296 The History of Wake Forest
The Student Union sponsored performances by singer Rodie Ray, singer and
songwriter Del Suggs, The Mike Plume Band, Neintown Steel and Mark Fireham-
mer, acoustic pop trio Guster, Grammy-nominated banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck and the
Flecktones, and Saturday Night Live comedian Kevin Nealon.
Campus and Student Life
At the end of August, 982 freshmen moved into their residence halls and began orien-
tation activities. The first-year class comprised 505 women and 477 men from forty-
four states and seven foreign countries. With their arrival, the University reached a
milestone in its technology initiative. All undergraduates now had their own IBM
ThinkPad computer for use inside and outside of the classroom. The complete
estimated cost to a student for the 1999–2000 academic year, according to the Wake
Forest webpage, was $27,620.
The year’s theme was “Science and Technology: The Next Millennium,” chaired
by William E. Conner (Biology). The opening convocation on September 16 was to
feature James D. Watson, author of The Double Helix and Nobel Prize winner for the
discovery, with Francis Crick, of the molecular structure of DNA, but it was canceled
due to the threat of Hurricane Floyd. The rest of the year featured a plethora of pro-
grams on topics like genetics, technology, cloning, encryption, and sustainability, as
well as a film series and a number of related first-year seminars. On Founders’ Day,
February 10, David Suzuki, award-winning geneticist, environmentalist, and host of
the television series The Nature of Things, spoke.
The Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development, published
in October by the John Templeton Foundation, named Wake Forest University to its
annual Honor Roll of one hundred colleges committed to the development of con-
science, character, citizenship, and social responsibility among students. Wake For-
est was one of only three
North Carolina schools
included, recognized for
outstanding academic
honesty, substance-abuse
prevention programs, and
student leadership pro-
grams. The guide named
President Thomas K.
Hearn Jr. as one of the top
fifty college presidents for
demonstrating leadership
and character.
Wake Forest and Win-
ston-Salem State celebrated
the fortieth anniversary
of the student sit-in at the
Woolworth’s lunch coun-
ter at Fourth and Liberty The Year of Science and Technology logo
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