210 The History of Wake Forest
taught at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
from 1975 to 1991. He came to Wake Forest from
Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama,
where he had been Chair of Religion and Philoso-
phy since 1992. He arrived to find he had an office,
an administrative assistant, a development offi-
cer, a Board of Visitors, and a huge challenge—to
transform the plans for the Divinity School into a
reality. While $11 million in endowment had been
raised, $15 million were needed, and in addition
to fundraising and teaching in the Department
of Religion for the next three years, Leonard had
to hire a faculty, recruit an incoming class of stu-
dents, and integrate the new school into the Uni-
versity fabric. He approached all of these tasks with
energy, optimism, and efficiency,
demonstrating a strong, creative
deanship. He was the perfect fit
for the position.
On March 1, the Perimeter
Access Control Committee sub-
mitted a report recommending
that gatehouses be built at all
three campus street entrances
to monitor late-night traffic. It
also recommended hiring three
additional police officers and
substantially upgrading outdoor
lighting. The committee of ten faculty, students, and administrators was formed after
two female students were abducted from campus in spring 1995, and the armed rob-
bery of five male students on campus in January 1996 punctuated its deliberation. A
small group of students assembled outside the Benson University Center during the
spring meeting of the Board of Trustees to protest the building of gatehouses, but to
no avail.
On March 10, the men’s basketball team, under Head Coach Dave Odom, won
the ACC championship, defeating Georgia Tech 75–74 and becoming the first team
in fourteen years to win consecutive ACC titles. Tim Duncan was named the most
valuable player of the tournament as well as National College Basketball Player of
the Year. While Randolph Childress had been the hero of the previous year’s ACC
championship, Duncan clearly was seen as the leader of the 1996 team. He poured
in 27 points, took down 21 rebounds, and had six assists and four blocked shots.
He also forced the Yellow Jackets’s Stephon Marbury to alter the angle of his poten-
tially game-winning shot with three seconds left and thus preserve the win for the
Deacons.
Duncan was not the Lone Ranger in the defeat of Georgia Tech. Rusty LaRue
stepped up his game, adding 14 points and taking over at point guard after Tony
Paul Escott
Bill Leonard
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