000.” In the
Year 2000 report, a committee representing faculty and administrators from each of
the major academic units had assessed the University’s prospects for the millennium
and what needed to be done. Thus, without other specific directives, Tom Hearn took
his place as Wake Forest’s president with imagination, vision, and plenty of new ideas.
A Flawed Presidential Search
No sooner had Hearn been appointed President of Wake Forest than the University
began to bubble with criticism, not of the man, but of the search process. While
pleased with the selection, Scales said the procedure did not live up to the expecta-
tions of several groups that believed they had been promised some role or other in
the search. He claimed that he himself did not know what was going on and that the
selection committee did not follow a faculty resolution passed in December 1982 to
follow the same procedure used in the 1966–1967 search that selected him. He stated
that the Chair of the Board of Trustees, C.C. Hope, Vice Chair of the Board of First
Union National Bank in Charlotte and Secretary of Commerce for North Carolina,
should not have chaired the search committee for a new university president. At the
same time, he acknowledged that there were no uniform procedures for selecting col-
lege and university administrators.
Assistant Professor of Political Science Don Schoonmaker (’60) also weighed in
on the presidential search. He stated that the major defect was a lack of clearly speci-
fied guidelines and procedures. A ten-member faculty committee had advised the
trustees’ search committee, but no written document enumerated the desired quali-
fications of the next University President, nor how the search should be conducted.
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