306 The History of Wake Forest
country on the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam; twenty-two out of twenty-
five students who took the exam passed. Second-place University of Virginia was
seventeen points behind!
The Financial Times of London ranked the Babcock Graduate School of Manage-
ment fifty-fifth among the world’s hundred best graduate business schools, thirty-
sixth among U.S. business schools, twenty-second among private U.S. business
schools, and tenth among nondoctoral degree-granting graduate business schools.
It was also ranked first in North Carolina and the southeast and eleventh among the
world’s top fifty business schools in a survey of corporate recruiters conducted by
The Wall Street Journal.
Against this setting, there were three major stories for the year: a presidential
debate, the start of another national capital campaign, and a new pledge of financial
support from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
The Presidential Debate
Wake Forest was in the spotlight for the second time in twelve years, as a nationally
televised debate between George W. Bush and Al Gore was held in Wait Chapel on
October 11.
Wait Chapel was originally designed to seat 2,400, but over the years renovations
had reduced main-level seating to 1,588 and balcony seating to 662. For the 2000
presidential debate, all balcony seats and some main-level seats were removed, leav-
ing about 1,200 seats. A ticket was a prized commodity, and more than 1,500 students
volunteered to help in preparations and follow-through.
Before the debate was secured, Wake Forest had to convince the Commis-
sion on Presidential Debates that it could support the event financially. Enterasys
Networks was the leading sponsor, and as they had in 1988, Wachovia Corpora-
tion and US Airways joined. Other sponsors included BellSouth, Duke Energy
(an in-kind gift), Idealliance, the Winston-
Salem Journal, TITAN Technology Partners,
Panasonic, Opinioneering Corporation,
Flow Automotive Company, and Mr. and
Mrs. Charles D. Peebler Jr. of New York
City, who were members of the Parents’
In other preparations for the debate,
the University created a dedicated website,
http://debate.wfu.edu, to regularly update
information. “Our preparations for the
debate have sparked creativity throughout
the University community,” said President
Hearn “Since learning of our selection as
a debate site last January, students, faculty
and staff have been exploring how to make
the most of this extraordinary educational
opportunity.” 2000 Presidential Debate logo
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